One day I was looking at a trampoline that had a net surrounding it and an analogy came to mind. You see in the olden days there were no nets around trampolines, which was the kind my kids used, now days all the trampolines come with these huge nets that surround the trampoline so that the kids have no chance of falling off. A problem arises when kids who have been protected by the net jump on my trampoline with no net. These kids who are used to the protection of a net go flying off the trampoline. In the beginning one of my kids flew off the un-netted trampoline but I was there to help them up and comfort them and they now know to be careful, they know their limits. Where as the other kids had no limits established because the nets held them in, even if they flew into the nets.
This brings me to my thoughts on raising kids, not that we should have no safety nets on trampolines, but that we as parents have become too protective in general. We put up these huge nets around our children to protect them from the “evil” world. We don’t allow them to fall off the trampoline in the beginning when we are around to help. So when they get older and there are no more safety nets, because they are out of the home or too old to listen to their parents (not that I was ever that old), they fall off, hard. They are grown and so it is harder to teach them.
I’m not advocating for no nets because there needs to be nets that come down slowly as a child grows but we as parents need to allow them to make mistakes when they are younger. We need to put aside our own fears and let our children grow and learn with us close by to protect them so that when they are on their own they know their limits.
Ted Video on allowing kids to have space. 5 dangerous things kids should do.