We need to stop worrying and just let our kids play
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We need to stop worrying and just let our kids play

Views: 248     Author: 第二组-王晗     Publish Time: 2018-12-06      Origin: Site


Children in Canada and the United States are growing up in unprecedented safety. According to the FBI, reports of missing children went down 40 percent between 1997 and 2014. The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently noted that from 1993 to 2013, the number of children struck by cars dropped by two-thirds. The U.S. Department of Justice reported that between 1994 and 2010, the rate of violent crimes against youth declined 77 percent. During roughly the same period, according to the same source, reports of physical abuse fell by 30 percent. So, all in all, the kids have never been safer. And we’ve never been more worried about them.

Our worry isn’t good for them or for us. Children in North America are living with unprecedented anxiety. In Ontario, 60 percent of young people reported concerns about their anxiety levels and nearly half have missed school because of them, according to a Children and Youth Mental Health survey published in 2017. Maybe part of the reason is that their parents are so overwhelmed by anxiety about them. Parenting has become an activity you can master, rather than just a part of life, and so we pore over our decisions about our children’s lives like good little students preparing for a particularly lengthy exam—the most important thing is to make sure you don’t get a question wrong.

Spending childhood in a constant state of anxiety is not psychologically healthy. It does not prepare you for the world, which is inherently unpredictable and often dangerous. Research conducted over a decade has consistently shown that unstructured play leads to the development of positive personality traits like confidence, persistence and creativity. The key thing kids learn from risky play is how to judge what’s dangerous and what isn’t and, maybe even more importantly, how to enjoy navigating risk. Because if you can’t enjoy risk, how can you enjoy life?

For parents : Our desire to see that no harm comes to our kids is causing harm to our kids. For the contemporary parent, the question becomes: How do you give them that chance at independence and confidence without putting them in danger? How do you expose your kids to risk without, you know, like, actually risking them? It’s a bind. But there is a way out of this bind, at least for an afternoon. There is the adventure playground.

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 Ms. Katie Zhang
 Yangwan Industrial Area,Qiaoxia Town,Yongjia County, Wenzhou, Zhejiang, China (Mainland)


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