Macagba: Do not bubble wrap your kids

Beyond the classroom

THIS is a continuation of my series on Ms. Tina Zamora’s talk during the Family Forward 2018. For this article, I will be focusing on her point on the importance of parents allowing their kids to have space for mistakes.

A bubble wrap is a plastic material used to cover fragile things to prevent from breaking. According to Ma’am Tina, one of the concerns of this generation is that a lot of our parents have bubble wrapped their kids. While this may be sometimes good since we see parents care for their kids, it can, most often than not, be a disservice to the kids for several reasons.

For one, considering them as fragile is quite alarming. As an educator, more than their level of fragility, we need to highlight their potentials and even their capacity to flourish. If we think that they are fragile, it may seem that we have thought about them being at their end point already more than their possibility. In other words, there seems to be no area for growth and development if we have a fixated version of the children.

Second, if we do not allow kids to make mistakes, they would have the tendency to always stay in the safe zone and never try to explore or take some risks, which could improve their capacities. In so doing, we prevent them from actualizing their potentials and maximizing their God given talents. Therefore, instead of bubble wrapping our kids, the more that we should provide them safe spaces to commit mistakes so that they would be more prepared for the realities of life. After all, life will never be perfect and this could affect them in one way or another.

Lastly, looking back at our own experience, as Teacher Tina mentioned in her talk, “Isn’t it that the experiences we have when we committed mistakes taught us more than our experiences of victories?” In fact, the challenges which we experienced made us better individuals back then. If we disallow our kids to experience pains, challenges, confusion, and the like, how are they going to be ready to face the challenges of an imperfect world?

The drivers and the heroes of the new world like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and the like would not be successful if they were exposed to all the good stuff in the world. How are we going to turn our children to be these heroes if we will safely cradle them in our arms?

Even if I understand the sentiments of parents wanting to give the best to their children, being parents would require a lot of letting go so that their kids would be able to flourish.

I have seen a lot of kids nowadays being through so much pressure not just by the expectations of their parents but also by the systems and the society in general. As such, children tend to became more and more scared of messing up to live life happily primarily because the expectations of the world dictate how they are going to live their lives.

I know that it is easier said than done. But we need to re-calibrate our practices so that our children would feel safer in committing and learning from mistakes. When mistakes come, stay with your children. As Ma’am Tina puts it beautifully, “allow your children to be in the darkness so that they would be able to seek out the light.” Also, be there with them in their experience of darkness so that they would know that they have strong support from their loved ones. The more that they experience failures safely, the more that they would be more resilient of the challenges that would come their way.


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