Baby Hints & Tips

Wrapping Children in Cotton Wool

Wrapping Children in Cotton Wool“Falling off bicycles and monkey bars used to be part of childhood, but a modern culture of wrapping children in cotton wool is leaving children at risk of developing serious anxiety disorders, child psychologists have warned.”

How do you approach this with your children? Do you try to protect them from potential spills, or do you think they are just a normal part of growing up?

(**Please remember: other people will have a different opinion to you and that is okay. Feel free to discuss your own personal parenting philosophy and reaction to the article, but any comments that are deemed to be aggressive, judgmental of another’s parenting abilities, or rude will be removed. Please also read the article before commenting)


  • I’m a big believer in teaching my kids that if they fall get back up and try again! If they fall over, they get told to get back up and keep playing. If they are really in pain they get a cuddle and a kiss wherever is sore then they keep going. I also don’t run to them when they fall over. They have to pick themselves up and come to me for that cuddle. It’s a good habit to get into because when they are at school (or life in general when they grow up) there isn’t going to be someone there to give them a cuddle and kiss them better. It sounds harsh, but my children are still alive and very happy kids, and they know I love them very much.   Sonia
  • I go along the lines of if my child initiates the play, they are fine to try things. Such as I will not leave my 6month child sitting up by herself, but when she can get herself into the sitting position I will. I’m not going to put her up in the tree, but if she decides to climb it then I will let her. If she falls, I will be there if she needs me. But I will give her a chance to dust herself off first.  Skye
  • Sick of these tree hugging “teething necklaces” can’t play in dirt can’t do this cant do that oh they have add they need medicine they r depressed sort of stuff. I never grew up like that and I have nothing wrong with me. I think kids need to be kids again or we will have a generation of whinging kids who can’t handle life coz its ” too hard.”  Lynsey
  • Its so hard fight that mothering instinct to protect your child from anything that causes pain, fear etc. we never want our children to hurt. But thats all just a part of growing up. Children need to feel these feelings, learn from their mistakes, so they can learn to make better life decisions, and grow as a human. I try to put in place the kind of upbringing I had (to a certain extent). I will allow my kids to climb trees, go play in mud, if they fall..if appropriate, they’ll get a bandaid, a kiss on the knee, and a ‘ you’ll b right’, not a trip to the ER for a graze. Thats the way my hubby and I parent and our beliefs.  Tamara
  • my 4 are not wrapped in cotton wool to an extent. in the backyard they can do handstands etc play with sticks to a degree and dirt even!! how hard to wash your kids!!! But they are not allowed to walk the streets etc they are boys 2 1/2 and 7 and girls 12 and 9 i know where they are at all times!!!!!!!!!!!  Rebekah
  • As a psychologist who works in primary schools anxiety would make up about 90-95% of my caseload!!  Brooke
  • Our 2 year old dd has a very adventurous spirit and we let her learn from her mistakes. If she falls we just laugh with her, if she truly hurts herself though she gets cuddles and kiss, or a magic ice block, and she’s on her way again. I think kids need to get dirty, get scratches and be kids. Our children certainly won’t be wrapped in cotton wool.  Katrina
  • As a parent and Early Childhood educator I am a big believer in encouraging children to explore and discover. I often tell children about the consequences of their actions but unless they are putting themselves at risk of serious injury I prefer to let them learn for themselves.  Bree
  • Kids will just wait until your back’s turned and then climb the tree/stuff around on the motorbike/fall of the roof anyways- I know I sure did.  Belinda
  • Brooke that is literally scary. What do primary school kids really have anything to be anxious about. Primary school was so much fun. Almost as fun as high school.  Lyndey
  • Well both my 2yo ds and 9mth dd have teething necklaces and there is nothing tree hugging about my family. Both already have first motor bike funds set up ready for when they’re ready for dirt bike riding. My son gets in and gets cover in grease and dirty while helping his dad fix the car and he should hear him start giggling when he can feel that we have left the tame dirt road and hit the rough stuff when 4wding. If he falls or hurts himself he usually gets up and carries on with being a crazy little boy. I find children are happiest while getting messy but he also enjoys the clean time of hanging out in the bath. Also they need chances to make mistake other wise how are they to learn its a mistake.  Cassandra
  • I let my boys explore on their own and am there to give them a cuddle and kiss when accidents happen…neither of them have ever tried to climb something before they could and will always call me for help if they get scared, but equally they will happily go off and explore by themselves and of course get into some scrapes and bruises, but I think it has made them brave and independent.  Camilla
  • My 7mth old is what i like to call free range . He is trying to walk already and he falls, bumps his head etc. It’s part of growing up. Obviously, I won’t let him do something really stupid but kids need to be kids like we did when we were kids. I actually feel a bit sorry for kids today. He also has a teething necklace & he has actually eaten dirt well actually it was sand.  Skye
  • i hate how schools now don’t have winners and losers on sports day or winners at all! its so silly nothing is wrong with a bit of competition and that’s what they r going to need when they get into the real world. you cant stop kids from being kids and playing outside and getting dirty that’s what they love to do. I think everyone needs to look back on their own good childhood memories and remember what we all used to do and we all survived!! Jess

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