Wrapping kids in ‘cotton wool’ is when you exclude your child from the outside world and you try to protect them from the harsh reality of life. This culture of parenting has proven to be popular among many parents as they seek to protect their children, particularly in America, as Emma Brockes writes. It seems obvious to most parents that their child is most safe when within their reach, but there are many advantages to letting kids be independent and explore the real world.
1. Let your kid’s true colours shine!
Kids are smarter and more able than you presume them to be. By overprotecting them, you simply limit their true potential. Not doing so allows them to express themselves without limitation. Kids need to be able to interact with others and can impress their parents with new skills and lessons they learn independently. One way of doing this is to reintroduce risk to the playground, as some British schools are now doing. By being around more potential dangers, like knives or bricks, children learn how to live around them and deal with them properly.
2. Let kids become independent
‘Cotton wool parenting’ allows no room for a child’s independence and growth. Do you really want an 18-year-old holding your hand to cross the road? Independence is essential for a child’s growth and maturity. Taking it away from them limits their self-reliance. If you do not let kids experience the world for themselves, it will be scary for them when they get exposed to the real world and no one is there to spoon-feed them.
3. Giving responsibility teaches responsibility
Giving responsibility to kids ensures that they do not become risk-naïve when they grow up. It allows kids to take responsibility when a new situation or circumstance comes upon them. It helps them be prepared and more mature when they need to tackle problems in life.