Free-Range Kids

The days of free-ranging around the neighborhood are over...those times seem as quaint now as a Norman Rockwell painting.


A few Free-Range Kids


I am appalled to see misplaced priorities of parents of our society repeatedly. Parents are putting children into sports training sessions for up to two hours and more a day. These are not future Olympians we're talking about, they're just kids who should be playing tag or hide n seek down the street with friends. Whatever happened to kids being allowed to be kids? Instead, many parents (one of whom muses that he might be an "intimidator" rather than a "motivator" -- gee, d'ya think!!?) hire trainers who once devoted their efforts to professional athletes. Seeing a lucrative market opportunity, these trainers now apply their grueling techniques to kids seven-, eight-year-old and up. It's reminiscent of the old Eastern block athletic training mills which once manufactured athletes. Check out the segment here. (beware of a commercial first.)

I'm glad I don't have to run into these parents at clubs and parks--but only have to deal with them occasionally at families' and friends' gatherings. Clearly, I wasn't cut out to be a parent in today's society because I don't have the win-at-all cost mentality. Just a thought: maybe the costs of a middle-class-with-kids lifestyle--daycare, college, housing--have skyrocketed. Parents will therefore go to any length to try to protect and maximize their "investment" in their kids.

Certainly, it's not appropriate to intimidate your child into winning. Because we don't, God forbid, our kids might not get into Harvard and their life will be over at 7!

4 encouragements:

Stephanie said...

I agree!
Kids need to be kids, mine are :)
We have actually had outsiders tell us that it is great that we let our kids be kids, so it must be obvious :)

Radical Unschoolers Live in FREEDOM said...

Sadly, neighbors in our bedroom community think we are **irresponsible** parents by permitting our kids to play in secluded cul-de-sac in front of our home.

piscesgrrl said...

I think free-range kids are so incredibly beautiful. But if those other folks have likely never seen pure unbridled (unscheduled, unregulated) happiness, perhaps they don't know what they're missing?

Radical Unschoolers Live in FREEDOM said...

It is difficult for me to see people not trusting children in all areas of their whole life, living Honesty, Kindness, Respect, Acceptance, Generosity...instead of having rules, chores, required behaviors, punishments of any sort. Our purpose is to build relationships, respect children as autonomous beings and create an environment where freedom to make real choices is fostered and individual preferences honored within real practical constraints (as opposed to having some kind of behavioral control agenda.)

True learning-learning that is permanent and useful,that leads to intelligent action and further learning, can arise only out of the experience, interest, and concerns of the learner.
John Holt
Real heroes are men who fall, fail and are flawed, but win out in the end because they stayed true to their ideals, beliefs and commitments.
Actor Kevin Costner
 

© Copyright Live In Freedom . All Rights Reserved.

Designed by TemplateWorld and sponsored by SmashingMagazine

Blogger Template created by Deluxe Templates