Why Kids Need Healthy Stress

I had to laugh when I recently read an article about the reasons why children of the 1970s should all be dead. The humor piece looked at all the evidence pointing to the fact that back then, parents didn’t worry as much about the health and safety of their children. The article listed things like allowing kids to play in the yard with lawn darts, cars without seat belts, hot conducting metal playground equipment, the absence of bicycle helmets, and the ever-presence of second-hand smoke. Now when you look at the list you realize that we have made some very important strides in how to wisely protect our kids. But have we gone too far? More recently, social critics have noticed that parents are now coddling kids in ways that keep kids from experiencing the kinds of healthy stress that leads to growth into adulthood. When we shield our kids from opportunities to learn how to navigate difficulties or the negative consequences of their actions, we might be causing long-term harm.