Tuesday, 7 August 2012

"Under parenting"?

This article has been published in the Telegraph today. I feel like I have been shouting it from the rooftops for years and when I read it, wanted to shout "I TOLD YOU SO!" to the world. I refrained.


Whilst I love the article and the actually rather traditional way of parenting that it presents, part of me feels uncomfortable with the term "Under parenting". To my ears, this sounds negative. It sounds as though you are neglecting your child in some way. In actual fact, it is quite the opposite. This quote explains why:

"At the heart of underparenting is an ethos that encourages children to do chores, learn to cook, get muddy – and fall off the climbing frame from time to time."

Under parenting is not neglecting our children. Far from it. Under parenting in actual fact gives our children the skills they need for the rest of their lives. We would not expect a Surgeon to spend their whole time at medical school sitting in front of an X box and then throw them into the hospitals and ask them to perform surgery. Likewise, we need to train our children in the way they should go (heard that before somewhere....). We MUST teach them basic skills such as cooking, doing the laundry (including the dangerous implements like irons and knives), finding their way to places, buying items in shops and having the correct coins or counting their change. We MUST allow them to take 'safe' risks whilst they are young. We MUST give them the confidence in their own abilities to assess risk and act appropriately. We MUST allow them to make mistakes and learn from the consequences.

This is not negative in any way. This is the most positive action we can take for our children. Let's do this for our children. Let's put their futures back into their hands.

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