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The Overprotected Kid

March 21, 2014

This great article over at The Atlantic, titled “The Overprotected Kid“, has got me thinking about my own childhood in the 80’s and early 90’s. Did I ever have “adventures” as a kid? Did I ever have unsupervised time with my friends outside of our parents’ houses?

I suppose I did have some suburban adventures with some of my neighborhood friends around that time. There were definitely many attempts fort building, or at least stacking scavenged wood planks together to make various structures. Riding our bikes down neighborhood streets farther away from our homes than we’d promised our parents we would travel. Still, I don’t think I ever experienced anything quite on par with what those kids who live near The Land get to do. What they’re encouraged to do.

Thanks to that article, I’m now wondering if the sterilized asphalt school playgrounds and overly strict “adult supervision” that we were subjected to in elementary school contributed to the amount of bullying and fighting that colored so much of my early school experience. It could have also just been shitty teachers, shitty yard supervisors and shitty administrators. But the sort of asphalt wasteland that passed for a playground back then definitely didn’t help.

I’m not a parent yet, but there’s a lot of things in that article to consider for when I am.

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