Why aren't kids playing outside?
Over 3 years later, I still hate it.
The biggest selling points for me were the promise of open air and kidsvplaying outside. What I've found instead are barren blocks, cliques and overpriced recreation.
How could suburbia be more kid-unfriendly than the city? Well, first of all the most glaring way is that kids don't have free-play outside. For instance, on one of the most beautiful days of this month, mild temperature, low humidity, ample sunshine, we took our kids hiking. On our way back as we took suburban backroads, we didn't see ONE child outside playing. That is criminal. I rarely see children spontaneously playing outside. It is always structured, controlled play at a scheduled event.
How is it that we've gotten so far off-course with our kids? How is it more beneficial for a child to participate in orchestrated play at Music Together, The Little Gym or some goofy Mommy and Me spinoff than to be outdoors enjoying fresh air and sunshine?!!! And then we wonder why American kids are getting fatter by the minute... We wonder why they watch too much t.v. and have ADD…
Why are our boys becoming more prone to violence and inattentiveness in school? Why are our kids becoming wimpier by the minute? It’s because we’ve tuned into too much network and cable news that’s hell-bent on terrifying us about the world we live in. We’ve bought the line that it’s not safe to allow our children to do what God has programmed them to do: PLAY OUTSIDE!!
Parents live in fear of some anonymous stranger who’s going to kidnap our children. While those horrific incidents do occur, they do not occur at the alarming rate that we seem to believe. It does not take barricading our children in climate-controlled play centers to protect them from predators. It takes a community to protect children: a community that looks to allow them to thrive in the outdoors as well as in structured environments. We need to replace paranoia and fear-mongering with neighborhoods and communities where we all look out for each other. I’m not talking about Mayberry. I’m not talking about the Cleavers either. I’m talking about people who intelligently open their doors to their neighbors and work together to protect our kids.
How is this part of The Apron Revolution? It’s about beginning to return home and return to common sense about how we live our lives. It’s about returning to balance in the way we raise our children. It’s about letting go of keeping up with the idiot Joneses and scaling back to what’s reasonable. Let go of expensive activities and just…. Be with your children. Enjoy their presence and their gifts. They’re only under your wing for a short period of time and then it’s over.
Start your revolution now.