Saturday, February 14, 2009

De-Nerfing Childhood

Yep, someone other than us finally noticed -- Boing-Bong links to a (free online!) book that "...argues that childhood is being undermined by the growth of risk aversion and its intrusion into every aspect of children’s lives." Gee, ya think?


Ed Rasimus said...

Conn Igguldon, who has written two exceptional historic novel trilogies, one on Caesar and another on Ghenghis Khan, collaborated with his brother about three years ago for "The Dangerous Book for Boys". It was a best seller.

It went back to the days of his childhood and the things we used to do like make slingshots, play sandlot ball, hunt the empty fields for snakes, build forts out of old carboard boxes and all of the dangerous stuff from the old Boy Scout manuals.

Today, if it doesn't have a uniform, a referee and an organized league it isn't worth doing. That leaves only the mall or sitting at home complaining, "I've got nothing to do."

No imagination, no creativity, no adventure, no motivation. Sad.

BobG said...

I have to agree that we are overprotecting kids these days in some respects. How is a person supposed to learn caution unless they get hurt a bit as a child? If people bring children up in a padded environment, they never learn to be safe. When I was growing up, my dad believed that anything that didn't cause injury or death was fair game. If he said not to touch something hot, and you did it anyway, he let you touch it and get burnt; the next time you were more careful and listened to him. A child who falls down and skins their knees learns to watch where they're going and pays better attention to their environment.
Just my opinion.

Joanna said...

Feh. Give a kid a rock, a stick, a pile of dirt and a library card. Then restrict their TV watching to Mr. Rogers (when younger) and classical arts programming (any age -- my first memory of TV is, I kid you not, the Met's production of Wagner's Ring Cycle). If he/she can't come up with something from there, something is seriously wrong. Building toys like Lego and Tinkertoys can be added when appropriate.