As your child begins his crawling and her perambulations around the house, looking for mischief, parents will go into damage control mode – for the sake of their baby and their home and its contents as well – Child proofing this and Baby proofing that – for safety and peace of mind; and certainly there is a strong case in favor of putting these safeguards into place.
However there is a contrary or opposing view about baby proofing as well – that many of us grew up just fine without any baby proofing of the home; and we turned out all right!
Also there is the argument that child proofing is a refuge of the lazy parent – and something that curbs baby’s natural instincts for exploration and learning.
While this may sound unreasonable to many of us; consider the following:
Do we, by putting locks or latches or safety slides on door ensure a child’s safety? Do we by keeping the toilet seat lid locked down and plug points blocked do them a favor? Well according to some this is not protecting a baby from danger – it is curbing their natural tendency to explore and limiting their development.
By installing all these ‘safe guards’ you are arousing their curiosity – what lies beyond that – inside this – so that if one day something got left unsecured, the child could really get into trouble, while you are lulled by a false sense of security.
Also when visiting a friend’s place, you may find that the child has no idea that cupboards are not to be emptied out willy-nilly; that heads are not to be put down toilets etc. You will also have to run around behind the child preventing him from pulling this and breaking that.
The argument against child proofing recommends better child supervision and time taken by the parent to explain the possible or potential dangers of any given item. The idea is to be with the kid more; to spend more time with them – speak to them about the dangers and educate them rather than denying access and keeping them in ignorance about possible dangers.
The idea against child proofing recommends that you gently steer the child away from destructive behavior – teaching that the table lamp should not be pulled to the floor or the pot overturned – rather than putting that table lamp and the pot out of reach. A parent should not let expedience supersede the need to spend time with a child and teach him or her right from wrong.