The prospective parent looked at Jennifer Wheelhouse of Montessori Children’s House in Redmond with concern. “Is that safe?” she asked, and gestured to the new elementary playground. It was a beautiful day: sunny just a hint of a breeze. “I turned to look at the reality of my vision and smiled,” Wheelhouse recalled. Here are her thoughts about parenting today, and learning to let go (at least a little bit).
Since the 1990s schools have removed swing sets from school playground. There were accidents; I remember them myself, but not an epidemic. As a result, straight slides were removed, they picked up too much speed, and spiral slides became common. Metal, that got too hot in the summer sun, was replaced by heat-reflecting plastic and the term “helicopter parent” was introduced into our vocabulary. MORE ...