How much close supervision and protection do our children really need? Schools offer online grading and weekly updates on how school is going for them. Leisure time activities are spent in the car going from carefully orchestrated events ranging from sports to birthday parties. The term helicopter parenting pretty much covers it all: We hoover over our children more than any generation before them. Though there is no doubt in my mind that health and safety threats are indeed unique growing up today, kids end up way overstimulated and overprotected.
When I grew up in the seventies, I did the growing up in the village. Mom sent us out to play outside in the morning and rarely did we make more than the appearance for having lunch and then again at dinner. Outright filthy we were too. Key benefit to being left alone for most of the day was that we had to really think hard about what we wanted to play and how and with whom we wanted to play with was totally up to us. Do not get me wrong, I do not want to wish for us to make life more difficult for our children on purpose. Instead, I would vouch for making sure that we make sure that they do get down time that they have to themselves – you decide what that can look like.