ERIC Number: EJ848631
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Reference Count: 22
What Kids Don't Get to Do Anymore and Why
Sutterby, John A.
Childhood Education, v85 n5 p289 2009
Since 1981, the amount of time children spend with each other or alone without adult supervision has declined, especially in the area of outdoor free play. Free time for children has declined 16% between 1981 and 1997. A number of researchers have examined societal changes over the last century, especially from the mid-1970s to today. According to Stearns (2003), parental anxiety has risen throughout the 20th century, as children are perceived as both more valuable and more vulnerable. With falling mortality rates for children and increases in parental advice came the idea that if anything bad happened to the child, then the parents were somehow responsible. In this article, the author takes a recent historical look at the role of parents in keeping children safe. The author explores the increase in parental anxiety, the role of information in creating this anxiety, and the resultant consequences for children. The author concludes with a call for caregivers to use both common sense and research, rather than media hype, to guide their child-rearing practices.
Descriptors: Play, Parent Attitudes, Mortality Rate, Parent Role, Caregivers, Anxiety, Child Development, Child Rearing, Leisure Time, Child Safety, Parenting Styles, Access to Information
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A