I found this article back in may and filed it away to share at some point. Being that tomorrow us our daughter's 2nd birthday I really wanted to re-read this article and share it with others. For me being a parent is pretty scary, how do you know what is right for your kids? How do you fund the right balance of protecting them and letting them learn from their own mistakes. How do you make sure that they grow up to be happy, to be good people? For me, I try to remember my childhood when reading articles like this one and see if they ring true with my own experience and build a hybrid of the good from my youth and the theories that make sense to my adult self. Combine that with what Anne (who knows so much more about child psychology and development than I will ever know) knows and hopefully we will, "get it right." This particular article reminds me of the importance of downtime for kids, it's so easy to take all of your I wish I would have been taught this/done that feelings and project them on to your kids. I have to remember that it's OK for a kid to be bored, or for him or her to be have idle time. For me with my shift work that means that sometimes I have to park my desires to go out and do something constructive with my daughter and be content just watching her play.
Suffering with a “cumulative stress reaction” as a result of the snowballing effect of too much, children develop their own coping strategies to feel safe. Parents and society are conscious of the need to protect our children physically.
We legislate car seats, bike helmets and hover in playgrounds. But protecting mental health is more obscure.
But, sadly, we are messing up. Modern day children are exposed to a constant flood of information which they can’t process or rationalise. They’re growing up faster as we put them into adult roles and increase our expectations of them. So, they look for other aspects of their life they can control.