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They need time alone and with other children, and to be allowed perhaps forced to make up their own games, figure things out, and amuse themselves. Being outside gives them opportunities to practice these important life skills. Taking risks.
Children need to take some risks. As parents, this makes us anxious; we want our children to be safe. Yes, you can break an arm from climbing a tree — and yes, you can be humiliated when you try to make a friend and get rejected.
The Overprotected Kid - The Atlantic
Children need to learn how to work together. They need to learn to make friends, how to share and cooperate, how to treat other people. Appreciation of nature. So much of our world is changing, and not for the better. If a child grows up never walking in the woods, digging in soil, seeing animals in their habitat, climbing a mountain, playing in a stream, or staring at the endless horizon of an ocean, they may never really understand what there is to be lost. The future of our planet depends on our children; they need to learn to appreciate it.
So try it. Do what our parents did: send your children outside. Even better, go with them. And do everything you can to be sure that every child can do the same. Hey Claire, Thank you for this blog!
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Play is lots of fun for a child. Tassin, who lives in Vacherie, La. But I know I felt free, so free as a child. I put on my jeans and my cowboy boots and I played outside all day long. My job was to love them and discipline them. The new trappings of intensive parenting are largely fixtures of white, upper-middle-class American culture, but researchers say the expectations have permeated all corners of society, whether or not parents can achieve them.
It starts in utero , when mothers are told to avoid cold cuts and coffee, lest they harm the baby. Then: video baby monitors. Homemade baby food.
Sugar-free birthday cake. Toddler music classes. Breast-feeding exclusively. Throwing Pinterest-perfect birthday parties. Calling employers after their adult children interview for jobs. At the same time, there has been little increase in support for working parents, like paid parental leave, subsidized child care or flexible schedules, and there are fewer informal neighborhood networks of at-home parents because more mothers are working.
A Prescription for Play
Sentilles felt the lack of support when it became clear that Isaac had some challenges like anxiety and trouble sleeping. She and her ex-husband changed their work hours and coordinated tutors and therapists. Parenthood is more hands-off in many other countries. In Tokyo, children start riding the subway alone by first grade, and in Paris, they spend afternoons unaccompanied at playgrounds.
Intensive parenting has gained popularity in England and Australia, but it has distinctly American roots — reflecting a view of child rearing as an individual, not societal, task.
The Overprotected Kid
In a new paper , Patrick Ishizuka surveyed a nationally representative group of 3, parents about parenting. Regardless of their education, income or race, they said the most hands-on and expensive choices were best. For example, they said children who were bored after school should be enrolled in extracurricular activities, and that parents who were busy should stop their task and draw with their children if asked.
Ishizuka, a postdoctoral fellow studying gender and inequality at Cornell. Americans are having fewer children , so they have more time and money to invest in each one. But investment gaps between parents of differing incomes were not always so large.
As a college degree became increasingly necessary to earn a middle-class wage and as admissions grew more competitive, parents began spending significantly more time on child care, found Valerie Ramey and Garey Ramey, economists at the University of California, San Diego. Parents also began spending more money on their children for things like preschools and enrichment activities, Sabino Kornrich, a sociologist at Emory, showed in two recent papers.
Rich parents have more to spend, but the share of income that poor parents spend on their children has also grown.
No freedom to play or explore outside for children
In states with the largest gaps between the rich and the poor, rich parents spend an even larger share of their incomes on things like lessons and private school, found Danny Schneider, a sociologist at the University of California, Berkeley, and colleagues in a May paper. Parents in the middle 50 percent of incomes have also increased their spending. Besides having less money, they have less access to the informal conversations in which parents exchange information with other parents like them.
Jones said that as a parent of black boys, she decided to raise them in a mostly black neighborhood so they would face less racism, even though it meant driving farther to many activities.
Dow said. Experts agree that investing in children is a positive thing — they benefit from time with their parents, stimulating activities and supportive parenting styles.