Photo 2013 by Dominick Aiello [CC-BY-SA-2.0]
In class, we watched a speech from a TedX event regarding the state of play in the modern day. In this talk, Dr. Peter Gray discusses how over the past 60 years in the United States, children had less freedom to play with other children without any adult supervision. He mentions how several studies show how in this period of time, there has been a correlation with the dramatic increase in mental disorders in children and adolescents. Some cases include anxiety, depression, helplessness, or even the tendency of suicide. Based on past and his own research, Dr. Gray encourages his audience to take part and give their children more freedom to play with others in order to maintain healthy social and emotional development and gives them steps on how which we can bring free play back to children’s lives.
I found this speech quite inspiring and also wonder about the state of play nowadays. When I think about the children when they are outside school in old-time photos that are decades old, I see them all together in streets playing ball, tag, and all sorts of games. Comparing it to now, the streets are more crowded. Once school is out, children are usually on the way home. When I thought about that, I felt disappointed; I wish that I can see the days when children are having fun together outside and look more free.