Parents who are prone to mollycoddling their children, a leading headmaster has warned, and do not take risks with their wards have got their parenting basics wrong. He says that such 'risk aversion' will only render kids unable to cope with work or grown-up life.
Rod Grant, headmaster of Clifton Hall independent school in Edinburgh, who thinks that parents have become hugely "risk averse", says that it is wrong to remove trees from playgrounds or diving boards from swimming pools in a misguided attempt to protect youngsters.
Advertisement"Today, we live in a world that is fearful. Parents have become hugely risk averse, so their children are exposed to a back garden - under supervision, of course - at best," the Scotsman quoted him as saying.
"My plea is that each of us is, in some way, responsible for modifying these deep-rooted fears that we all share.
"We should not place children at unnecessary risk but we must expose them to some risk.
"Otherwise, we risk their future health and safety and that is something none of us want," he added.
His suggestion is that youngsters should not be cocooned from danger, but rather be allowed to explore the world.
"Childhood has never been risk-free. But if we succumb to our fears, our children may end up ill-equipped to live successfully in adulthood," he said.
"Protecting children from the risks of trees, diving boards, escalators, uncomfortable social situations and incomplete homework assignments is almost certain to produce adults with deficits," he added.
Child-development expert Sue Palmer backs Grant's comments by saying that youngsters risk becoming either bullies or bullied themselves, if they are not exposed to playground rough and tumble.
"It's not just the workplace they won't be able to cope with as adults, it is social interaction," she said.
"If they are not out there with the other kids, learning how to get along with people and make up after arguments, and take responsibility for their own actions, there's the likelihood that later on they will either become bullies or victims.
"Not only will that child grow up into an adult not able to cope. But there will be a social cost from creating people who simply don't have the resilience to bounce back from adversity," she added.