Thursday, November 8, 2007

Whatever happened to kids being kids?

Page A23 of today's WSJ documents the sad slide of society into over protectiveness. Appropriately titled "Adult Supervision," the article by Charles Sykes details only the latest updates in this (stupid) trend. Some details that will make you snort and weep:
  • Cincinnati Little League "nannies" now nix saying such things as "Swing, batter" because it might hurt the child's self-esteem if s/he misses an inordinate amount of balls...
  • A Colorado Springs grade school is the most recent to ban tag. Why? Because children and parents have complained that some kids don't like being chased. Granted. But why have other schools also prohibited "swings, merry-go-rounds, teeter-totters, crawl tubes, sandboxes and even hugs"? Keep reading!
  • In California: more banned stuff! "[T]ag, cops and robbers, touch football and every other activity that involved 'bodily contact.'" Hmmm...cooties? A subtle anti-war statement? (Okay, maybe that's a stretch. But it gets funnier/sadder!)
  • A recent ABC news story (I am so glad I didn't watch this!): 59 out of 60 playgrounds they investigated had--GERMS or evidence thereof! What shall we do?
Here's a final, summary salvo:

In some schools free play has been replaced by organized relay races and adult-supervised activities, in order to protect children from spontaneous outbreaks of creativity. This makes sense to the sort of person who thinks children must at all costs be protected from the scrapes of life and insulated from the prospect of having to deal with social interactions or disappointment.

Childhood -- or at least the fun part -- is falling victim to a potent stew of psychobabble, litigation and over-wrought over protectiveness...

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