NY Times

Safer playgrounds are more dangerous for your children

Safer playgrounds are more dangerous for your children

It's hard to have this conversation without resorting to "when I was a kid"-style pandering, but I do remember spending long days outside without a cell phone, taking long walks out of the neighborhood to the local candy store, and playing on equipment that was little more than a deathtrap. My playgrounds often looked like they were designed by students of brutalism, and we loved it that way, damnit.

The idea that turning our world into safe, soft, cushy environments is detrimental to the development of children is interesting, and makes a ton of sense. Kids get hurt. They like to explore, and test their limits. We remove so much of the limited danger around them that they can't get any sense of danger, or excitement, and that can't be a good thing.

Do yourself and your family a favor: go find a rope swing. Find a tree and climb it. This sense of a "nerfed" childhood is part of the reason why we have a trampoline in the back yard. Doing a backflip is scary, and potentially dangerous, but the slim risk of a broken arm is nothing compared to the very real sense of accomplishment at finally landing on your feet.