A mother complained:

The child has just turned 2 years old, it is the naughty age, he will touch every corner of the house. He would imitate his dad to play a razor and imitate his grandfather to use a lighter. We always worry that he is not safe like this, but after preventing him from doing this, he will be like this next time, and he still laughs happily, feels very exciting...

In fact, many parents have the same problem. Ever since the baby can walk and run, we often have such conversations in our lives:

Don't touch the socket! There is electricity!

Don't touch the hot water cup, it will burn you!

Too dangerous, don't touch the washing machine!

Although the children are not fear anything, the parents are really scared. The prohibition is emphasized a hundred times. Some parents know that "actions are better than words" and bought a bunch of "baby-protection artifacts" at home, such as bumper strip, safety lock, anti-lost chain...

But is such "protection" really good for children?

Over-protected children don’t know what “fear” means

I know a mother who did like this:

In order to prevent the 2-year-old child from being injured, she simply emptied all the furniture in the living room, not even a chair. The whole family spreads blankets in the living room and sits on the floor every day.

When the child wants to open the door by himself, she says "no";

When the child wants to touch the fish in the supermarket, she says "no".

Although her approach may seem exaggerated, in fact such "over protection" is also very common in our lives.

It is said that when we become a mother, our amygdala (the "fear center" of the brain) will be tightly tied to the baby, and we can't wait to hide all the "dangerous goods" to create an absolutely safe growth environment for the baby.

However, I recently saw a study in the United Kingdom, and the conclusions are unbelievable:

The kind of playgrounds that we often take our babies to, which are wrapped in sponges and foam, seems to be safe. Not only can it not reduce the risk of children being injured while playing, but it may increase the probability of them being injured!

The reason is even more surprising: it is precisely because of these danger-free children’s playgrounds that children can fall safely while having fun, so they lose their basic sense of self-protection and danger.

Not knowing about "fear", puts them in danger.

Every time the parents say no, they are killing the child's curiosity

Mothers who love to learn to know that, during infancy, the more external stimuli a baby is exposed to, the more helpful it is to brain development. And the core motivation that prompts children to expose to external stimuli is curiosity.

I saw a paper before. Researchers at the Mott Children's Hospital and Human Growth and Development Center at the University of Michigan investigated the curiosity of 6,200 children. It turns out that among all children, the stronger the curiosity, the higher the academic performance.

However, Dr. Susan Engel of Williams College in the United States found in a study that children in kindergarten have 2 to 5 curious events every 2 hours; but children in fifth grade have an average of less than one curious incident at the same time.


Why is this?

The latest brain research shows that if parents are avoiding danger while blocking the child in an unfriendly way, or even punish the child, it will hinder the optimal development of the child’s brain.

It can be seen that curiosity is very important, but it is easy to be stifled and restrained.

A friend of mine has a variety of tools at home because of work needs. When his children especially like to imitate adults, as long as he sees his father using tools such as screwdrivers and wrenches, he has to give it a try.

As a result, as soon as the child touched these tools, the couple will be very nervous: "Don't touch it, it's too dangerous!"

After repeated threats, his children did not touch them anymore. But the question that followed is: Whenever encounters something unfamiliar, the child subconsciously shrinks.

Every child is a born adventurer. For example, when they first started eating, they would use a spoon, but when they found that the parents were using chopsticks, they would also try to use it. In this way, through constant attempts, constant mistakes, and constant “adventures” to understand the world, the drive to learn is generated.

So, be sure not to stop your baby's exploratory behavior, let your baby learn to feel since childhood, be exposed to rich and diverse stimuli, and exercise observation skills, to lay a good foundation for the future.

Since it is not possible to "stop" children's exploratory behavior casually, is there any way to prevent them from encountering dangerous?

Expose children to "controllable" dangers

Some parents will think: It's fine when the child grows up to be sensible. But in fact, there is no end to taking risks. As they grow older, their ability to take risks is increasing, and the tricks and complexity of taking risks are increasing.

On the small slides in the community, I often see 2-year-old children sitting and sliding, 3 and 4-year-old children head down and slide down on their stomachs, 5 or 6-year-old children are standing up and down on the slide...

However, knowing that self-protection is a human instinct, and it is the same in children, but this instinct must be based on "experience" rather than "hearing of."

As I write this, I remembered that I had seen a TED talk before-"5 "Dangerous Things" that Children Should Do". These five things are: playing with fire, using a knife, throwing a javelin, dismantling a machine, and driving a car.

When I saw it for the first time, my heart was shocked and refused: let the child play with fire, knife, or drive a car? Are you kidding me? This is definitely a "super-class" question!

But after looking back in meditation, I have a new perspective: our children need safety and courage, stability and adventure, self-protection and self-confidence...how to find balance is the most important thing.

Therefore, real safety education should start with allowing children to experience "controllable" dangers.

(P.s. Those behaviors that threaten the life and health of the child must be stopped immediately. When experiencing "danger", parents must be by the child to ensure that the behavior is controllable~)

So what should preschool children do? Here, let me give you some tips~

  • Remove the "mystery" of dangerous goods

Children are particularly interested in things that adults use. This question mainly comes from the adults themselves, "What is this? My mother won't let me take it, it must be very interesting!"

The more banned, the more children will find opportunities to try sneakily. Because they have not received formal guidance, they are really prone to danger.

Before visiting a friend’s house, it is common for children to use a blender to help the mother beat cream, and to help the father wash the car with a water gun.

Let children use the same or similar products as adults, and the children will feel recognized and their self-confidence will be strengthened.

  • The items you touch must match theirage and ability

This is an important point! Because different ages have different abilities, the "dangerous goods" that children are allowed to use must also be selected.

For very young children, although they want to try everything, their abilities (strength, flexibility, etc.) cannot be achieved. At this time, you must pay attention to the fact that the things you give them must have a relatively high safety factor.

For example, when my baby was over 1 year old, he especially liked to learn from adults using a drinking fountain to collect water, and he had to serve it himself, but the glass we used was not safe for him, so I simply replaced it with plastic cups. And set the water temperature below 50 degrees to prevent him from touching the boiling water.

  • Establish rules to experience "danger" within a safe range

We can never predict what a child can do, so we must be very clear in our minds what must not be touched and what cannot be done, set the bottom line, and criticize once we touch it, so that the child will be afraid.

In addition, try to make him naughty as much as possible. Some dangerous things can be let him try in a relatively safe situation.

My baby is very stubborn during a period of time. The cooking pot has to be touched, and the food just out of the pot has to be eaten. No matter how much truth is said, he will not listen to it, and he will cry when he is not satisfied.

So I held his little hand and quickly touched the freshly cooked egg and told him that it was "hot". He felt the pain caused by the heat, and since then, he never touched it again.

Instead of telling the child about the danger, it is better to let the child try to touch the controllable danger under our supervision, so that the child is "closest to the danger" and "closest to the safety".

  • Tell children how to touch and use an item correctly

Kindergarten teachers and parents spend a lot of time explaining safety rules before teaching children to use tools. Parents must be present to supervise and guide them before, during, and after use.

Give the child a few words of reminder before using the tool, so that the child will be reflexive, and take safety precautions as soon as he touches the tool.

When my baby was 3 years old, he liked playing with scissors for a while. So I bought him special scissors for children, and started to teach him how to use strength and what can be cut...

In this way, he not only touched what he wanted to touch in the right way, but also felt more respect.

  • Creatively improve children's games and environment

Children all have the need to find new excitement. If they add innovation to the game, their focus will turn to creating excitement instead of taking risks.

For example, children like to climb chairs and tables at home. I will set up a sofa as a slide, and then the children will tirelessly roll down the toys or slide down with the sheets, tossing and tossing again and again without being too tired.

In short, parents must let their children explore, perceive, and discover under the premise of doing a good job of safety. This is the greatest protection we give to children.