I happened to hear an interview with the woman who wrote this article today on the radio. Having heard this kind of thing before, I didn't think she'd have anything new or interesting to say. A lot of it did strike me as fairly familiar territory, but her comments on the differences in playgrounds caught my attention, and even moreso in the article as it has great pictures.
As I said, it's a long article but I found it an interesting read. Even if you have a short attention span, click on the link and look at the pics and see if The Land isn't a fantastic playground. It's even better than the vacant lot across from my house as a kid. Unlike the author, I never wondered if I was romanticizing my childhood and my independence as a kid. It's good that she could find video examples from the 70s to compare to modern play but I didn't need that to confirm that my upbringing was quite different from the current norm.
For those who can get through the article, and particularly the younger ones here, I wonder if they can comment on the effects of the different styles up upbringing. My assumptions has always been that independent play is superior and that seems to be her position as well but I don't know that there's much data to back it up. Maybe there are advantages to following kids around and doing everything for them that we haven't considered (although it sounds ghastly to me).
For my part, I would say I wasn't the most adventurous kid around and there weren't many kids in our neighborhood anyway. It paid to be able to entertain yourself or think of things to do. On weekends or in the summer, I'd often be gone from home most of the day. That could well be over at a friend's house or out in the woods. Just a vague plan and ranging radius of a mile or so was enough information to give my parents.
Reading this article fills in some of the pieces I used to wonder about when talking to our younger members as they described their difficulties in getting out to buy diapers. A last nudge to read the article as there are little bits in there that are relevant- does this ring true to you young adults out there?
Frankly, it seems overly dramatic but it did sort of make me wonder if we're raising kids in such a way as to make this kink somehow more attractive?Practicing psychologists have written (in this magazine and others) about the unique identity crisis this generation faces—a fear of growing up and, in the words of Brooke Donatone, a New York–based therapist, an inability “to think for themselves.”