Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Don’t forget to play

“By about 1900, the need for child labour had declined, so children had a good deal of free time. But then, beginning around 1960 or a little before, adults began chipping away at that freedom by increasing the time that children had to spend at schoolwork and, even more significantly, by reducing children’s freedom to play on their own, even when they were out of school and not doing homework. 

Adult-directed sports for children began to replace ‘pickup’ games; adult-directed classes out of school began to replace hobbies; and parents’ fears led them, ever more, to forbid children from going out to play with other kids, away from home, unsupervised. There are lots of reasons for these changes but the effect, over the decades, has been a continuous and ultimately dramatic decline in children’s opportunities to play and explore in their own chosen ways.

Over the same decades that children’s play has been declining, childhood mental disorders have been increasing.”


A. said...

Does this mean the entire world or just the Western society? I grew up in the '80ties and I played outside all the time:) It all depends on the parents and quite possibly on where you live.

Luke said...

Hey A.

I think it's a generalised observation. Sure, there will be exceptions, particularly cultural ones (the "Tiger Mother" being the extreme, I guess).


Anonymous said...

same discussion here in switzerland... had the luck to grow up beneath a forest and walk to school on my own. these possibilites are decreasing also for swiss kids, especially in urban environments.


PS: dear luke, thanks for your well-written and interesting blog entries! hope and pray you're doing well!

Luke said...

Hey D

Great to hear from you (and thanks for the compliment)!

I'm hangin' on in there. Usual trials, some new ones. Will know if the visa is forthcoming in about a month.

When do you finish your studies, my friend?


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