Hands off - a new method of raising children or a return to the past?

Children should be independent, resourceful and courageous - postulate the parents who decided to raise their offspring in the spirit of the hands off method. So they let the little ones play in the yard without adult supervision, ride the subway themselves and go shopping. But is this really a new fashion?

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1. Hands off - nothing new

If we look at the way of upbringing that was close to our mothers or grandmothers, we find that hands off is almost a faithful copy of it. The so-called "free rearing" implies that the presence of children in the home is rare. Rather, they play outside, do what they like there, invent games themselves.

There is also an atmosphere of independence at home - children can use a stove, microwave or oven. Parents do not protect them from making mistakes, and this leads to faster and easier conclusions.

However, what seems instinctive to parents is not fully supported by psychologists. They emphasize that each, even the most independent child is only a child and ask about the limits of parental irresponsibility.

2. Independent children, responsible parents

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It all started a few years ago in America. Leonore Skenazy, the founder and supporter of raising children in the spirit of independence, wrote in her blog that her then 7-year-old son travels on the New York subway on his own. This aroused considerable controversy among parents, which exposed her to criticism.

However, her blog is gaining more and more popularity every day and inspires more and more parents who want their children to grow up to be resourceful adults. One such woman is Belinda Goldman. The woman has a daughter, Isobel (10 years old) and a son, Jacob (8 years old).

- I was never a panic, I looked in surprise at the women who circled around their children, not giving them room to play on their own and taking care of them - says Belinda.

Belinda's eight-year-old son cycle the long way to school every day. - I taught him the safety rules and I know that he can use them - emphasizes the woman.

But it is not everything. Belinda's children prepare their own breakfast. This does not mean, however, that they are neglecting their duties. Their mom's policy is that before they go out to play outside, they have to do their homework and tidy up the room first.

Michelle Thorne also raises her children in a free style. Her son has been going to school alone since he was seven. Without adult supervision, she visits colleagues in the area. However, one thing matters - he has to be home by 5:30 PM.

- As a parent who uses the "free range" method, I know that children need to be given more and more freedom, otherwise - how would they become trustworthy persons? Michelle asks.

3. Psychologists, however, have concerns

While letting children play on their own in the backyard is fine, recommending a metro ride around a huge city is extremely irresponsible. It is dangerous for the health and life of children.

"Encouraging children to make decisions is commendable, but there is a big difference between consulting your child and letting them do whatever they want," explains Dr. Richard Woolfson, a child psychologist.

- Some children are not yet mature enough to manage self-care. If we give children too much responsibility too early, we can make them feel confused and lose their self-esteem. Eight or ten-year-olds need parental support. And their task is to help and support, not to withdraw from their upbringing - points out Woolfson.

So what is the way out of the situation? In raising children, as in any other area of ​​life, it is not worth being guided by trends. What is best for a child is usually prompted by intuition. Unfortunately, many threats have emerged in the world and it is irresponsible not to be aware of them.

Helicopter parenting, which consists in constantly controlling the child, does not bring positive long-term effects, but too much self-empowerment is also not good. Common sense - above all.

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