Playgrounds: Danger or Menace? New York Times Says Maybe Both!
Most parents (let’s face it, there’s some 'loony tunes' people out there) will do anything to protect their children, especially at a public place like a playground. But according to today’s New York Times, we might be messing up our kids even more by keeping them safe. In other words, playgrounds are so safe now that they're making our kids into weenies.
Even if children do suffer fewer physical injuries — and the evidence for that is debatable — the critics say that these playgrounds may stunt emotional development, leaving children with anxieties and fears that are ultimately worse than a broken bone.
“Children need to encounter risks and overcome fears on the playground,” said Ellen Sandseter, a professor of psychology at Queen Maud University in Norway. “I think monkey bars and tall slides are great. As playgrounds become more and more boring, these are some of the few features that still can give children thrilling experiences with heights and high speed.”
The experts are now saying that without a few bumps and tumbles, kids won't grow up with some crucial skills they need to make it through life. But that's after they told us to pad everything and sand down the rough edges and to make sure the monkey bars aren't too high... When are the experts going to make up their minds?
For me, though, it makes sense. You want to know how many times I fell off the monkey bars? Enough times to get a job on the internet, that's how many. I seem to be doing okay (twitch). No permanent damage (twitch).
What do you think? Do kids need to fall down sometimes, or are some things just too dangerous for the little ones?