The Boston Globe op ed piece today 9-30-11 is ‘serious need for free play’ by Carlo Rotella, director of American studies at Boston College, and I love it!

The gist:

“…free play is essential to a child’s development – not only to mental health, but to the acquisition of crucial abilities the child will need in life. To create more opportunities for your children to engage in free play, you … need to convince other parents to do the same.… you’ll have to go around to your neighbors and talk them…. It will be a test of your ability to cooperate with others, solve problems and regulate your emotions….”

What appeals most to me in this is that Prof. Rotella urges parents to talk to each other, a simple, radical concept.  ‘Radical’ means ‘root’, of course, and we do need to get back to our roots when it comes to child rearing and to raising parents. We are too often consumed with fear about what might happen to our wonderful ones. Talking together we can reassure each other and in doing so we will help our own and other parents’ children grow into the confident, capable young people we want and need them to be.

Start today, have a chat. Talk with a parent you know. Introduce yourself to a parent you don’t know. Let’s make parent peer support something we do every day. And let’s make free play something we encourage our kids to do every day.

The link: