Why it is important not to overprotect children and allow certain risks

From an educational perspective, risk is understood as synonymous with exploration. Humans, throughout our lives, must adapt to the physical and social world around us. Exploration through the senses (sight, hearing, touch, smell and taste) gives boys and girls the possibility of knowing the properties and functionality of objects, as well as building a sense of the world and understanding what it means to be part of he.

During development, children attend to, perceive, and retain information from the environment through continuous exploration. They learn to use their senses and develop and strengthen their motor, perceptual and sensory skills as a result of their interaction with the environment. Intelligence develops from the daily actions carried out in the environment in which they live.

By observing, exploring the world and collecting information, children develop basic concepts such as weight, speed and time, among others. These processes are essential for the development of reasoning, logic, imagination, creativity and confidence.

The game with environmental objects

Children learn through exploration and discovery and by interacting with other people. Encouraging children to ask questions, make mistakes, and practice is crucial to their education.

Children need years of play with real toys and objects to understand the symbolism between the real and the abstract world. They need to have these materials within reach at all times to develop the skills corresponding to their chronological age and maturational development, both at a cognitive and motor level.

In addition to this, dynamic games with the use of objects from the environment or that involve a certain risk of accident could be beneficial. These games can help them increase their skills and developmental milestones. The benefits are applicable to anyone, from very early stages (2 to 3 years) to adulthood. Also, carrying out these games can help improve the perception of size, shape, movement and depth.

Assuming a certain risk in recreational activities allows minors to test their perceptual, motor or cognitive skills and strategies, generating in them an adaptation to the environment and a better resolution of problematic situations that will arise during growth.

Not too much protection and not too little

Erikson’s theory of psychosocial development indicates that, between the first and third year of life, boys and girls are at a stage in which they must achieve a balance between self-determination and control exercised by others.

If the resolution of this stage is satisfactory, the minor will develop feelings of control and efficacy, affirming himself as an independent, assertive and flexible person. This will result in an adult with a sense of autonomy.

What does attachment bring?

Secure attachment encourages the child’s competent and active exploratory behavior in the presence of his attachment figure; which is used as a secure base from which to explore. Exploration allows you to learn new things and stimulate development.

Likewise, this style of attachment stimulates the child’s self-concept, self-efficacy and autonomy. To achieve this, it is essential to attend to the needs of the minor effectively, protect from danger without being alarmist, express affection openly, dedicate time, establish limits and rules, show interest in her concerns and interests.

Useful, clear and fixed limits

Parental style is a factor closely linked to cognitive development. We call the “democratic style” that of fathers and mothers that combine affection and family communication, the promotion of autonomy, and the establishment of limits.

For the limits to work, all members of the environment (whether family or school) must be aware of the usefulness of the rules for coexistence, the common good and the individual good. The rules must have a reason, be accompanied by a clear explanation, be adapted to the child’s age, be offered at an optimal time (free from distractions and intense emotional states) and avoid excess.

when we overprotect

It is necessary to identify that affection and family overprotection are not synonymous. In general terms, overprotection leads to an erroneous conception of the world on the part of the child.

On the one hand, the excessive worries of the family environment indicate to the child that the world is full of dangers. Likewise, the deprivation of opportunities to overcome difficulties results in children lacking in self-confidence.

a positive education

Children must take risks (understand risks as exploratory behaviors) in order to obtain optimal development. To promote such behavior, they must move in environments, both family and school, that are flexible. Accompanying adults should provide security and confidence, avoid physical punishment, correct without disrespect, use reinforcement, and offer choices. Also, they must try to anticipate the acts, suggest (and not impose) the orders, value the attempts, be empathetic, patient, and give time.

It is important that the limits and rules are clear, and that boys and girls remember what is expected of them.

In short, it is essential that the upbringing of parents is based on a positive education, which allows exploration and interaction with the elements of the environment, in order to stimulate learning during childhood and carry out a development general adequate at a linguistic, cognitive, motor, social, sensory and adaptive level.

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