Yesterday I read an article in the herald about the ALARMING number of injuries children have at Early Childhood Centres. While, of course, I would not wish harm on any child, I did think that once again we are forgetting what happened when we were kids.
Perhaps it is because it is not the parent that is supervising, or because money is changing hands, but why is it that we have created this idea in our heads that childhood is all about learning and developing, without any accidental falls, scrapes and the occasional broken bone?
I was not a graceful child. I was clumsy. My knees were permanently scabby for several years- simply because I wanted to move, but was pretty unsuccessful at doing so without falling over at some point!
The vast majority of injuries our children experience in early childhood centres are nothing to what they might experience at home. How often have you heard the stories of the mother hanging out the washing, only to discover that her child has somehow climbed onto the roof? Or the child who manages to get out the gate and down the road, before her or his parent notices, or children who jump off sofas, beds, anything and THEY ARE NOT FALLING ON SOFT FALL.
We need to all chill out.
The vast majority of centres are designed to reduce risk. They don’t want lawsuits. But they also don’t want hurt children, because they care about them. That’s why they got into education in the first place.
Our children need to learn limits, to feel safe to explore, and to touch, climb, experience. This all helps them develop a readiness to read and write later on, and gives them a confidence in what their bodies can and can’t do.
Let’s stop all the cotton wooling, and all the hovering- I don’t know about you, but if I feel someone is hovering, I can’t concentrate and work things out for myself. Give our children space.
The number of injuries is NOT alarming. It’s actually pretty smallwhen you think of how many children attend Early Childhood Centres. I dare say, if those children were all at home, and we measured incidences, those numbers would be looking far higher.