Pushy Parents Demotivate Kids'and Kill Their Confidence and Creativity

by Hannah Punitha on Oct 30 2008 5:24 PM

Pushy parents who 'over schedule' their kids with activities might be undermining their young ones' independence, self-confidence and imagination, says a new research.

The experts suggest that modern parents are ignoring the benefits of free playing.

They are enrolling their offspring in structured entertainment like ballet classes, swimming lessons and sport sessions. This might lead to bad behaviour.

"Parents shouldn't worry about organising their children's time but instead give them the space and permission to create their own fun," the Daily Express quoted child behavioural specialist Kris Murrin, as saying.

"Free, unstructured play - such as creating pretend games - allows children to explore the world around them and teaches them to express themselves, developing key skills for adulthood such as decision-making skills and self-confidence.

"Kids have fertile imaginations which should be developed in these formative years to help build the social skills essential for later life,'' she added.

Forty percent of the parents said that free play developed their child's confidence while a said that their child was more focused and better behaved.

The study by Persil's Every Child Has The Right To Be A Child campaign also showed that almost 37 pct of the parents admitted that the entertainment-based activities often left children hyperactive.

Two-thirds of children have trouble calming down and going to bed afterwards.

Frank Furedi, Professor of Sociology at the University of Kent and author of Paranoid Parenting, called on parents to have confidence in their own parenting skills and ignore pressure to do certain things from other parents, family experts and policymakers to do what's best for their child.

"Today's parenting culture de-skills mothers and fathers. It places enormous pressures on parents to turn away from what only they can do," he said.

''The good news is that, if parents understand the pressures that bear down upon them, they can insulate themselves from it.

"They may still be anxious about their children's well-being, but at least it will be possible to put those fears into a more balanced perspective,'' he added.