30 May Little Explorer
We all know that kids have a built-in drive for exploration. This is how they develop their muscles, coordination, and many other physiological traits. It is absolutely necessary for children to use their bodies, and it’s been proven that the more challenges they overcome on their own, the more balanced and happy they are.
But Do you ever notice how some parents stop their kids from exploring? Today I witnessed a mother keep her little boy from playing on some rocks that went down to the sea. He pulled and pulled towards them with all his might, all the excitement in the world lit up in his eyes.
You could clearly see just how important it was for him to pursue this big adventure ahead of him in that moment. But Mum is not having it for a second; “no, you can’t. It’s too dangerous.” as she whisked him away.
I felt sad for him.
He will only be that age once in his life, with this one moment to explore this amazing place.
Which kids are enjoying their childhood, and developing their bodies and abilities?
If she had just slowed down and given to her precious offspring the patient guidance he needed, he would’ve at least attained his dream to touch the rocks. But she would not take that time with him, and hastily pulled him away, as if there was something important she needed attend to- unlikely amongst a long seashore walkway packed with people chillin, watching the sunset.
Moments later, she came back pushing the pram, in which he was safely restrained. He reached out for the rocks, longing in his eyes, looking unbearably unhappy- unhappiness, which could mount and mount with similar experiences, affecting his youth and adulthood. He wouldn’t know why, but he could end up feeling it as a deep frustration, possibly even anger and resentment for being held back from what he wanted, and needed to do.
But she was happy because she could be where she wanted to be, with her little would-be explorer is now stuck in that stupid pram, bored and retstrained. It was unfair.
But is she really happy? Don’t you attain true happiness by helping others, at least starting with your own offspring?! Isn’t that what parents are for- assisted learning? But either she just couldn’t be bothered, or she is ruled by fear, or both. Either way, the result is bleak. If she continues the controlling approach to parenting, the boy is likely on his way to being a teenager who acts out and has problems in society later on in life. He might even bully other kids because he was controlled in such a way from a young age, and feels the need to exercise power over someone else.
Recently, I went to a “Nature Play” talk by Steve Gill. His studies show that ‘Risk Aversion’ is ruining childhoods. Adults are shrinking the freedoms of their children, and for the first time in history, humans are being raised in captivity! The average child used to have 10 kilometers roaming range, but is now restricted to the front garden. This is a scary thought because our children are the rise of human evolution. And we can’t continue to evolve if we’re not using our bodies and minds in the outdoors, as we’ve always done, it’s what has gotten us this far.
He says that the current code of conduct is such that Being a good parent = being a controlling parent. This is not true.
A true good parent is helping your child to be confident and capable.
I would have loved to see that mother help her child explore the rocks. Even if she had to go down to the beach so he couldn’t fall down into the rocks, if that’s what she was afraid of. Even if it meant he gets a scratch or something, he is learning what to do and what not to do. Not allowing our children to learn is disabling.
I love being confident in my child’s abilities and spending time with her, showing her how to do things, and watching her pick them up quickly. Because I trust in her ability, it gives her more confidence, and as a result, she has very little fear, and is happier within herself
Rather than kids who become lazy because their parents do everything for them, essentially disabling them over time, my daughter looks forward to tasks because she has the confidence that she can do them which seems to make her want to do them more! It’s so cool to witness her growth in that holistic way- and bonus for me!
If we want humanity to continue to evolve, and raise happy and balanced humans who are not frustrated individuals, we must let our children explore. For this to unfold, we as parents need to take the time and find a way. He or she is only a beautiful, wide-eyed child once. We give them so much, why not this important freedom to explore.