This Is 'Playing.' This Is 'Outside.'

Backlash against oversheltering kids gains some traction
By Neil Turitz,  Newser User
Posted May 16, 2008 5:48 PM CDT
A pair of kids enjoy play time, something today's kids seem to be having less and less.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Using the flap over a New York 9-year-old allowed to find his own way home from Bloomingdale's as an example of a sea change, Rosa Brooks, writing in the Los Angeles Times, reminds us that allowing children to be outside on their own used to be the norm. "'Play,' incidentally, is a mysterious activity children engage in when not compelled to spend every hour under adult supervision," she writes.

Brooks points out that as kids play less, they suffer more from obesity and are "forced, prematurely, to do all the un-fun kinds of things adults do." Meanwhile, the mom who caught flak for allowing her son travel home on his own has started a website,, that promotes allowing "our kids the freedom we had."