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Child freedom: How much is too much?

Society as a whole is allowing children to do as they please. Let the child explore and be their own person. While this seems like a good thing, we are doing our children a disservice. From the time they are born they are allowed to tell the adult what they want and how they want it. As an infant that is fine - to feed on demand and change them when they are wet. As the child gets older, however, they need to learn that there are limits to what they are allowed to do. In Parenting “Permissive Parenting: Too Much Freedom Could Hurt Your Child” they talk about this very issue. It is the adult’s job to teach and guide the child in the basic knowledge of what things are and how they work.

Children with too much freedom
Children with too much freedom
Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images

Let's look at a fictional example in the adult world. What if a man (we'll call him Joe) was hired at an ammunitions plant and was put on the line without any training. What do you think would happen? Joe would start pushing buttons. What if he hit the wrong button causing an explosion. Not only has he hurt himself but he has hurt countless other people. Is it his fault for hitting the button?

Although that scenario is extreme that is what we are doing to our children. By allowing them to take control and do things without the knowledge base they need to make the right choices they can be hurt not only physically but developmentally as well. Children need to have a balance in their learning and in their lives. They need to be able to explore and learn but they also need to have rules, guidelines, and structure so that they may do this in a safe way.

All parents want what is best for their children. In World of Psychology “Do Kids Have Too Much Freedom?” by Linda Sapadin, Ph.D. we are finding out that there are downfalls to allowing children too much freedom. To help children become happy, healthy, functional adults parents need to show them how to be respectful of the rules and guidelines of our world.

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