The Overprotected Kid

I’ve recommended this article repeatedly over the last six months — most recently today to my Introductory Sociology class.  So, I’m taking that as a sign that I should spread the word more widely.

The piece is from The Atlantic and covers a range of issues related to contemporary norms of hovering over our children (endless structured activities, risk-free play grounds, and non-stop supervision) and the impact this may be having on them.  It’s really a great article and the online version has lots of cool photos of the “throw back” playground featured along with a video of kids playing in it.

An important point I drew from the article is the fact that our children today are no more “at risk” of being victimized or abducted by strangers than they were 50 years ago.  What has changed is the volume of media coverage and our perception of the risk.  It is a refreshing, and highly sociological corrective, to the general belief that the contemporary moment is somehow more dangerous for our children.