What is the concern?
Some people in government are concerned that schools are overprotective of the children in their care. These people are concerned that children will not develop the ability to identify and manage risks. If someone always holds your hand when you cross a road, you will not learn to watch the traffic and make sensible judgement calls.
Are the concerns groundless?
In my experience, I have encountered this overprotective approach alongside instances of the opposite in the same school. Perhaps some risks were more apparent, or had got onto someone’s check-list, whilst the ‘it couldn’t happen here’ approach ruled for others.
Let’s apply horse sense! They are not overprotective.
I remember the way my mare treated her foal. When it was very young, she was highly protective, but she gradually relaxed her vigilance as the youngster learnt to take care of itself. On one occasion, the foal ran up to an adult horse, making a nuisance of itself. The mare watched but did not intervene. The other horse made threatening gestures, until the foal gave up and left it alone. A month earlier the mare would have placed herself between her offspring and anything that might have harmed it. She was always protective, as far as it was appropriate. Never overprotective.
Can we be as sensible as that mare?
How overprotective are you in your business?
This is obviously relevant if you are a teacher or a parent, but is that all? I think we all need to learn about the risks in our businesses and in our lives and learn to assess and control them. That does not mean running away from them, neither does it mean ignoring them.
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