The Wussification of American Culture

Check this out from Reason Magazine.

A whopping 68 percent of Americans think there should be a law that prohibits kids 9 and under from playing at the park unsupervised, despite the fact that most of them no doubt grew up doing just that.

What’s more: 43 percent feel the same way about 12-year-olds. They would like to criminalize all pre-teenagers playing outside on their own (and, I guess, arrest their no-good parents)

Some of this may be artifact of the tendency of poll takers to want to answer polls the way they perceive to be correctly, but still. I was running off playing in the woods and playing sports with the neighbor kids from around the 3rd grade IIRC.

Perhaps part of the problem here is with the word park, although the second paragraph says “outside.” People hear park and they automatically think creepy pedophile lurking about for young kids.

The problem these days, as I see it, is kids who don’t want to go outside because they want to stay in and play video games. We struggle with this at the Phillips’ household. We need more unsupervised outdoor play, not less.

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5 thoughts on “The Wussification of American Culture

  1. weavercht

    Easy solution: Locate the only game machine/computer in the public area of the house, so it can be monitored/limited.

    Or just ban them. The parents are in charge.

    Montessori and Waldorf are two popular pre-school educational systems. Both encourage imaginative and, ah, voluntary, unregulated learning. The idea seems to be to create an environment where children can constructively play within a more natural setting. So, while they are “progressive” systems, they’re also reactionary, which is quite common among [not-so] “Left-wing” concepts.

    Older children though of course require discipline. However, I’ve met adults who were home schooled and allowed an undisciplined childhood – they turn out brilliant. So, perhaps the best system varies with the child/personality…

    I don’t like how children are saturated in the mass culture. They link into the Internet, the TV, games, etc. Some of them develop difficulty interacting with other children. And the society is so cosmopolitan that I question whether some develop true friendships as opposed to just making connections. If you have a hundred friends you see on occasion, you might truly have no friends, only acquaintances.

    Some communities are of course unsafe. This is an increasing trend.

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  2. weavercht

    What I’ve found interesting is how you can buy toys that teach various concepts – or buy a variety of board games that encourage strategy and complex thinking. I assume scrabble encourages a wider vocabulary…

    Video games probably strengthen a child in firm moderation, strengthen his hand-eye coordination.

    The modern parent assumes the modern environment is healthy, as was his environment growing up. Conservatives perhaps have an advantage in being less trusting of their environment. It is not a virtue to “go-with-the-flow” in modern society.

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