Playtime is Over
Let the Children Play
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  • Andrew Allison

    “Yesterday’s larger families and autonomous childhoods have given away to small, managed, calculated families with carefully managed children.” Great point. Perhaps possible injury to one of several children was less worrisome than to the one-and-only?

    • Jim__L

      By the time you have your third kid, you have some sense of how tough they actually are, and what will / won’t be dangerous for them.

      Parents make a lot of mistakes with their first, and if one is all they have, they never have a chance to make good.

      • free_agent

        The joke some parents told me is “The first child, Everything the child touches must be sterilized. The second child, Everything the child touches must be clean. The third child, If he’s hungry I think there’s some dried-up food left behind the sofa.”

        It doesn’t help that in our society one can easily reach adulthood without having had to help with younger siblings, cousins, and nephews/nieces.

    • Jim__L

      Also, it’s tougher to micromanage children, the more there are of them in the family. Logistically, it just can’t happen.

    • free_agent

      If you’ve got only one child, you get the “One Precious Child” syndrome. The old system was that you had a batch of children, and statistically they weren’t all expected to survive just due to natural causes. And if one turned out to be a ne’er do well, that wasn’t such a disastrous loss.

      It doesn’t help that once you get above the line of “your kids must go to college”, each additional child is very, very expensive, so you need to economize. To the point that having more than two kids is now considered to be an explicit advertisement of high income. Having four kids means that you’re either well into the upper middle class … or blue-collar or below.

      • B-Sabre

        See China and the impact that their “One Child” policy has had in creating generations of “Little Princes” particularly in their upper class.

  • Bruce

    You see it frequently, where these kids that have had all their time managed for them don’t deal with it well when they are out on their own with free time. I have personal experience. My ex-wife micro-managed her son’s (my step-son) every moment. When he graduated from high school and had some spare time, it didn’t go well. He had no experience with it.

  • Jim__L

    Litigious culture has done its share. The most interesting places to go and things to do have gotten quashed because some kid somewhere in the world in the last decade or two got hurt, and now lawyers can make a bundle pointing that out.

    • Andrew Allison

      Agreed, but a different topic.

  • Anthony

    “In turn, then, children come to exist more and more for the sake of the parents, and are anxiously watched and fretted over.” Interesting insight.

  • Peter

    Tell that to the parents of Leiby Kletzky.

    • Andrew Allison

      Reprehensible and devastating of course, but in the real world, stuff happens. The question is, are the parents of a single child being overly protective and thereby limiting the potential of their children?

  • rheddles

    This has every thing to do with how risk averse and security oriented our culture has become. Not to mention the loss of individual responsibility. It takes a village. To exterminate Americans.

    • Jim__L

      Shakespeare had it right, about lawyers — it’s us or them, really.

      • free_agent

        It’s not just them, though — the lawyers wouldn’t be able to pull their stunts if juries didn’t agree with them.

  • Anthony

    Well, very structured parenting and an emphasis on a fusion of competition and structure is more likely to prepare the children well for a career at Goldman Sachs, which is only interested in hiring the best people. And the idea of who is the best is very narrowly construed, i.e, limited to graduates of the best universities.

    • Jim__L

      The solution here is to demolish the structures that funnel money and power on the basis of test scores. Start by breaking up Goldman Sachs and Citi, and continue by shrinking government to the point it was at when Teddy Roosevelt was building fleets and busting trusts.

  • Corlyss

    “children are over-watched and over-managed and how that effects their development.”
    I know for a fact that the Gen-Xers and the Millennials are incapable of spending time alone by themselves. One day they will have to do with the fact that wherever they go, there they are, and they better have learned to make friends with themselves are they’re going to be in a world of hurt.

  • Corlyss

    “In turn, then, children come to exist more and more for the sake of the parents, and are anxiously watched and fretted over.”

    Are you serious? Who the heck did children ever exist for? Certainly not their own sakes.

    • B-Sabre

      Biologically speaking, your children don’t exist for you, they exist to perpetuate your genes. Who you are as a “person” or maybe “personality” doesn’t enter into it.
      But I think the point of the discussion that children are supposed to be more than an ornament or accessory to the parents – children are supposed to grow up to be functioning, survivable and hopefully contributing members of society.

      • Corlyss

        “your children don’t exist for you, they exist to perpetuate your genes.”
        ‘Splain to me how that’s a distinction without a difference.
        I understand the theoretical argument that they are supposed to be more than just means to an end, but I don’t think it comports with reality, not 10,000 years ago, not 5000 years ago, not 2000 years ago, not 100 years ago, not now, not ever. They may be products of biological urges, but once here, they darn well better do their share to help the family succeed or they don’t get to perpetuate THEIR stirpes. What’s changed in the last 95 years is the total separation of their natural sociological function from their current existence. Now they are their parents’ ornaments, esp. since contraception and abortion are so readily available.

  • Leah Keever

    Who wrote this? Did an editor even look at the first paragraph? “…how that EFFECTS their development.” “…..they do LESS things on their own…” I didn’t even read any further because I have no interest in this person’s opinion.

    • Neville Brand

      affect- /əˈfɛkt/ (transitive)
      1)to act upon or influence, esp in an adverse way: damp affected the sparking plugs.

      2)to move or disturb emotionally or mentally: her death affected him greatly
      (of pain, disease, etc) to attack

      • Leah Keever

        How wonderful. Now look up the meaning of “effect” which is the word that was actually used before they finally edited the piece. Duh.

        • Neville Brand

          You’re the one who asked if an editor had seen the piece, and now you say it was edited.

          Do you even know your ass from a hole in the ground?

          Another American dyke flaps her penis holster.

          • rheddles

            In appropriate ad hominem.

          • Leah Keever

            Yes, I asked A DAY AGO if an editor had seen it. Now an editor has, but you came late to the party.
            My quotes from A DAY AGO (can you read?) point out the errors. They are now fixed.

            Why am I even explaining to you? You’re an idiot.

  • Neville Brand

    More evidence of America’s ever quickening decline…..I LOVE IT.
    The sooner that nation of dreck and it’s psychopathic populace slide into the black hole it’s always been the better off everything and everyone will be.

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