Uncoddled kids

I liked this article today from NY Times.

This is our parenting style. We don’t sign the kids up for endless activities, we don’t buy them tons of toys or spoil them with expensive things. They use their own money for the ice cream man and things they want in the story. They entertain themselves when they are bored. I let them play outside in the neighborhood. My older daughter sometimes walks to school (It’s several blocks – how dare I risk it!) I don’t believe she’ll be abducted since that is ridiculously rare. I don’t hover, I don’t micromanage – I expect them to pack their own school bags and do their homework. We certainly encourage and help and we have set limits and rules. They must learn to live in reasonable guidelines, just like those that exist in the real world. I give them independence and freedom to explore different things (I expect one day I’ll repeat to myself , “Hair grows back, piercings close up.”). They ask to join clubs, I might make suggestions but don’t push. They WILL NOT get cars when they are 16 unless they save their birthday money.

We weren’t overprotected when when we were kids. We knew the value of money and managed a lot on our own.  Now, we are both self-sufficient, well-adjusted adults that didn’t make dumb mistakes buying homes and status symbols we couldn’t afford. That’s the point. You don’t get coddled in life. You can be supported, encouraged and loved but to coddle – well, that’s just going to hurt you in the long term. Uncoddling (with benefits) is the new parenting.

Recommended reading: Raising Freethinkers by Dale McGowan.

2 thoughts on “Uncoddled kids

  1. Geez. I agree that children should be given more responsibility as they get older, but maybe bit by bit. I mean I let my children enjoy being a child. They grow up so fast and are thrust into the real world with all it’s hassles. I want them to actually have a childhood. Ever hear of people freaking out and behaving in irresponsible way as adults with the excuse of not having gotten that silliness out when they should have as kids. My kids are well mannered and capable AND they got to enjoy a carefree childhood. What’s so wrong with that?


  2. Nothing’s wrong with that. I’m saying the same thing. On the flip side, my kids have no chores, save for cleaning up their room so it’s livable. They spend their free time playing with their friends, watching TV, playing on the computer or telling me they are bored. Their life is easy, school is the hardest thing they do. The difference between our family and the one down the street is they are not run all over to soccer/hockey/swim/dance/gymnastics/softball practice every night because they really don’t want to do that. They learn to make their own lunches, budget their time and meet their responsibilities. And, they like that, most of the time.

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