We all like to protect out children from harm. Particularly so when they are young and innocent. But there comes a time that we eventually must expose them to the realities of the world we live in. To do this too late causes much more harm than some realize.
Over protecting children is harmful in that they do not develop coping skills to deal with a negative situation or problem. At some point they must be given a taste of life’s vinegar in a controlled way. To not expose them at all simply leaves them defenseless. The same principal is used in medicine when given an injection like a flu shot, it helps the body get ready for the real deal.
A perfect example of this is seem in a Catholic school. They teach based on the perfect world and not the real world. The life’s lessons taught in the halls between classes do not happen. Anyone who would look to do so is promptly expelled. Perhaps that as something to do with the general observation that Catholic school girls are the wildest once they get out of school.
So now the question only a parent can answer is when and how much exposure to the real world. Some things are easy to figure out, and some are more difficult. A lot depends on the ability of the child. The easy ones to figure out are based on nature. When nature says it is time then they need to know.
What we are talking about is sex education. Children need to know about this and know what to do to protect themselves from sexual accidents. Children should be taught about sex in two steps. The first lesson is when they start to show the early signs of puberty around 10 years old. Then the advance class around 13 or 14 after all those hormones have kicked in. That is an absolute no brainer.
The more difficult problems are like dealing with less than wonderful people. Bullies, crooks, scam artists, and just people who have poor interpersonal skills and must be sampled at one time or another. Without those coping skills a persons ability to function is overwhelmed and their ability to work is hindered. In some cases they may actually require the help of a mental health provider if the problem is bad enough.
So to be a parent it truly is a balancing act and the advise of a professional for guidance is often a wise move. Many things must be taken into consideration like what environment will the child be living in when they are finally on their own. If they are likely to be exposed to ‘x’ then some samples of ‘x’ must be given in a controlled setting. To simply not expose them leaves them mentally unprotected when the real world is in their face. When the coming hardships on humanity get into full swing as a result of global warming, they truly need to be at the top of their coping game.