Are Children Today Overprotected?

In North Wales, there is an adventure playground called “The Land.” To be honest, it looks like an old junkyard covered with tires, old mattresses, boards, shacks, boxes, tools, and other random stuff. In this playground, children are allowed to build, create, and explore. Playground workers are there to make sure children don’t get hurt, but they try not to interfere with the kids’ adventures. The custom is for parents not to show up at all! And did I mention that there’s fire? Yes. There’s fire.

I found out about this playground through The Atlantic article “The Overprotected Kid.” It’s a great article with terrific pictures from the playground and thought-provoking words about today’s children, who are almost constantly watched over by adults and kept from risk.

I remember, as a child, I spent a large quantity of time outside and out of the sight of my parents. I ran, climbed, crawled, and got bruised and hideously dirty. Are children today overprotected? And is it affecting their creativity, self-confidence, emotional expression, and complex-thinking skills? What do you think?

All the best,





6 thoughts on “Are Children Today Overprotected?

  1. I certainly do think that children today are over protected. Just like you I was out all day playing, with whatever my imagination would conjure up. I, too, was bruised, got scratches, and very dirty. However, I didn’t rely on my parents to provide entertainment.

    Today children seem to not know what to do with themselves if there isn’t a form of electronics around. This is very sad. While I know that electronics are here to stay, I don’t think that our chldren need rely on them so much for entertainment. It saddens me when I see students in a car, going to school in the mornings, watching t.v. What is wrong with a good conversation with parents.

    In my 5th grade classroom, I have many students that can not think for themselves. They rely on me to tell them exactly what to do. Unfortunately, the parents seem to think the same way.

    Yes, I think that children are over-protected and as a result they are not learning to think for themselves.

    I am sorry that this rambles, and it probably doesn’t seem to relate, but in my mind it does. Plus no time to edit. I must get my work done in these 45 minutes of unencumbered time (LOL) that I am provided each day.

  2. Yes, kids today are overprotected. I too, remember staying outside from dusk to dawn exploring my surrounding and using my imagination.

  3. Yes, kids are more protected than they ever have been, but unfortunately it is not always that the parents are too overprotective, but instead the fact that the environment has changed in many areas. And is some of these areas, the environment is not safe for children to play unprotected.

  4. I respect the need to be cautious as places are not as safe as they used to be, but I do see a trend of kids not being able to figure things out on their own. They constantly say, “I don’t know how” or they just walk away without even trying. They require constant entertainment and lack being inquisitive and persistent in learning how to do things for themselves. We are hurting our kids by hovering and doing everything for them and bailing them out the minute things aren’t going their way.

  5. Totally agree. We explored and we got hurt but we learned about danger and keeping ourselves safe. Today children are driven from class to class or sport to sport. Everything is run by adults. Our kids will have no imagination in the future. Sad to think that way but i wonder where will the inventors, the artists and writers come from. Another issue is that schools have to always worry that IF a child is hurt they will get sued.

  6. Darlene, I agree with you 100%!!!

    Here’s something I’ve noticed over the past 2-3 years in my pre-k classes: The more academically advance a child is, the less likely he/she is to take care of daily/common acts. The top child in my class this year cannot zip his jacket. He cannot open his water bottle. He cannot open his spoon pack from the cafeteria. When asked to give something a try, he becomes upset. His grandmother yelled at me when she heard me encourage him to try and zip his jacket.

    Has anyone else experienced this???

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