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August 07, 2006



I just wrote about the same thing a few days ago - and totally agree.

I grew up in the middle of nowhere and learned how to ride my bike in the gravel driveway. Ouch.


There's a great parenting book called "Blessings of a Skinned Knee," that talks about exactly that -- letting your kids fall down, so they can learn how to get back up again. And it talks about it from a Jewish perspective, too -- bonus!


Jessi must have grown up next to me cause I learned on a gravel driveway also. Lots of cinders in my knees. Today's kids lack persistence, patience and an "I can do it myself" attitude. And then the parents wonder about self esteem. True self esteem comes from being competent. And yet so many parents today tell their child in so many ways they the child is unable to do it themselves, they need help from mommy and daddy. Thanks for a great post!


This post was really touching and even got my eyes watering. The hardest part of parenting is letting go and yes, our children do need to learn how to deal with pain. Thanks so much for sharing this with me, I'm the over-protective type and this is great perspective.

Brooklyn Mama

This is great. I second the recommendation of Blessing of a Skinned Knee. I think you'd really like it!

I love the article too, even though I found myself just a wee bit defensive reading bits of it. I just might print that one out for my incoming parents this school year. Good to think about.


The Blessing of a Skinned Knee is a good suggestion.

I notice that when kids fall, their reaction depends on what their parents do. If the parent gasps, rushes over and starts madly asking the kid if s/he is okay, the kid bursts into tears. When other kids fall, and the parents say 'boom!' or 'you're fine!' then most of the time, the kid smiles and goes back to playing. If the kid is actually hurt, s/he'll cry no matter what the parent does, but 98% of the time, the child is just fine.


Just got caught up on reading and though it is late couldn't resist a comment. I think there's a difference between the co-playing hyper vigilant parent (who really takes over to make sure it is done right) and safety issues. Helmets and knee pads reduce rates of injuries. You survived; there were many others who didn't. The US is litigious; I can't imagine a playground who wouldn't have a mat under a jungle gym given how quickly law suits result. As for sanitizing gel; again there's a difference about filling our homes with way too many chemicals and understanding that handwashing is the single most effective strategy against the spread of disease. I much prefer the book One Nation Under Therapy that looks at the mediocritization of culture -- for heaven's sake's there are schools in the US which forbid the use of red pens for marking as red is too traumatizing. Nonetheless, there is a lot to be said at how play is constructed. Canada, where I live, has undertaken a national campaign to promote unconstructed play, no rules, no musts, just fun. Thanks for highlighting the article -- it raised lots of issues to think about as did your post. Pink

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