15:11 Gulf News: Unless you push children to face their fears that can’t grow.

15:17 Lodhi Azmatullah Khan: Agree with the statement. Nowadays we have to prepare our children for any untoward incident like kidnapping or child abuse. Unless we train them they will not learn how to fight such incidents, which can happen at any time. So, free-range parenting is a better concept, giving children a chance to learn more and get trained.

15:19 K. Ragavan: The concept of free-range parenting is a welcome one. Yes to a certain extent I would agree with the statement but children should be mature enough to understand when the parents push them. They can train their children to walk alone, send them to go shopping within short distances. This will induce encourage children and develop their confidence.

15:22 Salah Al Marzouqi: I agree with the statement. Children need to be pushed and face their fears rather than stay hidden behind their parent’s shield. We must teach our children to be strong and rely on themselves.

15:24 Lodhi Azmatullah Khan: Also, parents are more aware of safety precautions. They would push their child only when they know the child is aware of the street and he or she can locate their home easily without anybody’s guidance.

15:25 Salah Al Marzouqi: I agree with Lodhi. Parents know their children’s limits and will only push them in the direction that they can handle.

15:26 K. Ragavan: They should not be afraid of experimenting with their children, especially not from the society. Only then do children move around with confidence.

15:27 Sandhya Shetty: Unless we get the fear out of our children they will never be able to get rid of their fears. To give you an example, my three-year-old toddler recently got cold feet while entering a merry-go-round for children in an amusement centre and said he won’t go in. I could have just let go but insisted he sits on it after ensuring his safety and then after two rounds he was actually enjoying the ride with the other children. Another instance is of him being scared of ghosts. I need to help him get that fear out of his mind by telling him that ghosts are imaginary and it’s all a hallucination. They need to be assisted to overcome fears and sometimes you need to be tough!

15:33 Sudha Kathuria: “A child who takes chances prospers” is taught to them but where are the parent who would give these chances to them?

15:34 Salah Al Marzouqi: Forcing children to face their fears is definitely the best environment for children to grow up in and to become self-reliant. Protecting them will not make them grow or become independent.

15:36 Gulf News: Parental fear is stopping children from growing up to be self-reliant.

15:32 Sandhya Shetty: True, parents who are overprotective of their children will never help get the fear out of the young minds. I’m very paranoid about leaving my children out alone without adult guidance‎. There was a time when I won’t even allow them to cross the road alone without either one of us with them or my house help. Then I realised it’s me who is stopping them from becoming self-reliant. It started with us teaching them about traffic rules while crossing and they promised us that they would never jaywalk on roads. Now I’m more at peace. Of course that does not mean I would recommend children younger than 10 cross streets alone. As a parent, I never allowed my older children to cross the street on their own until they were 10. My youngest will be trained to be self-reliant as he reaches that age.

15:42 Lodhi Azmatullah Khan: Yes, I agree with the statement. I have seen a lot of parents restricting their children from doing things on their own. Some parents are so fearful they don’t even send their children to a grocery shop below the building. So, this makes children restricted within the home and they will not grow much as compared to other children.

15:45 K. Ragavan: Yes, parental fear stops children from becoming self-reliant. Parents should feel happy when they push children because it is to build their confidence, allowing them to face any situation.

15:47 Salah Al Marzouqi: I agree. We need to encourage our children and push them to fly with their own wings rather than constantly protect them because that will only limit them in the future. Preventing your child from something as simple as walking home alone would affect the child in his or her adult life as he or she will grow up to hesitate doing even the simplest of things out of fear.

15:48 Parents don’t accept free range parenting out of fear of being thought of as bad parents.

15:51 Sudha Kathuria: It’s not that we are being judgemental about parents. It’s just that we want people to rise above their inhibitions for the sake of their children.

15:52 K. Ragavan: They can consider the criticism but finally they should decide which way they have to act with their kids.

15:53 Salah Al Marzouqi: I agree with the statement. Of course no parent wants to be labelled as a bad parent and would therefore prefer a protective environment out of fear of being judged by people in his surroundings.

15:54 Lodhi Azmatullah Khan: Parents are the best anchors in the world who always think of the best for their child’s safety. Whatever the situation, they are the only the people who will guide a child towards what is right and wrong and they are the only ones aware of the mentality of their own child. So, instead of listening to what people say, parents must concentrate on their child’s growth and his future, and make him a bold person to face the world.

15:56 Sandhya Shetty: False. Parents like me will continue to do whatever we can to make our children independent. It is a thin line between throwing caution to the winds and doing things your way. However, ‎if precautions are taken while teaching them self reliance techniques they will not only overcome fears but learn to be more independent in life! Becoming overprotective means you will never let them bloom into strong individuals.

15:58 Lodhi Azmatullah Khan: Make a child bold and give him enough freedom within certain boundaries. That will help him/her to grow well under the guidance of parents.

Facebook comments:

I think parental control is important to some extent, however, imposing too many restrictions on children can become a hindrance in their path of growing up to be independent and self-reliant. It is not wise to leave children on their own as they can fall victims to various crimes. While it is good to give children liberty in life, this should only come after a certain age. To let children as young as 6 and 10 walk home alone is to expose them to extreme dangers that they are not prepared to face. Parents have to be more responsible when it comes to raising their children. Although every parent has their own parenting style, but too much freedom is never a good idea as this can lead to children going astray and falling into the wrong company.

From Fatima Suhail


Teach children to control themselves while being independent. At the same time teach them to be independent while they are still controlled. A perfect mix of both!

From Mr Sumeet Punjabi


A controlled one, because children are too innocent to make their own decisions in a free environment. It is better to let them grow up in a free environment after teaching them what their parents want them to be.

From Mr Charles Kayingo


— Compiled by Huda Tabrez/Trainee with Readers Desk and Donia Jenabzadeh/Community Web Editor