A Nation of Wimps
Maybe it's the cyclist in the park, trim under his sleek metallic blue helmet, cruising along the dirt path... at three miles an hour. On his tricycle. Or perhaps it's today's playground, all-rubber-cushioned surface where kids used to skin their knees. And... wait a minute... those aren't little kids playing. Their mommies—and especially their daddies—are in there with them, coplaying or play-by-play coaching . Few take it half-easy on the perimeter benches, as parents used to do, letting the kids figure things out for themselves. Then there are the sanitizing gels, with which over a third of parents now send their kids to school, according to a recent survey. Consider the teacher new to an upscale suburban town. Behold the wholly sanitized childhood , without skinned knees or the occasional C in history. Messing up, however, even in the playground, is wildly out of style. "Life is planned out for us," says Elise Kramer, a Cornell University junior.
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