Not That We’d Want It to Happen This Way! But Could COVID Course-Correct a Too-Structured Childhood?

Ironically, Childhood Anxiety Could Go Down

In this New York Post op-ed I wrote with Let Grow co-founder Dr. Peter Gray, we say:

SILVER LININGS are hard to come by, but maybe this could be one.

With the cataclysmic coronavirus upon us, it is just the tiniest bit possible that, in terms of child development, something good could come of it: A way to press the reset button on child anxiety. Yes, even during — and precisely because we are in — these insanely anxious times. ….”

We suggest that before COVID, childhood anxiety was one of the worst problems young people were dealing with, and that it grew, at least in part, out of having very little autonomy:

Across the economic spectrum, parents were trying to make their kids’ lives perfect — and accidentally depriving them of the chance to punch through some problems on their own. And grow up in the process.

What would it take to reverse this trend?


While of course parents and their kids are now cheek-by-jowl, 24/7, there’s no way any parent can organize their kids’ entire day. And so —

Thrown from the soccer-Kumon continuum, kids are starting to do all the things they didn’t have time to do or weren’t trusted to do before. We’re already hearing about marathon Lego sessions, cookie baking, sibling-sitting and the videos kids are making in their unleashed time.

If you have a story to share about your kids finding some new interest, I’d love to hear it. You can comment here, or send me an email: [email protected] dot   org.

Here’s wishing us all patience and luck. — L.

                                                         Photo from Unsplash by Sven Brandsma (seffen99)
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