I’m beginning to notice a trend. It’s something that what we’ve been talking about at Playbourhood is just a small part of. It’s a reflection, I believe, of our desire to recapture the essence of what makes us family and forms a community. As a society, we’re coming to realize that piano lessons, power skating, a perfect golf swing or advanced geometry tutorials are not the best way to help our six year olds get a head start in life. What they truly need are better social skills, emotional stability, self-confidence and a sense of community belonging. These are the very things that we learned as children growing up – with far less structure. The Playbourhood movement is just the tip of the iceberg. There is a growing awareness and a variety of people are taking a look at other sides of the iceberg. For example, the interest in Carl Honore’s book noted (here and here) in previous articles touches on the need to “de-program” our kids. Then there’s the Dads Today group. Their goal is to encourage and support fathers’ involvement in their children’s lives. According to organizers, “every father leaves footprints of morals, values, priorities and how to make decisions.” Check out their web site here.
Dads Today is important point of view in gaining a full and true picture of the whole iceberg. Developing a great Playbourhood isn’t just about sending your kids outside to play. It’s also about providing the environment in which children can grow and develop into healthy and happy adults. Kids need us to be there while we let them play. It’s the kind of thing that the men at Dads Today are encouraging. Sure they focus on fathers, but we can all learn a thing or two from the lessons they’re teaching.