Apr 12, 2012 at 8:38 pm #1288649
@lotuseaterLocale: Colorado Foothills
Published today in the Daily Telegraph in the UK: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/earthnews/9201083/National-Trust-Super-Rangers-to-teach-children-50-things-to-do-outdoors.html
In reaction to this study, a non-profit is promoting a list of 50 things every child should do before they are 11 3/4. On the list: skim a stone, fly a kite, throw some snow, find some frogspawn.
Seriously? When did parents lose the plot? I can't blame this lack of adventure on the kids. Did 'Health and Safety' regulate the basic enjoyment out of growing up? If so, I'm glad I was a child of the 70s.Apr 13, 2012 at 3:07 pm #1866976
Ben 2 WorldParticipant
@ben2worldLocale: So Cal
Another third will blame the city if their kids fall off them trees!Apr 13, 2012 at 3:27 pm #1866985
…Apr 13, 2012 at 3:35 pm #1866990
The U.S. version appeared here.
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/19/science/19tierney.html?scp=2&sq=playground&st=cseApr 13, 2012 at 4:10 pm #1867005
@ngatelLocale: Southern California
Oh well… I guess I am lucky I didn't die when I was a kid with all the risky activities we engaged in :)Apr 18, 2012 at 8:48 pm #1868860
@mtnratLocale: Southern Cdn Rockies
Many social scientists are suggesting this coddling is creating a generation of people who have not cultivated the ability to asses risk. The kids have not been allowed to find out things for themselves while unsupervised and thus have never made the mistakes needed to asses risk at a level that increases as they get older and should be taking bigger and bigger risks. Some claim the result will be fear of failure, and looking for someone else to do things for and provide for them.Apr 18, 2012 at 10:16 pm #1868883
"Many social scientists are suggesting this coddling is creating a generation of people who have not cultivated the ability to asses risk"
Yes next they will tell us that teenagers that have never been in the kitchen alone cannot cook…
Never mind about social scientists and creating a generation , you can see that effect right here at BPL right now.
Kind of reminds me of over-sanitising the house, filling the air with chemical sprays, keeping the windows shut with air conditioning on all the time ,eating processed food and then wondering why we have more allergies..
Next some brilliant mind will tell us that if you stay in bed for three years straight you may have problems running for a while after that.
Scientists? How about common sense ?
Since my comments maybe a bit obscure at time…
Decades ago (and probably for centuries before that…) when a child or a young person could not do something that was pretty simple (like tying shoelaces..) and was not legally an imbecile, the comment used to be "he is an only child" regardless it it were or not.
The implication was that the parents had done everything for that one so he himself was incapable of doing anything.
Not beign exposed to any risk is along the same line.
Nothing new under the sun…Apr 18, 2012 at 10:22 pm #1868885
@cameronLocale: The WOODS
Good grief we definately coddle our kids too much these days. I got my first knife at age 7 and a hunting knife that could have done serious damage at age 8. We were always out in the woods on some kids adventure. Somehow I didn't kill myself.
I remember when I worked at summer camp I was something of a "rock star," all the kids (at least all the boys) thought I was cool. The reason was simple. I was the one who let them make fires and use pocket knives. Actaully those were just the most popular things we did. We also staged big battles with foam swords. We camped out under the stars. We went on commando missions at night. We rode skateboards in the cabins and played in the mud. We painted our faces with charcoal and played hide and seek in the woods. We went to the big kids paintball field and oragnized a big game of capture the flag there. I had a lot of fun but it was kinda sad too. The reason the kids thought it was so awesome was becasue most of them had never done anything like that at home.Apr 19, 2012 at 6:07 am #1868939
@thomdarrahLocale: Southern Oregon
My daughter climbing "The Tree"!Apr 19, 2012 at 6:28 am #1868942
I see it in Boy Scouts all the time. Kids who don't know which side of a knife to cut with, or who don't know how to strike a match. Told me his parents didn't let him play with matches. I told him we're not playing, we're lighting a stove. Funny, most of those kids all go to the same private school.Apr 19, 2012 at 8:50 am #1868986
…Apr 19, 2012 at 8:56 am #1868990
@tremeloLocale: San Jacinto Mountains
At his same age (8 yrs old) I vividly recall watching a German WW-2 war movie with my dad, and the next day, I created my own secret encryption code."
now uh daze they're looking for codes to crack Call of Duty 3, why learn about World Wars when you can go kill Nazis with the flick of a PS3 button?
Really frustrating times we live in….Apr 19, 2012 at 8:57 am #1868992
@kat_pLocale: Pacific Coast
The failure to adequately asses risk is something I see all the time. I work at a university and see kids walk under swaying redwood branches during a wind storm, walk in the middle of a service road with headphones on, walk barefoot in and out of research facilities…the list goes on and on. Concerning.
Thom, your daughter is awesome and you are a great dad!Apr 19, 2012 at 4:37 pm #1869171
@ouzelLocale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
"The failure to adequately asses risk is something I see all the time. I work at a university and see kids walk under swaying redwood branches during a wind storm, walk in the middle of a service road with headphones on, walk barefoot in and out of research facilities…the list goes on and on. Concerning."
Yes, but that is what happens when kids are raised in a suffocating, all protective cocoon. When you are given the freedom to go out and run around, and get into all sorts of mischief as a kid, you very quickly learn to assess risk the hard way. Hopefully, not ultimately hard, but enough to teach you to PAY ATTENTION. In my cohort, a couple of kids paid the ultimate price and, in the process, reinforced the habit we had all pretty much internalized by that time thru various mishaps involving broken bones, scrapes, bruises, burns, run ins with various organs of authority, etc. It may sound callous and unfeeling, but I think that way of growing up produced adults far better prepared to handle whatever life threw at them. When I look around today and see so many clearly clueless, pallid, overweight young adults wandering around in a daze, if they even bother to get up off their butts at all, I thank my lucky stars I was born wen I was. This is a generalization to which we all can find exceptions but, IME, it accurately reflects the conditions that prevail for far too many young people today.Apr 19, 2012 at 5:42 pm #1869190
@cameronLocale: The WOODS
Okay so what happens when an over protected kid goes off to college? If they havne't learned good decision making skills in grade school they'll have to develop them the hard way as young adults (in a place where the consequences of bad decisions tend to be more severe).
When I was 14 I went to work in the kitchen at a small summer camp. Some of the guys there as campers where about my age and a lot of them were "good kids" at home around their parents (I knew some of the families). Once the parents were gone they were totally different kids. Obviously the "helicopter parenting" only worked as long as mom and dad were there to enforce the rules. I certainly wasn't perfect but I'd had enough experiences and mentoring from my dad that I knew how to NOT get in too much trouble.Apr 19, 2012 at 5:56 pm #1869194
@justin_bakerLocale: Santa Rosa, CA
"At his same age (8 yrs old) I vividly recall watching a German WW-2 war movie with my dad, and the next day, I created my own secret encryption code."
Ha, I used to do this with my friend in elementary school! We would pass notes in class with "secret" message codes based on some kind of language we made up.Apr 19, 2012 at 7:27 pm #1869215
@ctwnwoodLocale: The Palouse
I fell out of a tree I was climbing and broke by tib/fib last June.
Afterward, my mom said to me, "well, you're not just going to never climb trees, right?"Apr 19, 2012 at 8:02 pm #1869225
Brings back a memory. Mom had me take my youngest brother to the park. He asks "Is it OK if I climb that tree?" "That" tree was about 2 feet in diameter and the first branch was about 20 feet up …. no chance he can climb it, right? "Sure", I say.
About 10 feet from that tree was a skinny tree with plenty branches. He goes up that tree like a monkey until he's a little more than 20 ft up and starts getting it swaying until it's getting within leaping distance of the branch on the big tree … so now he's a flying squirrel in addition to being a monkey. Soon he's in the upper branches of the big tree.
My thought process? "He's gonna die and then dad's gonna kill me!" I'm in no hurry for that so I let him climb until he's tired of it and climbs back down to that lowest branch. He squats staring at the smaller tree for about a minute (seemed like an eternity), does the flying squirrel thing again and didn't miss the little tree. 15 seconds later he's back on the ground.
I never again under estimated that little brother.
I commend Thom's daughter both for her climbing skills and her choice of trees!
Our kids climbed trees, I never discouraged them.Apr 19, 2012 at 8:23 pm #1869230
@tremeloLocale: San Jacinto Mountains
my kids will be living in the trees, if people don't start paying attentionApr 20, 2012 at 9:18 pm #1869582
@gregfLocale: Canadian Rockies
I think accidental deaths of kids is down. I look at me parents families and it was not uncommon for a kid to have died in a farming accident or drowned or got shot in a hunting accident or a car accident.
The world has gotten safer. Have we crossed over the line ? Some definately have but there have been benefits along the way.Apr 21, 2012 at 12:12 am #1869602
"In my cohort, a couple of kids paid the ultimate price"
In mine too – I grew up on a farm and we were always hearing of kids drowning in silos, drowning in dams, falling off tractors etc.
The result is that I don't have a problem with protectiveness – because in my experience that's merely realistic – but I have a huge problem with the people who won't admit that there are things that CAN be dangerous.Apr 21, 2012 at 3:24 pm #1869717
@ouzelLocale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
"The result is that I don't have a problem with protectiveness – because in my experience that's merely realistic -"
+1, up to a point. The question is: When does realistic protectiveness slip insidiously over the line that separates rational protectiveness from being over protective, to the point of leaving the child unprepared to function on their own in a world indifferent to their well being.Apr 22, 2012 at 4:19 am #1869847
"When does realistic protectiveness slip insidiously over the line that separates rational protectiveness from being over protective, to the point of leaving the child unprepared to function on their own in a world indifferent to their well being."
Not sure. In any case I'm happy to read my kids horror stories because I remain convinced that bowdlerising Grimm is psychologically harmful: kids need to know that there's monsters out there.Apr 22, 2012 at 6:29 am #1869854
@butukiLocale: Kanto Plain, Japan
+1, up to a point. The question is: When does realistic protectiveness slip insidiously over the line that separates rational protectiveness from being over protective, to the point of leaving the child unprepared to function on their own in a world indifferent to their well being.
But it's not just practical preparation they need, right? I mean, taking those risks and getting yourself, in real life, into situations is also just plain fun! Why do you think the kids play so many realistic role-playing games? And as we all know here, there is a huge difference between looking at a tree on a computer and actually getting out there and sleeping under one. Yet how many people are terrified of going "out there"?
Life is mean to be lived and experienced, not just thought about.Apr 22, 2012 at 7:08 am #1869861
@neotechktc-comLocale: Texas Hill Country
we all die, just a matter of when and what we do with our lives. not everything has to learned the hard way – you can learn that fire burns without getting third degree burns. still, some things must be experienced and risks can be reduced – wearing a helmet doesn't really take away from riding a bike or blades. choices, decisions, consequences.
part of our problem is the news (in all of its manifestations). with so many sources of news only the sensational and emotional draws attention, and with 310 million americans there is always something sensational or emotional…
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