kids and free time

Since Brent and I are getting married one of the topics we have been discussing is children...some readers will be very excited by this development! Tee hee.

Anyway, an article was posted to my favorite blog, http://www.boingboing.net/, from the LA Times, about children being allowed to have free play time.

I think this is imperative to a child's growth...but I don't have any kids. What do you guys think about the article?

Here is a link (Click this line.)

Remember 'go outside and play?'

Overbearing parents have taken the fun out of childhood and turned it into a grind.
Rosa Brooks, LAtimes
May 15, 2008

Can you forgive her?In March, Lenore Skenazy, a New York City mother, gave her 9-year-old son, Izzy, a MetroCard, a subway map, a $20 bill and some quarters for pay phones. Then she let him make his own way home from Bloomingdale's department store -- by subway and bus.

Izzy survived unscathed. He wasn't abducted by a perverted stranger or pushed under an oncoming train by a homicidal maniac. He didn't even get lost. According to Skenazy, who wrote about it in a New York Sun column, he arrived home "ecstatic with independence."

His mother wasn't so lucky. Her column generated as much outrage as if she'd suggested that mothers make extra cash by hiring their kids out as child prostitutes.

But it also reinvigorated an important debate about children, safety and independence.

Reader, if you're much over 30, you probably remember what it used to be like for the typical American kid. Remember how there used to be this thing called "going out to play"?

For younger readers, I'll explain this archaic concept. It worked like this: The child or children in the house -- as long as they were over age 4 or so -- went to the door, opened it, and ... went outside. They braved the neighborhood pedophile just waiting to pounce, the rusty nails just waiting to be stepped on, the trees just waiting to be fallen out of, and they "played."

"Play," incidentally, is a mysterious activity children engage in when not compelled to spend every hour under adult supervision, taking soccer or piano lessons or practicing vocabulary words with computerized flashcards.

....(more at the link)....

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Overbearing parents have taken the fun out of childhood and turned it into a grind.

hmmm...on one hand I can understand this and on the other the world is a different place than even when we grew up. It's easier for me to look back now and see my errors and good things with parenting. What things did or didn't necessarily work out the way I thought they would.

The best advice is just to join the roller coaster called parenting and do the best you can -- no one way works for every kid or every parent. In the end we all need some kind of therapy for something anyway. :) ~Pam R.