Looking around, I often feel like the relationship between kids and parents, has evolved from what it was when we were kids. I feel like the roles have been switched, like our lives nowadays revolve around our kids too much, we want to know what makes them happy, how to ensure they are never bored, how to make sure they are always stimulated.
All you have to do is make a trip to a play ground to see how parents follow their kids around, following their instructions on what to do and how to play. Walking slowly behind them like stalkers. Off course for the kids safety we need to follow them and ensure they are safe but at the same time I feel like the following around inhibits them from being natural, it inhibits them from socializing, inhibits them conflict resolution and creativity.
We are not letting the natural processes of life happen, we are taking away so much from kids that I feel its crippling them, a friend of mine told me about some fund raising program they had at her kids school, this was an annual activity at the school, the kids were supposed to sell some products and if you sold at least 3 items you got a stuffed animal. A week later I inquired from her how the fund raising went, she said it went well but the school has decided to stop doing it from now on because some kids were disappointed they didn’t get a stuffed animal. Why would they be disappointed and they knew what the rules were prior to the activity? As much as I hate fund raising activities, I was upset because of how we are coddling kids nowadays, what is wrong with losing? What is wrong with not getting everything you want? I just don’t get this culture of every child gets a trophy, and in sports there no scores, hence no winners or losers.
Is this realistic, are we preparing kids for the true world?
If they don’t learn how to lose and win, how will they learn how to handle rejection when they don’t get a job they applied for, if they all win trophies how will they handle heartbreak when a girlfriend/boyfriend breaks up with them, If they don’t understand the concept of competition how will they cope in a career situation where you need to stand out among other people.
I am not proposing bullying our kids in order to prepare them for the real world, am just talking about creating opportunities for them to learn, let sports be sports, let group play be play with minimal intervention, lets keep them safe without interrupting too much.