Nanny State

It's "Take Our Children to the Park and Leave Them There Day"


Screw "Take Your Daughter to Work Day." Want your kids to learn about the real world? Why not let them hang out in it, unsupervised, for a little while today?

Lenore Skenazy, author of a book and blog called Free-Range Kids, has declared today a kind of kid independence day. Her suggestion:

May 22…is the very first "Take Our Children to the Park…And Leave Them There Day." The idea behind it is simple: Most of us want our children to play outside and have fun, but this is impossible because there aren't any OTHER kids outside for our kids to play with….A day to get kids outside to meet each other and re-learn the lost art of playing!

Join in any way you feel comfortable:

Once again, let me reiterate that this is not a day to leave our 2-year-olds in the park. It is meant for kids age 7 or 8 and up. And it needn't be more than an hour or even a half hour. And you can just take a walk around the block, if that's all you or your child are ready for.  And you can give them cell phones! I just want to get kids out of the house so they can frolick and maybe even plan to do this strange thing where they ask a friend to "come out and play"  again.

And a little statistical literacy to go with your freedom:

When, thanks to the odds in a country of about 60 million children, one of them fractures an arm or, God forbid, suffers anything worse, I can see where it could very easily become, "We told you so!" and, "It's all her fault!" on the part of  the media. Media that will not know who to point to when another child tests positive for diabetes, or learns that he has high blood pressure brought on by a sedentary childhood, or dies in a car crash, as 5 or 6 kids do every day.

Festivities start at 10 a.m. in a park near you. And, in case you were wondering, leaving your kids on their own in the park is totally legal—at least for now.