It can be a balancing act keeping kids safe while avoiding overprotection. Your parents most likely struggled with some of the same issues. Many of the same dangers exist today just as they did when you were a child. The only real difference may be that there are digital dangers that weren’t as much of a factor during your childhood. You have to let your child grow and learn by exploring the world around them.
A problem that many parents face is being considered a helicopter parent. You may have heard this term used and are wondering what it means. The most basic definition is when a parent takes an overly active role in their child’s life. This form of overprotection can be detrimental to the development of the child. They don’t learn how to cope with the everyday situations that will arise in their lives. At the root, this extreme form of parenting appears to be more about the parent being unable to see that their child isn’t an extension of themselves.
While it’s good to be involved in your children’s’ lives, you have to tread a fine line. You have to learn how to let your child experience all that life has to offer, but in a safe manner. Getting cuts and bruises is a part of a healthy childhood. The point of these minor injuries is to teach your child how to modify their behavior by themselves. Another perk is that it can help to develop their immune systems. Minor injuries are just something that you as a parent should take in stride as a part of your child growing into a healthy and functional individual.
This approach can carry over as your children enter their teenage years, especially when they become old enough to drive. Some sort of incident on the road is not unusual in the first year or two of driving, but the odds of it being so severe a car accident attorney needs to get involved are slim. With this in mind, parents ought to be okay with allowing their teen to drive despite being aware of the inherent dangers of driving an automobile.
This doesn’t mean that you should avoid childproofing your home and not correcting unsafe behavior. You need to protect your kids from the real dangers in life that can result in serious injuries or other incidents. The best way to do this is to talk to your kids about the consequences of their actions. Explain things to them in a way that they can understand that is age appropriate. Provide your reasoning behind telling your kids why they can’t touch the stove. Just saying no to a situation won’t teach them about the dangers that it presents.
Another aspect of not overprotecting your kids is to allow them to play on their own from time to time. This has to be taken under careful advisement depending on the hazards that the situation presents. For example, allowing your six-year-old to go to the park without you might not be the best idea. However, you could let them play unattended in your fenced backyard with the gate locked. Make sure to check on them occasionally so that they know that they can still come to you with any issues. Your kids need to know that you trust them to make their own decisions so that they can grow from the experience.
The digital age is presenting a new set of challenges. You never really know who your child is talking to online. The best way to handle this is to monitor their online behavior. Set guidelines the same way that you would for any other type of situation. Don’t sugarcoat the dangers that exist online. You have to balance protecting your kids without suffocating them. They need to learn about the world with your relentless guidance. Encourage safe behavior through communication and childproofing their environment.