The Overprotected Kid
Thanks to Dave Pell’s The Next Draft for the original link, I found this article from The Atlantic a few days ago, and it’s great — really great, actually; I would even go so far as to call it exceptional. For this piece, Hanna Rosin traveled to the United Kingdom to get some first-hand experience with a novel playground concept called The Land, where rather than the sanitized, boring playsets so common especially in America, kids get to actually challenge themselves with activities I would still enjoy at nineteen years old. Using the growing popularity of this concept as a jumping-off point, she discusses an unfortunate trend of the last few decades whereby children have increasingly fewer opportunities to play and grow without the heavy-handed supervision of their parents acting as an omnipresent deterrent of anything remotely challenging or risky. Fortunately, I often had the opportunity and permission to go off on my own so long as I remained safe; unfortunately, that seems less and less the case nowadays. All in all, a fascinating article and well-worth the read if you have any interest in even tangentially-related facets of this broad subject. Seriously, I cannot recommend it highly enough.