Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Legislating the end of fun

One of the lost experiences of this generation is free play. It is now deemed unacceptable for kids to play sports on an informal basis, like they did only a few decades ago. (Only adult-managed, pay-for-play "select sports" are acceptable nowadays):

“Free play has disappeared,” says entrepreneur Darryl Hill, who grew up on the streets and playgrounds of Washington, D.C., to become, in 1963 at the University of Maryland, the first African American to play football—or any major sport—in the Atlantic Coast Conference. “There are no more sandlot sports.”
Meanwhile parents are being arrested for allowing their children to play unattended in parks. 

"Just in case you thought you could parent whatever way you see fit in 2014 America:  
A North Augusta mother is in jail after witnesses say she left her nine-year-old daughter at a nearby park, for hours at a time.  
Hours at a time? At a park? In the summer? Gosh! That certainly sounds … like a reason to throw a mom in jail—and place the child in state custody."

I used to play alone (or with friends) without adult supervision for hours in the 1970s and 1980s. 

And geez, I'm still here.