Your child may be an expert in a particular academic field, comfortably discussing computer programming languages, the effects of ancient population migrations on current world politics, or whether jellyfish might be the key to reversing global climate change while, at the same time, being unable to find their way home from five blocks away (in New York City, which is basically a grid), not knowing that letters require stamps, and being unable to follow the cooking directions on a package of frozen fish sticks. (Wondering if I’m speaking from personal experience?)
Some would attribute this to 2e (gifted and learning disabled). Others call is asynchronous development, where bright children’s real-life skills lag behind their intellectual ones. But maybe, just maybe, it’s a case of all 21st Century kids being much too overprotected for their own good.
Cafe Mom reports:
How’s this for contrary to popular thinking? The newer and safer parents have made things for kids, the more dangerous it is becoming for our children! It turns out the trend toward removing playground equipment that could possibly cause injury is actually preventing children from developing perseverance, curiosity, and coping and proper risk assessment skills, while encouraging phobias and anxieties. Psychologists say the key to vanquishing fear is to experience and conquer it. When there is no opportunity to face terror, there is also no opportunity to overcome it.
Gifted children are known for their heightened levels of anxiety, perfectionism, and reluctance to try anything new for fear of failing. Many also have such an easy time their first few years of school and learn so quickly that their half-assed work will be considered good enough, that when work actually does become challenging, they haven’t developed adequate study skills to deal with it, nor the ability to accept constructive criticism or even outright rejection.
To help with all of the above and more, Cafe Mom has come up with a list of 12 ‘Dangerous’ Things Today’s Kids Should Learn to Do, with perhaps the most important one being:
When we toured schools a few years ago, one made a point of stressing that the work was customized so that no child ever “felt frustration.” They made it sound like this was a good thing. It is not. A child who doesn’t know how to deal with frustration grows up to become an adult who doesn’t know how to deal with frustration. Do you want to be their boss? Or their spouse? If you’d prefer to avoid that fate, let your kid lose a board game or two (or, rather, don’t let them win). It’s a start. (For more sporty families, substitute Game of H-O-R-S-E.)
Every time we protect a child from getting his feelings hurt, losing his way, burning his finger, or falling off a tree branch, we are sending the message: You can’t take care of yourself. You can’t make good choices. You are helpless and, when a true threat comes, there will be nothing you can do about it. And that’s the most dangerous parenting fail of all.
And the last thing a smart kid needs is a dumb parent….
More at: http://thestir.cafemom.com/being_a_mom/182671/12_dangerousthings_todays_kids_should