Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Watching Your Children the Paleo Way

One clear and present problem in society is the way kids are not being allowed to be, well, kids. While that may conjuure up ideas of an argument about schools, this problem stems from parents, and their desire to keep their kids away from harm. Most of us have fond memories of spending time away from our parents and spending that time doing things that we wanted, such as running through the woods, swimming in a creek without supervision, playing with pocketknives and fire, riding a bicycle without a hemet or protective pads on. A parent's worry is understandable, but living dangerously and obtaining scars are a child's lifeblood. They have a physical need to test their own boundaries, even if it means that they need a first aid kit at times. This simple fact can be simply proven by the way children still have need of band-aids even with worried and terrified parents watching over them like a hawk.

The remedy for this is simple: Let your kid be a kid. Stop trying to control their movements and let them have time away from you, with their friends, without parental supervision. Think back to your own childhood and remember the times when you had fun and see if there was a parent watching your every move.

For those who would say that I am suggesting wholesale neglegence, I offer this one cavat: Watch your children, but do not let them know. Many times I would come running to my mother crying and she would already have the hydrogen peroxide and a band-aid ready. She knew how to keep track of my movements without me knowing. When my knife broke, I didn't tell my father for fear that he would be mad at me, and yet the next day a new blade had been attached... by whom, I do not know, neither parent would cop. Kids want to feel like they are getting away with something, that they are testing the boundaries and winning. So give them what they want, but stay within earshot so that you can listen in. And when you hear your child suggesting to build a fire with his friends with some flint or matches, let them instead of telling them no. Remember, your child has to make his own memories of his childhood too.

In fact, studies show that overprotective parenting actually harms children: ( "showed that paternal care score positively correlated with the GM volume in the left DLPFC, and paternal and maternal overprotection score negatively correlated with the GM volume in the left DLPFC", overprotectiveness caused panic disorder to rise ( as well as social anxiety (, and lowered Parental Bonding through "paternal overprotection which showed a 1.6-point average decrease" ( Need I go on?

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