Friday, November 3, 2023

Let the kids play

Russel Moore's newsletter (Moore to the Point) which arrived in my inbox on October 20, 2023 is entitled Let the Children Play: Their Lives Depend on It.

He writes:

Most people know that something is going badly awry with the next generation.

It’s not often that an executive summary from The Journal of Pediatrics ricochets around the internet. But this week we saw just that with the findings of a study from three researchers entitled “Decline in Independent Activity as a Cause of Decline in Children’s Mental Well-Being: Summary of the Evidence.”

The broad thesis is that, while many factors have led to the national emergency we are seeing with adolescent mental health, there is one major factor that is insufficiently recognized: the decline in unstructured, unmanaged, and unsupervised play.

He continues:

It turns out that play and exploration are essential for what it means for us to thrive as human beings. And by play, I do not mean organized sports or hobbies (while those are important). I mean the sort of unstructured freedom to independently encounter obstacles and problems—and overcome them. And to pursue this for its own sake, not to put an item on a college admission application or a résumé or even to gain status with one’s peers.

This might look like spending a day wandering through the woods, playing an impromptu stickball game with the neighbors on a city street, or combing the neighborhood looking for arrowheads or lost coins—without a hovering parent in sight.

Subscribe to Dr. Moore's newsletter here


Post a Comment

<< Home