Why are we protecting our children from failure?
Yesterday I was at a playground and noticed they’ve taken out all the “unsafe” play equipment or modified it to be “safe”. The firemans pole now has platforms(photo below), the climbing walls are now stairs with railings and god forbid they leave a tree standing near the playground in case kids decide to climb a tree!
This is such a disappointment…I mean it’s one thing to make it so children can’t fail inside the classroom, but now outside during play?! Play should be filled with experiments, risks and learning how to challenge yourself and body. When I was a child we played for hours on end, unsupervised, in a large dirt area filled with “unsafe” hazards such a tall trees to climb, fences, animals, a stream & prickle bushes, etc. Our playgrounds were wooden, slippery, tricky to climb, and yes, we fell off them all the time. But here I am, alive and well!
Instead it seems we are failing our children. Children need to fail! Failure develops character and resistance. Life is filled with bad and good times, success and failure…so why on earth are we setting our kids up to expect success? They need to learn to work for success and prepare and know how to deal with things when they don’t go so well. The toddlers I work with have mastered the playground which states it’s meant for children 5-12 years old. This is a prime example that we are not challenging our children and therefore we are hindering their development.
Besides the whole overuse of cellphones we see these days, I would say this is the most concerning trend within our generation. Kids expect to have things given to them, rather than knowing they need to earn it.
I see this all the time at work since I work with kids and from watching young adults in our society. I’d love to hear your take on this…do you see it? What’s your experience? How can we change this? Do we need to? What’s the future like for these kids?