Commentary, Customs

Concern with Overprotecting Children

Walking a Girl to School in Cuzco (Walter Coraza Morveli)

Children are adorable. They are innocent angels that act on their own nature without judgement. Yet the children need to be taken care of, to receive love and security. They also need, however, some independence because excessive protection can bring them problems beyond those their parents attempt to avoid.

In our city today it seems a large number of parents try to over-protect their children. In doing so they create in them psychological difficulties. The children need to be out and spending time with other children. Once there they enter a different world with a different reality.

Educating our children requires teaching them and guiding them, but not trying to make everything easy for them. We should let them grow and let them come to an awareness of what they like and see.

Carrying a Child through Cuzco's Streets (Walter Coraza Morveli)
Carrying a Child through Cuzco’s Streets (Walter Coraza Morveli)

In the behavior of children you can see the ones that are over protected. Their parents have a hard time letting them go out by themselves or with friends and prefer to stay with them. In Cuzco these kids are called “mother’s kids” (niñitos de mama) or “aniñados”, kids artificially kept infantalized.

In some primary schools you will find bullying on the part of more world-aware kids toward those who are more protected by their parents. This puts the parents in a dilemma because it results in a kind of discrimination. The more protected children tend to me more timid and to have lots of fears which do not let them take a solid path forward in development towards maturity.

Parents can still change the way they deal with their children and confront their own fears in order to give them an inner security as they go out and deal with the world. The idea is to give them security and lots of love and confidence so that they will feel secure inside when they go out into their world. They must go there and not suffer from excessive protection which, contradictorily, will take away their security in the world.

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