Let kids play outdoors

Having moved here last year from a city that had no sidewalks in large portions of town and only one real park kept dirty and filthy and unusable when the hot weather cooled off because it was left unlit, I understand why it is quite difficult for parents to allow their children time outdoors. I understand why parents instead will often substitute McDonald’s play areas and other nasty options such as this, like walking around in shopping malls, to allowing their children to play ourdoors. But the main reason, above all else, that one can now go outside and see little or no children playing, is the mentality of many middle class, religious, and conservative parents themselves. They think that they must always microsupervise their children ‘to be safe’ these days.

As just one example, a couple of months ago I took a kid for a 3 hour hike with our family inside the city, and four hours later we were back. The mother was pulling out of her driveway and was screaming with rage, where upon she accused me, ‘How dare you?’ she raged.

She had called the police because we had ‘disappeared’ with her child! I explained that we had said we were going on a hike and that is why we had invited her child to go with us. She wanted to know why I had not kept in touch with her? Efforts to explain that it was a hike, and that I do not carry a cell phone were to no avail. All that she could see was that she had been unable to see exactly how her 10 year girl was doing for all of 4 hours. What did this woman think a hike was when I invited her child to go with us? Her kid had never seen a waterfall even and was delighted to be with us that day. All destroyed in a temper tantrum by mom, because she had lost control for a few minutes. Unreal.

Because of this excessive paranoia of many adults about their chilren’s safety, their children are kept inside, inactive, and unsocialized. At school, these children are not allowed any recess free from teacher control, any recess with physical activity, any recess with play with other children amongst themselves. All is control, and all is sedentary. And at home the situation is almost the same. Breeding ground for developing chronic health problems, and the kids today are in an epidemic of them, thanks to a cold and kid unfriendly society and parents that are swept away by too much practicing of the wrong kind of ‘care’, a stifling ‘care’. Our children are living in gated communities, and they are unhappy for it.

From the LA Times comes this commentary titled, Let Kids Outdoors. What a sad world we are becoming, a world committing suicide in multiple ways. A world that hurts its own children under the guise of protecting them. Please let your children play with others. Let them play outdoors. Let them escape from TV world and Game World.

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