The other day I came across pamphlets offering handwriting classes for children….no, not calligraphy or cursive writing, just plain & simple handwriting classes. I was taken aback!
Last week I overheard a group of mothers discussing how their kids are not active and lack willingness to play outdoors. I felt helpless and scared at the same time.
Often I get invites for Play Dates being organised at play areas and soft play zones.The places look so cute, attractive and SAFE. But give it another thought and you would feel disappointed!
I wonder what will happen to these kids when they grow up? Are we raising adult babies?
What’s The Problem?
The scenes reminded me that, as parents, we often fail to recognize how capable our children are. If looked deeper, we can surely reach the root of these shortcomings and correct them.
Why are children having trouble writing? How is it that while taking care of their nutrition & health otherwise, we miss upon ensuring development of their hand muscles? Think about it! I remember being involved in simple house chores as a child. From watering plants to setting dining table to organising cupboards- we have done it all. But in today’s times, I see kids to be only using their fingers on hi-tech gadgets and their parents being proud & happy with this. Why can’t we involve kids in simple activities like attaching clothespin, pushing shopping carts, carrying groceries, wiping tables, making bed etc? Is the idea of parenting going a bit too far? Why are we making things so simple & comfortable for our kids?
Why are we not letting our children play outdoors, get hurt and bruised once in a while and stand up on their own? In our childhood, bruises and bandages on knees was kind-of “in” thing. Then why is it now that we are building a cocoon around our children- simply ignoring the fact that one day they would enter the big bad world, would get hurt and expected to get up on their own.
At times- More is Less
I know that parents are typically doing the best job possible and this type of parenting is done with the best of intentions and love. As parents, there is always an innate desire to protect & provide for our kids.However, more effort doesn’t necessarily produce a better child; there is likely to be a point at which effort can become harmful.
In the process of parenting, we tend to go over board at times. From peeling banana to tying shoe lace to being over protective about their surroundings, somewhere on our journey of parenting, instead of being actively involved, we are overly involved or overparenting.
It is not very uncommon to see parents carrying their child’s bags, rushing to their rescue the moment the child fell, providing more than required resources like toys, gadgets, food etc. And after a certain age the child gets conditioned to the fact that he is not capable of doing a few things and that the parents are responsible for certain things. Why stop a toddler from holding glass of water and sipping from it on its own? Why stop the child from trying to wear clothes or eat from the plate on his own?
And that is leading to development of a generation of children lacking in resilience, life skills and responsibility.
So what should be done?
The way a baby is weaned from the comfort & safety of mother’s womb, we need to wean our children from our over protected parenting. Growing up, by its very nature, is a series of weaning experiences for children. At times, you should just Let. It. Go.
Someone, you or your spouse, has to just remain neutral. Pretend you have Teflon sprayed on you and the outcome and every detail is going to slide off you. Some things don’t have to be addressed. Sometimes letting go IS actually taking control.