Free the Children

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Leah Linzaga
J. Odien
November 10, 2010
English 1A

Free the Children

Parents want to provide what is best for their kids. However, sometimes we forget to provide what they need. Our culture has become so overtaken by the burden to succeed, that we push our tots to zip past their youth. Ultimately, the anxieties of overachieving will take the children’s happiness as their victims. Gibbs’ “Free the Children” states her apprehension against our culture’s fixation on “achieving.” She believes that children should be given the chance to explore the world around them, make mistakes, and enjoy life without the constant fear of anyone “keeping score” (Gibbs, Free). Children are being robbed of their right to a fulfilling childhood by the high expectations and continual pressures of society.

According to the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights, Play has been recognized as a right for every child (Bilich), yet some do not use their privilege. Instead, they are curbed by a mounting demand “to be better”. This propels them to premature adulthood, resulting in them yearning for autonomy. These high expectations being set on kids are “often unrealistic and are connected by media hype.” Gibbs’ emphasizes the need to let children just be children, asking parents to have some guts and grant some liberty. After all, children require relaxation as well. Research suggests that “a brain in its relaxed state is more creative, makes more nuanced connections and is ripe for eureka moments”(Gibbs, Backlash).

Relinquishing the desire to manage every aspect of your child’s life will alleviate the transition from adolescence to adulthood. Worrying about your kids’ safety and success is comprehensible, but to obsess over it is not. Overprotective parents only delay their child’s independence, or even inhibit it. “What could be more natural than worrying that your child might be trampled by the great, scary, globally competitive...
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