In the Loop

I can't wait to grow up so I can finally enjoy my childhood!

Posted at 2:32 PM on August 15, 2007 by Sanden Totten

(Photo by Darryl Kanouse via Creative Commons license.)
legos.jpg
What is it like to be a kid these days?

If you ask around, you'll hear a lot of people say it's nothing like when they were growing up. Kids are over-protected, over-nurtured and over-booked. They'll say "In my day, we'd play kick the can and climb trees and tumble down hills or just do nothing all day long."

That's the kind of childhood that this article for Psychology Today says we aren't giving the kids. From the article:

"Middle-class children in America are so overscheduled that they have almost no 'nothing time.' They have no time to call on their own resources and be creative." says Diane Ehrensaft [psychologist and professor at The Wright Institute in Berkeley, California.]

Yikes. It looks like creative unstructured time is loosing it's place in the American childhood. But wait, what's this? It seems to have resurfaced elsewhere . . . In the workplace!

Check out this blog post about Google's "no-collar workplace". Or read this article about CEO's tinkering with Legos. Creativity and play are all the rage in the modern workplace. Take that gray-suited business culture of yore.

But what is going on here? Why are kids being over-scheduled and maxed out while adults are being encouraged to loosen up and let creativity and flex-time back into their lives? I'd love to hear your theories.

My guess is that we are so use to over-thinking everything that we have to remind ourselves to have fun and we have to plan out a kid's day to make sure they are growing up. I wish I could say we should all just 'go with the flow' and 'stop worrying so much' . . . but I'd have read some studies first to make sure "going with the flow" makes us better people.

Anyway, the end result of all this is a bunch of kids eager to grow up so they can finally have a chance to just sit back and play with Legos for a while.

August 2007
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