Helicopter Parent Syndrome Starts on the Playground

Kids can get pret­ty intense exer­cise – and have loads of fun — just play­ing on the play­ground.

But researchers at North Car­oli­na State Uni­ver­si­ty con­clud­ed that hov­er­ing par­ents, over-con­cerned with safe­ty, can put a damper on these cru­cial expe­ri­ences of child­hood.

A team of observers fanned out to 20 neigh­bor­hood parks in the Durham, NC area to take notes on kids at play.  They found that when par­ents were too close by, they tend­ed to inhib­it more high­ly active behav­iors.

There were three oth­er inter­est­ing find­ings.

  • Girls were less like­ly to be involved in high­ly active play than boys.
  • The pres­ence of one or two high­ly active kids tend­ed to pull up the activ­i­ty lev­el of oth­er kids in the group.  And
  • Orga­nized sports also fos­tered high­er lev­els of phys­i­cal activ­i­ty than did unstruc­tured play.

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About Aaron Bynen

Aaron is a health conscious individual living in the Pacific Northwest.

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