The Overprotected Kid

My brother sent me the most fascinating article this weekend. If you were the kind of kid that was out playing all over your neighborhood in the summer, making forts, hitting up the rope swing at the creek, and all of this completely unsupervised, you will really enjoy this piece written on the Atlantic. 

It describes "The Land" a place where kids can go play almost completely without adult supervision to explore, make trouble, build fires, basically whatever their littler hearts desire. It reminds us of what imaginary play is like, why it is a good idea for your kids to get dirty and into trouble, and that getting your kids off the cookie cutter play grounds that we hover over watching our kids' every move is a good idea. 

What I found most interesting is that the creation of a sort of "fear parenting" has made us all forget that kids can be independent, make good decisions, and all that time wondering off without mom and dad makes them creative, inspired, and strong people. And that statistically, while accidents happen the do not happen as much as we might think. Plus, they might just be a part of life in general whether we are watching or not.  

We have been looking at play sets for the backyard and this article makes me rethink it so much. If you have the time (it is kind of long), read the entire article, but even just skimming it with your coffee this morning makes it a great read. 

Here is the link: The Overprotected Kid

Would love to hear your thoughts. 



  1. This hit home with me - love it. If home, Logan is outside with his BFF (and sometimes fellow troublemaker) Ryder, rain or shine. They know their boundaries (3 yards) and spend their time sharpening spears, climbing in and out of trees, building forts, and collecting rocks. They are true nature boys, at heart. It took awhile to trust they could be left alone to make their decisions but 85% of the time they are good. The other 15% is a learning process. Sometimes I get the side eye from other moms that I let L 'roam' but he is super happy, independent, and free spirited. I wouldn't have it any other way.

    Great post Erin!

    1. I love that you do this since my brother and I played those same areas growing up! We played in the forest preserve across the street all day long, walked down to the lake, made forts, swung on the rope swing that is hidden back by the creek in the forest preserve. Is that still there? All the kids would meet there and cause trouble. Just enough though, lol

    2. Logan says 'huh, I don't know what she is talking about but Ryder and I will explore to find it.' ;) I will keep you posted!



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