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updated: 7/10/2012 6:38 AM

Could the key to helping your kids be not helping your kids?

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  • While suburban kids sometimes get help from parents on the playground, kids in Peru are climbing by themselves to the top of trees to pick mangos. In our desire to help and protect our children are we curbing their independence?

    While suburban kids sometimes get help from parents on the playground, kids in Peru are climbing by themselves to the top of trees to pick mangos. In our desire to help and protect our children are we curbing their independence?
    Courtesy of Round Lake Beach

  • It isn't a scheduled "family time," but the benefits of painting with relatives in the heat give Will Constable, 13, a feeling of accomplishment and independence.

      It isn't a scheduled "family time," but the benefits of painting with relatives in the heat give Will Constable, 13, a feeling of accomplishment and independence.
    Burt Constable | Staff Photographer

 
 

Suburban parents add to those studies showing American children are more "helpless" than those of other countries. But it's not so easy to raise independent, free-range kids with just the right amount of pushing and protecting.

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