Kids Aren’t China Dolls

I don’t know why some parents treat their children like they are precious and breakable items that need to be constantly looking their best.

It’s okay for children to get muddy. It’s alright if they come home with a grass stain. Bumps and bruises are part of childhood. A little scratch or bruise is not a big deal. In fact, these things are pretty much an essential part of anyone’s childhood.

Children need to take risks and try new things. They need to try a jump on their bike or attempt to ride a skateboard. They need to try rolling down a hill one day. They need to explore the world around them, interact with it, and learn all sorts of things in the process. Without these things, kids lose out on what life is all about.

I know parents only want to protect their children. No one wants to see a kid fall down and cry. But the important thing to remember is that the crying, bruise, or scratch doesn’t last long. It heals.

But if you teach a kid that they shouldn’t try something because they might get hurt, that lesson will stay with them. They will always be afraid to try things. And life is about trying, falling down, and trying again. Everyone need to learn this lesson. And childhood is the best thing to do it.

So let your kids explore. Let them get dirty. Don’t freak out over a little bruise, cut, or scratch. Children are not nearly as fragile as we might think them to be. They are not collectible toys that need to just be put on a shelf and admired.

I leave you with some lyrics from Kelly Clarkson’s “Because of You.” This song speaks some great truths about this topic. Check out the video on YouTube. There is also a great duet version of this song that I had never seen before with Reba. Check them both out. I love this song. Both versions.

“Because of you
I never stray too far from the sidewalk
Because of you
I learned to play on the safe side so I don’t get hurt.
Because of you
I find it hard to trust not only me but everyone around me
Because of you
I am afraid.”

– Kelly Clarkson “Because of You” from the album “Breakaway.”

7 responses to “Kids Aren’t China Dolls”

  1. I here your words, but I’ve got one and he’s one, and I’m one big fat sissy. I don’t like when he gets hurt so I do protect him. Maybe I need to have a few more and I’ll get inured to it?

  2. Wow, that’s a strongly accusatory lyrics.

    I agree, and I try to catch myself when I go on my automatic response and say “no, don’t do that, it’s dangerous.” My daughter is pretty cautious to begin with, so I feel comfortable letting her go — she calls for help when she knows she needs it. My son, on the other hand, is a daredevil and has no concept of safety what-so-ever. Every moment is thrill ride with him.

    The post I have scheduled for tonight is about kids, too — I invite you to stop by, I’m interested to see what you think of it, as a teacher.


  3. Hi Oktober Five,

    I know how you feel, I really do. But we do need to let our kids fall down from time to time. They learn a lot of lessons from this.

    A parent’s job is never an easy one and I don’t think having more kids makes you any wiser. It’s good to see that you care so much though.

    Hi Ari,

    They certainly are powerful lyrics, aren’t they?

    I think everything is dangerous to some extent. We can never let fear stop us or control how we parent or teach. Although sometimes we need to rein in those “daredevils” just a bit.

  4. Hi ECD,

    I agree. It’s good to want to protect our kids but too much protection is actually just the opposite. Some people don’t seem to understand this.

  5. I actually think, though, that the song you quoted refers to a totally different situation. Not a parent who smothered their child but a parent who stripped their child of her innocence, made of her an adult before her time, in order to be able to lean on her in her pain.

    I very much believe that grown-ups should keep their personal, adult problems out of their children’s lives. Children have a right to childhood.

  6. Hi ECD,

    I think you have a point there. I’m sure one verse was about that subject as well. But that is the great thing about songs, they are open to interpretation.

    You are right though. Adults shouldn’t lean on their children. We need to shelter them from our problems as much as we can.