Let Children Be Themselves

This response to ‘The Parenting Problem’ in the letters section of SMH. A nicely written response at that. Ultimately a vote in favour of letting kids be kids and not trying to force too much adult guilt into their childhood.

As a parent of six children, I couldn’t agree more with Andrew Stevenson that parenting has become a project, and as such, ”parents may be going too far in their ambition to give their child the perfect upbringing”, (”The parenting project”, September 18-19). Children themselves can ultimately teach parents what really matters if they’re simply allowed the privacy and wonder to just be kids, without our constant intrusive management.

Although being much more affluent than past generations of large families, and those in developing nations now, we could never afford private schooling, private coaching and various other multiple tuition specialties. The children were jammed into too few bedrooms, and had to babysit and walk each other to and from school. They had to share clothing and chores, learn personal strategies for conflict survival, and to negotiate through the chaos and competition of clashing personalities and limited resources. But they ”turned out” as a close community, each highly sociable, happy and gregarious individuals, with realistic knowledge of their personal aptitudes, tastes and talents, and a strong sense of their responsibilities to others. This evolved, unmanaged, while, as they say, life just happened to us all.

My only regret is that rather than constantly working harder towards improving our material and financial position, I wish I’d just simply hung out with them more. They now tell me so many delicious stories about what they did within their own little kids community, while we parents worked ourselves into exhaustion. I envy them.”

Robyn Dalziell Castle Hill
From the letters page of The Sydney Morning Herald Monday 20.09.10

Read the original article here:

It’s all food for thought.


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