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Nurturing but letting kids tumble is the best strategy for parents

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Reuters/Jonathan Ernst

(Read caption) Nurturing your child also includes letting them stand on their own two feet. Two-year-old Charles Kearley helps his parents shop for pumpkins at Stribling Orchard in Markham, Virginia, October 6, 2012.

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Many of today’s parents fear that if they don’t give their children the right push out of the crib, they will not make it in this world of high-powered over-achievers. The fear is that anything less than a Harvard post-graduate degree will leave our children on the corner asking for spare change. The days of sending kids out to play to fend for themselves for hours on end are long gone. Instead we register our kids for music, French, math and gymnastics classes before they can walk, trying to give them the edge.

Multiple research studies have shown that parents who hold firm but nurturing standards and let go enough to give their children autonomy raise children who do better academically, psychologically, and socially than either over-involved parents who push their children toward achievement or under-involved and permissive parents who set too few limits.

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