Friday, December 10, 2004

The unbearable dangers of safety

You'll find more children playing Virtua Cricket on PS2 than the real thing these days. No wonder the Black Caps still rely on Chris Harris and Cairns. The joy of riding a bike has become a chore ever since bike helmets were made compulsory, yet the Health freaks gasp in surprise at rising obesity problems.

'Behold the wholly sanitized childhood, without skinned knees or the occasional C in history. "Kids need to feel badly sometimes," says child psychologist David Elkind, professor at Tufts University. "We learn through experience and we learn through bad experiences. Through failure we learn how to cope." ' So writes Hara Estroff Marano in A Nation of Wimps.