September 17, 2006

Toxic childhood

A letter in London's Daily Telegraph, signed by 100 experts evoked a Spiked reaction, saying that experts, while raising critical questions about how we mollycoddle chldren, are suseptible to childish prejudices.

Spiked essayist Helene Guldberg writes: The best thing experts can do for children is to argue for them to be given more freedom – not to do whatever they want, of course; they need clear boundaries set by parents. But unsupervised play isn’t just some kind of childhood luxury that kids can do without. It is vital for children’s healthy emotional and social development. Study after study has shown that it helps to develop children’s ability to negotiate social rules and to create their own rules. Children need to learn to deal with risks and develop the capacity to assess challenges. They also need to be given the opportunity to develop resilience to life’s inevitable blows. In short, taking risks in childhood goes hand-in-hand with developing new skills. Click here.. to read on.

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