This certainly not the biggest problem facing America. But on a summer-jobs-for-young-people site (giving parents ideas to give to their kids) one suggestion was to have kids run a “Neighborhood Park Hour.” One hour, mind you.
The site explained that kids can make a flyer “and get parents interested in paying for ‘Park Hour’.”
So far, so good. Then it adds, regarding those paying parents:
“This means they still bring their children to the park and stay there with them, but they get to sit on the sidelines and read, work, or do whatever else they’d like while your child plays with the kids.”
Why does this tiny little artifact get my goat? Because under the merry guise of child empowerment it is reinforcing the idea that:
1) Parents must ALWAYS be with their kids — even when they hire someone to watch them!
2) Parenting ALWAYS requires money.
3) Children are so bored and boring, they ALWAYS require someone to entertain them.
If people started to believe again that kids can go outside without an adult, it would free parents AND their pocketbooks. It would even free up the kids to entertain themselves!
Win. Win. Win.
Here’s a summer of winning!