Fridays with Franky: The Cost of Overprotection!
Hi Everyone, it’s me Franky, the Camp WeHaKee dog. It has been a lovely autumn week here with sunny weather and spectacular fall foliage!
Just read an interesting, humorous and poignant article on the perils of overprotective parenting and wanted to share some of my thoughts on the topic. In terms of child and youth development, risk taking is an important element in the growth and development of our kids. But we live in a world that seems to revel in sensationalism with news cycles that frequently overblow incidents well beyond reality. So much so that it drives many parents to be vigilantes in the protection and care of their children. But, at what cost?
“Risk and risky are not the same thing,
but our culture is determined not to see the difference.
You can limit risky behavior, but you can’t eliminate risk,” author Lenore Skenazy
Jennifer Breheny Wallace, in her recent online post Help for Overprotective Parents, shares her overprotective approaches and how she has actively worked to step away behaviors that are actually counterproductive in helping her children grow and thrive. To do so, she engaged the assistance of author Lenore Skenazy, who penned the insightful book Free-Range Kids, How to Raise Safe, Self-Reliant Children (Without Going Nuts with Worry). Skenazy initially share “Risk and risky are not the same thing, but our culture is determined not to see the difference. You can limit risky behavior, but you can’t eliminate risk,” Once a parent can grasp the differentiation between risk and risky, they can then create an effective balance between protecting and letting go of their children.
As Wallace points out, parents rationalize their fear of all of the bad things that could happen to their children as what’s needed to fuel their ability to care for and keep their children safe. Again, Skenazy counters, “All the fear in the world doesn’t prevent death—it prevents life.” By running interference between all that children want to do to help avoid all that could happen to them, we also block out the opportunities for some of the best experiential learning our kids could be experiencing!
“All the fear in the world doesn’t prevent death—it prevents life.” author Lenore Skenazy
Parents unfamiliar with the camp experience often recoil when presented with the chance to send their child away from home to an overnight camp. But camps provide some of the best opportunities for healthy and safe risk taking, with caring, supportive and knowledgable directors, program staff and cabin counselors safely guiding them. Camps like WeHaKee Camp for Girls (that are accredited by the American Camp Association) provide children and youth countless chances to try new things, meet new people and explore their own personality increasing their confidence, independence and positive sense of self.
Thanks for joining me today. Have a great weekend and we’ll see you next Friday!