You might be under the impression that playing outside is good for kids. Well, you’re wrong. Some American parents have been known to send their kids outside for as much as 4-7 minutes per day. They must be foolishly unaware of the risks, and there are many. See?
1. Grass. It’s so, so…earthy. It masks hidden horrors. There might be worms slithering around between grass blades. And those blades? They are so sharp and pointy-ended. Dangerous.
2. Wind. Hair gets tangled in the wind. Sometimes hair blows across a kid’s cheeks and tickles their nose or gets caught on an eyelash. Wind picks up dust, dirt, and leaves and whips these particles through the air at dizzying speeds, right at kids’ faces, where they might leave a dirt streak or lodge in eyes.
3. Birds. They poop. They poop from way up high in tree branches or from telephone wires or simply while flying overhead. That poop could fall on a shoulder or on a head. It is probably carrying bird flu.
4. Concerned parents. Not all parents let their kids play outside, because they know the dangers of grass, wind, and birds. While their beloved and protected children are inside playing video games, these parents are sitting at the window with the police on speed dial, ready to turn in any parent who lets a 12-year old step out the door by himself.
5. Other kids. Other kids have their own ideas of how to play outside. Agreeing on a game might require compromise or creativity. What a waste of time. Other kids might be able to run faster or throw a ball harder and this challenge to my child’s superiority might damage their self-esteem. Not worth the risk.
6. Kidnappers. You, of course, aren’t a kidnapper, but everybody else is and everybody else is lurking on streets where children have been seen getting the mail by themselves or swinging on tire swings.
7. Skinned knees. Playing outside brings with it the distinct risk of getting a skinned knee. This means blood, tears, pain, weeks of trying not to pick scabs, and possibly a modeling-career-ruining scar. No good parent would submit their child to this extreme level of suffering and indignity.
8. No schedule. Playing outside offers too much free time to children. They might spin in circles until they get dizzy. They might lay in the grass like a pile of non-genius skin and bones and someone might see them there, destroying their chances at a full ride to Harvard. They might — oh God forbid — they might get bored.
9. No lessons. Everyone knows that kids only learn things in school or when they are being taught. They need piano lessons and swimming lessons and art lessons and French lessons. None of these happens outside, where nothing of value can be learned because no adult is teaching it to them.
10. It’s free. Nothing important or valuable comes free. The more expensive the activity that a kid participates in, the more that child is loved. Good parenting is all about the price tag.
Kids who play outside are abandoned, unloved, stupid, dirty, bloody, smothered in bird shit, and have tangled hair. You can easily spot them in the backseats of police cars, and they will be grateful for anyone brave and compassionate enough to approach and offer them a Krispy Kreme and an iPad.
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