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Parent-Free Play is Valuable
July 24, 2018
He fled from the rain and sat down under the waterspout.
-Saudi Arabian Proverb

In an online article, Cory Turner quotes Katherine Reynolds Lewis, author of a new parenting book, The Good News About Bad Behavior:

‘Kids are play-deprived nowadays…Two or three decades ago, children were roaming neighborhoods in mixed-age groups, playing pretty unsupervised,’ Lewis says. And this kind of parent-free play helped them develop important skills they'd use for the rest of their lives. ‘They were able to resolve disputes. They planned their time. They managed their games. They had a lot of autonomy, which also feeds self-esteem and mental health.’

These days, though, free play is on the decline, Lewis says, and so are the social and emotional skills that come with it. Part of the problem, according to Lewis, is parents who worry that unsupervised play is just too risky. But the risk is part of the point — for kids ‘to have falls and scrapes and tumbles and discover that they're okay. They can survive being hurt.’

Source: “Empowering Kids in an Anxious World,” Cory Turner, nprEd.org, July 18, 2018

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