In his Huffington Post piece, "Leave Your Children at the Park and Your Paranoia at Bay," KaBOOM! CEO Darell Hammond weighs in on the debate over the controversial "Take Your Children to the Park... and Leave Them There Day," which is coming up this Saturday, May 22.
A recent KaBOOM! blog post about the day caused quite a stir, with reactions ranging from vehement opposition to tepid uncertainly to unbridled enthusiasm. Take a look at the conversation on our Facebook fan page. Here's what Darell has to say:
The newly proclaimed "Take Your Children to the Park... and Leave Them There Day" has a provocative name for a reason: to call attention to itself. Had Lenore Skenazy, who originally came up with the idea, named it, "Give Your Children A Chance To Gather Outside With Other Neighborhood Children and Engage in Unstructured, Unsupervised Play for an Hour or Two," I'm not sure that so many people would be taking notice.
The comments generated by press about the day (and there have been a lot of them!) expose a disturbing trend. Helicopter parenting, over-parenting, hyper-parenting--whatever you want to call it--has risen dramatically over the last two decades. It's a trend driven by fear--fear of crime, fear of injury, and even fear of children growing up to be failures.
Learn more about the overblown fears of helicopter parents and the assertions made by the "free-range kids" counter-movement, which seems to gaining some steam. Read the full post here.