Trust Your Kids: Raise Them Cage-Free!

by Julie Hall at ProgressiveKid

Parents are a jumpy bunch these days. Even before I had my daughter I was troubled by the prevailing attitude among parents that the world has become a place too dangerous to let kids be kids anymore. Popular opinion seems to be that it is now too risky to let children do time-tested things like play outside unsupervised, climb a tree, explore on a bike, or walk to school alone, all things my friends and I enjoyed as kids. Once I became a mother I began to witness first-hand the stifling paranoia among other parents about their kids’ safety and to see the effect it was having on kids. Not surprisingly a new major study by Play England, part of the National Children’s Bureau of Great Britain, found that half of all kids no longer climb trees and 17 percent have been instructed by their parents not to play tag or chase. Although 70 percent of adults reported having had their biggest childhood adventures outside in natural settings, only 29 percent of children have such opportunities today. Depressingly, most children reported having their biggest adventures in playgrounds. Continue reading

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Planet Earth Hung Out to Dry

World Water Crisis and Droplets of Hope

by Julie Hall at ProgressiveKid

Like kudzu and other invasive species, the overgrowth of humans on Earth is a fundamental imbalance that is disrupting long-established physical and biological systems everywhere. When balance is lost, extremes ensue. In the case of our climate, these extremes include flooding, fires, storms, shifting ocean currents, ocean acidification, shrinking glaciers, drying wetlands, depleted aquifers, melting snow pack, rising sea levels, evaporating lakes and rivers, and drought. None of these extremes is good news, but water loss is the scariest, because without water life turns to dust and blows away. Continue reading

2. Unite

by Gel Fourtri

As an American woman who spent most of her life in a rock and roll band, I understand the concept of independence. Even after my injury (I dove off the stage and no one caught me, in an ironic manifestation of American isolationism), my inclination was to recover alone, and I spent months of therapy walking by myself. But it wasn’t until I reached the West Coast and, looking out over the Pacific, I saw how I couldn’t walk any farther that I figured out there wasn’t any walking away from anything or anyone. Continue reading

Underinsured Is Unsustainable

by Julie at ProgressiveKid

Underinsured is an oxymoron. If you’re insured, you’re insured—right? Wrong. As legions of us know all too well, paying high insurance premiums faithfully for years guarantees nothing but regular dings to your bank account and possibly little to nothing in return. Given that many of us have numerous insurance premiums, the dings can feel more like brutal gut kicks. Continue reading