Article in the Atlantic says being overprotective of kids creates more problems. Kids need risk to learn and grow and deal with risk later in life.

Subtitle says it all! “A preoccupation with safety has stripped childhood of independence, risk taking, and discovery—without making it safer. A new kind of playground points to a better solution.”

You must read the article. I won’t try and paraphrase what a great job the author did.  Here are some quotes from the article: The Overprotected Kid

It’s hard to absorb how much childhood norms have shifted in just one generation. Actions that would have been considered paranoid in the ’70s—walking third-graders to school, forbidding your kid to play ball in the street, going down the slide with your child in your lap—are now routine.

One very thorough study of “children’s independent mobility,” conducted in urban, suburban, and rural neighborhoods in the U.K., shows that in 1971, 80 percent of third-graders walked to school alone. By 1990, that measure had dropped to 9 percent, and now it’s even lower.

Over the years, the official consumer-product handbook has gone through several revisions; it is now supplemented by a set of technical guidelines for manufacturers. More and more, the standards are set by engineers and technical experts and lawyers, with little meaningful input from “people who know anything about children’s play,” says William Weisz, a design consultant who has sat on several committees overseeing changes to the guidelines.

“Reasonable risks are essential for children’s healthy development,” says Joe Frost, an influential safety crusader.

Children, she concluded, have a sensory need to taste danger and excitement; this doesn’t mean that what they do has to actually be dangerous, only that they feel they are taking a great risk.

And all adults also!

We might accept a few more phobias in our children in exchange for fewer injuries. But the final irony is that our close attention to safety has not in fact made a tremendous difference in the number of accidents children have. According to the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System, which monitors hospital visits, the frequency of emergency-room visits related to playground equipment, including home equipment, in 1980 was 156,000, or one visit per 1,452 Americans. In 2012, it was 271,475, or one per 1,156 Americans.

I love this quote.

“The advent of all these special surfaces for playgrounds has contributed very little, if anything at all, to the safety of children,” he told me. Ball has found some evidence that long-bone injuries, which are far more common than head injuries, are actually increasing.

Is it Risk Homeostasis or is it that kids don’t know or care about surfaces, they just need to have fun!

“There’s a fear” among parents, Roger Hart told me, “an exaggeration of the dangers, a loss of trust” that isn’t clearly explainable.

Wow, very interesting.

If a mother is afraid that her child might be abducted, her ironclad rule should not be Don’t talk to strangers. It should be Don’t talk to your father.

This is simply life. It probably at some point in time was said thousands of times a day. Now hearing it once is enough to be quoted in an article. The conversation is between two kids.

“You might fall in the creek,” said Christian.

“I know,” said Gideon.

For once there is an article about children playing that did not talk about the harm of computers. Why because children who have the opportunity to play don’t want to spend time on computers. Play is more fun. It is more fun to go out and explore than to shoot something on a screen!

Do Something

However what is described in the article just sounds like my life growing up. Getting skinned knees and bruises was called growing up. We learned first aid on ourselves. This worked, this burned and this made a mess and did not help.

Read the Article!

See The Overprotected Kid

What do you think? Leave a comment.

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Keep a kid safe for a minute or help them learn to be safe for a lifetime!

Research shows that just saying don’t do that doesn’t work. You have to give kids the knowledge to learn how to evaluate the risks of life.

A study published in the Journal of Pediatric Psychology shows that taking the time to explain the risks to a child is better than saying don’t do that. This allows the child to understand why and even better it provides the child with the tools to learn to evaluate all of the risks he or she will face in life.

Kids take risks not to take risks, but because they don’t know what the dangers are. More importantly children have no ability to evaluate the risks. You don’t know something is going to hurt unless you learn. There are two ways to learn.

1.   Get hurt

2.   Have someone explain the reasons and risks to you.

However the study did say there are still children who are prone to get hurt. When they grow up they are called guides!  J

See Explain the Present Danger to Children So They Stay Safe

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Rules (and laws) don’t control behavior. This school district it does the exact opposite, the more rules the more bad behavior

No rules also increased student attentiveness, increased their creative side and stopped bullying. Kids were too busy having fun to be a problem.

This is an amazing article.  Here are some quotes from the article and the principle which in this day and age in the US is sort of mind blowing.

Fewer children were getting hurt on the playground. Students focused better in class. There was also less bullying, less tattling. Incidents of vandalism had dropped off.

The parent continued: “I just wanted to make sure you don’t change this play environment, because kids break their arms.”

This is my favorite quote!

“I’ve been the principal who’s stood there and said ‘Oy, kid! Get off your bike! You’ve got to walk your bike!’ Then I’d go away and think ‘Why the hell did I say that?’”

Don’t ride your bike you may get hurt! Why did the kids’ parents buy the child a bike? We know it was not to get hurt, so why can’t the kid ride a bike.

But the results spoke for themselves, he said. The students weren’t hurting themselves — in fact, they were so busy and physically active at recess that they returned to the classroom ready to learn. They came back vibrant and motivated, not agitated or annoyed.

Children don’t hurt themselves because they’re testing their boundaries, Mr. McLachlan said. They don’t set out to recklessly self-injure, though it may happen in the process of finding their footing.

Who are the rules for? Adults! Kids’ don’t want rules; kids don’t remember rules and kids work hard to ignore rules. Obviously the only reason to have rules is because adults like rules. Wait that does not make sense. It must be because adults believe that rules work. Wait, our prisons are full and overcrowded. Why do we have rules?

So many of the rules, he said, are “ridiculous,” and designed to soothe adults. That said, there are still limitations to the two, 40-minute long free play breaks each day.

If a kid is hurt breaking a rule then the adults have an excuse.

·         It’s not my fault

·         The kid deserved it he broke the rule

This principal is amazing.  Read this quote!

Mr. McLachlan said. “One of the rules I said facetiously is kids aren’t allowed to hurt other people. But in fact they are. … If you hurt somebody in a game where you are playing hard, or a boxing match or a stone-throwing competition, for me it’s absolutely fine — as long as the other person was willing to get hurt.”

The results from the principals thinking?

He knew children might get hurt, and that was exactly the point — perhaps if they were freed from the “cotton-wool” in which their 21st century parents had them swaddled, his students may develop some resilience, use their imaginations, solve problems on their own.

This is my favorite statement from a different perspective. People don’t sue for money, they sue because they have bills to pay.

Kiwi parents are much less likely to sue a school if a child is injured anyway, he said, partly because a litigious culture just doesn’t exist and also because New Zealanders’ health care is fully paid for by the state if they’re victims of an accident.

It gets pretty absurd when we make playgrounds safe and then build climbing walls and ropes courses for adults to go have fun!

Read this article!When one New Zealand school tossed its playground rules and let students risk injury, the results were surprising

Here are some more articles exploring these concepts.

Year in Ideas: The risks of overprotective school policies

Return of risk: The growing movement to let kids play like kids

Some articles I’ve written about the subject:

An example of adults and money getting in the way of kids has fun

Is being overprotective putting our kids at risk

This article takes a real look at the risks parents allow their children to face           

What do you think? Leave a comment.

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An example of adults and money getting in the way of kids has fun

If more playgrounds were like this, more kids would be outside and more adults would be happier.

What happens when adults tell kids how to have fun. You get structure, organization, injuries and lawsuits. You get budgets and planning and rules. What do

Two playground sets at Hudson Springs Park in ...

Two playground sets at Hudson Springs Park in Hudson, Ohio. \

kids get…..not much!

Read this article. Tear Down the Swing Sets

It looks at what happens when you allow kids to play with each other without structure, without rules, without “equipment.” Some of the studies looked at kids playing with sand or foam blocks and having more fun than any kids have with playground equipment.

When was the last time you looked at kids playing on a playground and came up with a thought like this? “These children are intent, they are cooperative, they are resourceful.”

However, with so much “adult,” community planning and legal involvement we ended up with this.

Then the grownups got skittish. Down came the merry-go-rounds and the jungle gyms, and in their place, a landscape of legally-insulated, brightly-colored, spongy-floored, hard-plastic structures took root. Today, walking onto a children’s playground is like exiting the interstate: Regardless of where you are, you see the exact same thing.

The article also looks at keeping kids safe and finds that does not work. 1. It is not possible and 2 it does not help kids to grow and mature. Kids need to know, experience and understand risk. The head of England’s Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents said, “…children should be exposed to a certain degree of risk, not because an activity is risky per se but because it is fun, exciting, and challenging.”

This is awesome.” Kids who are bored stay inside and staying inside is ultimately far worse for your health than a broken arm.”

Kids need to be kids to learn about risks, to have fun and to grow. That does not require the intervention, direction or control of adults.

English: Kids playground

English: Kids playground (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For Similar Articles about this:

This article takes a real look at the risks parents allow their children to face http://rec-law.us/Zwk2yp

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Keep Healthy Kids in the Picture with NWF

2011 H&amp;S Stationary
Join the fun!When fall arrives, how do you picture your kids? Will they be front and center taking nature walks and hunting for colorful leaves? Most likely they won’t. Studies show kids today spend far less time outdoors than their parents did — help change that by registering for Hike & Seek!boy butterflyRegister now for NWF’s Hike & Seek, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. at South Platte Park on September 29, and enjoy activity stations, live animals, naturalists, crafts and more, especially for toddlers to children age 10 and their grown-ups. This year, kids will have the opportunity to communicate through echolocation (just like bats!), build a bug box, and make bird calls. You can even meet everyone’s favorite raccoon, Ranger Rick—all while supporting NWF programs that get kids out doors and into healthier lifestyles.

Register now at As soon as you register, you’ll receive a link to your personal online Participant Center so you can plan your hike and have the opportunity to fundraise. Sign up today. You’ll be thrilled with what develops.

Sincerely,

Karoline Hurd Signature

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Senior Manager, Special Events
hike
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PS: Don’t forget to fundraise! Check out our incentives page and see our great prizes.

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