kids OVERPROTECTED in 2007

I posed this question on my gymnastics blog. And got a big reaction from a number of coaches.

Everyone (so far) agrees that our kids are suffering long-term from not being more challenged.

I’m not looking for SPARTA, but it is time for a backlash. The benefits gymnastics coaches and parents see in competitive gymnasts are exactly those needed by all children.

Wordsmith from Nantucket wrote:

I think the fear of lawsuits has dictated much of what I consider to be “bad” changes in our society. It’s insulated us from “hurting ourselves”, but in so doing, has disarmed us of the tools we would otherwise develop as part of the maturation process in dealing with life…with learning to cope with adversity and conflict.

It’s similar to how we developed all these anti-bacterial products, from soap to baby toys – all in the hopes that it would protect us from getting sick. But exposure to some sicknesses, early on in life, is what makes our immune system stronger. ….

Here are some articles and studies that might be of interest:

Yep, life’ll burst that self-esteem bubble”

Enough already with kid-gloves

The Power and Perils of Praising your kids

I really do think that there is something about our society (at least what I see with kids here in Los Angeles) that is developing soft, mushy kids. Emotionally and physically. ….

Read the post and the rest of the comments.

source – New York Magazine


Published by

Rick Mc

Career gymnastics coach who loves the outdoors, and the internet.

0 thoughts on “kids OVERPROTECTED in 2007”

  1. Hallelujah!

    This goes right along with taking personal responsibility, and the rise of the litigous society.

    There’s a great country song out right now )I think it’s called “We’re still here”) that talks about the fact that we rode bikes without helmets, played lawn darts etc, and somehow, we (I guess at least some of us!) survived.

    How are we supposed to develop character, self-preservation, toughness, wisdom (as opposed to knowledge), experience and common sense from, if our children never actually get a chance to practice? Where does this leave the generation after, when all of us, who lived through it, are gone?

  2. I think this is one of the best blog entries in a long time. Certinly one that as coaches, educators and parents we have to deal with on a daily basis. Dave’s comments are brilliant and I think summarize exactly the point of the discussion. I’m looking forward to reading this thread.

  3. As I’ve thought about it a bit more, another thing that strikes me as rather odd is that everyone is, through avoidance of risk, washing their hands and not letting children play, as if they can, somehow, live forever!

    Unfortunately, the odds aren’t very good, as not a single person has yet to manage it!

    Also interesting to note, is that even with all of the so-called “advances” in the past decade, the average life span of Americans has remained the same, or, in some areas, actually gone down! Funny, that…

    I read a thing that shows you how to add varying amounts of years to your life by flossing, exercising, meditating etc… I will now, according to the internet, live until at least 147! Yea for me!

    Also, the 9 top killers of men are preventable with proper medical checkups, exercise, diet, etc… and yet, as George Carlin said, “eat healthy, exercise, die anyway.”

    It seems that the real point is not to live as long as possible, but to cram as much “life” as possible into the years you have to live! Live like you were dying is a great song, and a great book that puts it into perspective.

    More importantly than how much time you have is what you do with it. Create a legacy, leave something of value, do good, love lots, drink good wine… very few headstones say “if only I had spent more time working…”

    Instead of “Live long and prosper,” Spock should have said “Live WELL and be happy!”

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