In other words....mothers get lost!
Phew, thank goodness for that! The thought of mother spying on their kids from a park bench or kitchen window while they play whilst thinking their kids are experiencing free play was seriously creeping me out. The number of mothers who I've come across on a forum recently who never ever let their kids play unsupervised is frightening.
Here are some exerts from the article below....
Parents who hover around their children while they play with their friends risk turning them into narcissists, a leading psychologist has warned.
Dr Peter Gray said ‘free play’ - where children are left to their own devices, undirected by adults - is the primary means by which children overcome narcissism and build up their capacity for empathy.
'Free play... is how they learn to make their own decisions, solve their own problems, negotiate with others as equals, see from others' points of view, make friends, and manage risks. Free play is how children practise taking charge of their own lives. It is how they learn to make their own decisions, solve their own problems, negotiate with others as equals, see from others’ points of view, make friends, and manage risks. It is also how they learn to control fear and anger.’
But if a parent is hovering nearby and steps in whenever someone gets upset or angry, they deprive children of the opportunity to learn to control these emotions themselves.
‘When children are continuously managed and directed by adults, they don’t develop an internal locus of control,’ he said.
Dr Gray advises that, where a ‘play date’ situation is unavoidable, adults should make themselves scarce as much as possible. ‘It depends on the age of the children, but for children aged four and older the parents should, to the degree possible, vanish. Even if they are present with no intention to intervene, they may not be able to avoid intervening. When adults are present, children in our culture look to the adults to solve their problems rather than figure out how to solve them themselves.'
‘Trust breeds trustworthiness. Children are far more competent – far more able to take responsibility for themselves and one another – than most of us give them credit for, but they need the freedom to practise that responsibility or else it atrophies.’
Read the whole article here.