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Wussification of Playgrounds Making Kids Fat and Anxious

Home - by - November 21, 2012 - 11:01 America/New_York - 5 Comments

FOX Nation

Playing It Too Safe? New Playground Gear Promotes Risk-Taking to Boost Fitness And Brain Development

By SUMATHI REDDY, The Wall Street Journal

The child who insists on running up the slide at the playground is doing it for a good reason.
Chances are he’s uninspired and trying to create more of a challenge for himself. And if the child is 9 or 10 years old, he is likely fully bored by the swings, slides and climbing gear.
Some child-development experts and parents say decades of dumbed-down playgrounds, fueled by fears of litigation, concerns about injury and worrywart helicopter parents, have led to cookie-cutter equipment that offers little thrill. The result, they say, is that children are less compelled to play outside, potentially stunting emotional and physical development and exacerbating a nationwide epidemic of childhood obesity.
Some psychologists suggest that not exposing children to risk can result in increases in anxiety and other phobias. Children who never climb trees, for example, are more likely to develop a fear of heights, according to a study in Norway. And encouraging free play, in an age of structured activities and computer games, is believed to be important in helping children develop physical and cognitive competencies, creativity and self-worth.

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» 5 Comments

  1. Noodengr

    November 21st, 2012

    years ago i read an article in the local paper written by a gentelman who grew up in the 1920s.
    he related how there was a collapsed barn in his neighborhood as a child . To the local kids it was everything from a pirate ship, to a fort, to a mountain that needed conquered. Sure kids got the occasional scrap, they brushed themselves off and went on with their adventure. Now that would be condemned as a public eyesore and the owner forced to clean it up
    plus liable for any injury that occured.
    The old man and his generation grew up to the Greatest Generation, what will this one grow up to be? the most over-protected- wimpy- unimaginative – helpless generation? wow what a legacy.

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  2. obfusecatenot

    November 21st, 2012

    Look at your local public school playground. No swings, big slides or God forbid monkey bars! Part of the dumb down philosophy-absolutely! My nephew was playing pretend football at school(because using a real ball was too dangerous) and went long for a pass and broke his real arm tripping on a real sidewalk. Kids get hurt! No matter what! Humans do stupid things. …unless they are forced to stand and stand in one spot for recess. Coming to a school near you! Stand spots! Safety and fun! Only $1000 each! Fundraiser for the kids!

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  3. even steven

    November 21st, 2012

    When I was a kid, I thought the other kids whose parents wouldn’t let them do anything were whiney little pussies. They remain whiney little pussies as adults, and their kids are whiney little pussies. They disgust me.

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  4. Jeff

    November 21st, 2012

    There was a time too, when mom would make you go outside to play, with her only instruction being to be home in time for lunch/or supper. Gone too are the sea-saws and merry-go-rounds.

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  5. NeeNee

    November 21st, 2012

    Remember the old Bill Cosby routine about the playground equipment? . . . “and kids were falling off the monkey bars like snowflakes!”

    I grew up on a farm in the late 1950′s/early 1960s. The haymow was thee best place to pretend play. My dad nailed up interior orange crates near the peak of the roof so mother pigeons could nest. Then he built a small platform by the crates so that I could scamper up there and snatch the young pigeons—just as their fuzz was disappearing, and starting to be replaced with feathers. “Squabs” were then made into creamed pigeon by my mother. However, when I wasn’t having to play Pigeon Death Squad, I would pretend I was in the circus and jump the 40 feet from the pigeon platform into newly cut hay. Having friends over was a chance to demonstrate my fearless jumping skills. God, I wouldn’t trade those days for anything!

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