Being a parent has opened my eyes to many things that we do in our society that is really harming our kids more than helping them. I used to observe the behaviors or practices and didn't think much of it because everyone did it, right? But now, thanks to a very good friend, I see more and think more about the long term effects of what all these "modern day parenting practices" mean for kids later in life.
Klint and I take the kids to the park quite a bit. Most of the time I will sit in a place where I can see all the kids, lend a hand when needed, but just watch the kids play and interact with each other. Also, most of the time, I am the ONLY parent doing this. All the other moms are hovering over the kids, ordering their children to play a certain way ("No Liam, hold the truck like this and roll it over here"), and giving them silly rules that have no place in an outdoor play setting such as "Don't pick up that rock, it is dirty", "No running!", "Don't jump off the stair, you will break something", and my personal favorite "Don't dig in the dirt or pick up sticks".
Meanwhile, I am letting Gabby climb wayyy high up a tree, give all the little girls sticks to dog with, and even pick up a huge beetle for the kids to look at. I let them go into the woods off the path with me, pick up rocks and throw them into the stream, and even *gasp* jump over fallen tree branches.
What is the point of taking kids to the park if they can't touch anything, run or yell, and have all these rules that have no purpose? Just let the kids play for goodness sake! Let them use sticks to make fairy forts, dig for buried acorns, and pretend something is different than what it is!!