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Jay

While I tend to agree with your comments about overprotective parenting, I think this one is a little over the top. As a parent, my job is to find the right time and place to challenge my child. It's not all the time (it's not none of the time either). Taken strong form, we don't usher children out in the wild a week after birth and expect them to be able to find enough food to live - sure it would make them better but it would also eliminate a generation. Instead, we find the right 'teaching moments'. Some sports don't keep score till a certain age. In a recent NY Times Magazine article, they profiled the Russian women's tennis machine, producing 6 of the current top 10 women players. One key realization was that the famed Russian coach prohibited competition (tournaments, games, keeping score) until they had MASTERED the strokes. In other words, until the fundamentals were instilled the shelter or lack of challenge kept them from developing bad habits. Then, turn on the challenge and watch them excel. So it's not a 'always on'...much like my previous comments on communist countries outperforming democracies/capitalists at creating infrastructure as a result of the lack of challenge, here too I believe it to be a balancing act of where and when and how much.

Bob G

Jay,

I love the point about Russian tennis players, and taken by itself, even this story of turning off the scoreboard is no big deal.

I guess my point is that we're seeing a much larger trend here, and that the balance is tilting too far in the direction of protection.

I like that you actually seem to "think" about when and where to challenge your child. However I believe far too many parents don't "think" and in fact just "do".

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