Jason’s wife recently shared this article on Facebook from the New York Times, in which studies have shown that playgrounds may TOO safe, especially for older children.
The article does well explaining both the findings of the psychologists, and acknowledging some of the safety measures taken by playground developers are appreciated by parents. It is an interesting insight, and while at first sounds counter-intuitive, actually makes more sense when seriously considered and mulled over.
“By gradually exposing themselves to more and more dangers on the playground, children are using the same habituation techniques developed by therapists to help adults conquer phobias, according to Dr. Sandseter and a fellow psychologist, Leif Kennair, of the Norwegian University for Science and Technology.”
As I mentioned something to this effect from a personal perspective, in Tuesdays Child is Full of Grace,where I point my clumsiness from childhood has served me pretty well when it comes to Jiu Jitsu and Judo. Hell, I’m still clumsy, but I feel years of practice have prepared me to not panic, which leads to a better chance of avoiding serious injury to my body. I’m not saying let children go cliff diving or base jumping, but let them run around, trip once or twice and get used to the feeling: take the mystery out of “what will happen if I fall down?”
The article is definitely worth a read, so hop to it! 😉