Tags: Free Range Kids, Lenore Skenazy
Many of our loyal readers are directed toward Streetplay because of nostalgia, wanting to recapture memories of the good old days, the simpler times. In fact, a lot of people adopt a crotchety, self-anointing attitude in this regard, a rejection of what “these kids today are doing” in terms of their personal time and entertainment.
A thought provoking piece was posted on LiveScience.com yesterday that has some significance and overlap with these sentiments. While mainly concerned with recent science and studies concerning the phenomenon of children who are bullied, a phrase stuck out in terms of Streetplay sensibility:
Unstructured playtime — that is, when children interact without the guidance of an authority figure — is when children experiment with the relationship styles they will have as adults.
Bullying is a serious issue that is becoming more apparent and reported in the mass media, and may actually reflect an increase in its occurrence in American society (instead of being the media’s “flavor of the day”). It begs the question: is the combination of hysterical, overscheduling, overprotective parenting (witness Lenore Skenazy’s Free Range Kids blog, sane reportage of the problem), combined with the rampant, time-sucking, physically isolating use of electronic media (witness the Kaiser Family Foundation’s latest report on children’s media usage) a formula for creating socially dysfunctional, ready-to-be-bullied children?
All this just leads me to restate the Streetplay mantra: Get out and play.