To bubble wrap the kids or not?!
You would be forgiven for wanting to protect your kids and there is nothing wrong for wanting to ensure they never come to any harm. As life has become increasingly dangerous and parents struggle to get the right balance of protecting while giving their kid freedom it is fair to say it is a minefield. In some ways, it is easier when they are babies as they are near you all the time and need you for everything. Once they are toddlers or school going though, they become brave and will test their own abilities or lack of in some cases.
Naturally parents try to prevent harm coming to children. Parents will ensure their child wears a helmet, puts on a seat belt or holds their hand while out and about. Doing these things is normal and no one should be accused of being “too protective” for providing their nippers with basic safety skills. As a child grows they will understandably want to try new things and challenge themselves and here in begins a problem. Kids may start to climb walls/trees and go exceptionally fast on their bike putting themselves at risk unknowingly.
Parents must be careful about how they encourage their child to be mindful of their own protection and safety. Your kid should be allowed to climb a tree but ensure your kid knows to do so with supervision and care. Cycling a bike fast is the norm for kids but again your child should be reminded of speed and how they can lose control of their bike and crash. Cycling on open cycle lanes is great but in a housing estate the same cannot be said with constant cars entering and leaving the area.
Giving your children, some lee-way will steer you and your child well. A child who is constantly held back from doing things will begin to resent their parents and in time the protection you are placing around them will disintegrate. As a result, your child could decide to go against your wishes and rebel potentially putting their safety in grave danger especially as your child becomes a teenager.
Kids should be aware of their “gut instinct” and believe that this alone is a viable option when trying to decide if something is safe or not. If it doesn’t feel right, it more than likely isn’t right. Promoting a good relationship with your kids is another vital component (to keeping them bubble wrapped while not being withheld by it) so your child will confide in you and ask advice when they need it.
Protective parenting is nothing to feel guilty of and parents should never feel bad for trying to ensure their child’s safety. Loving your kids is a funny thing and your own personal character effects your decisions regarding your kids. If you were an anxious person before you had kids, it is generally thought you will be an anxious parent.
Bubble wrapping isn’t the answer but I do think there has to be the symphony of understanding, trust and belief that your kid with your mentoring will make good decisions and not place themselves in danger now or in the future.
What's your opinion?
Written by Emma Hayes, staff writer with Family Friendly HQ