The Modern Conditions That Limit Children – Olivia Papa

Something that stood out to me in the article was the paragraph about Paul Goodman predicting, in 1962, the future conditions which would limit children from becoming familiar with their community. In an earlier journal entry, I discussed the current technology-focused lifestyle that most children have and how it can be diminishing to their experience with the environment that surrounds them. While I do think technology is a leading cause in this dilemma, Goodman mentions a series of other attributing factors that I hadn’t given much thought to beforehand. For example, he mentions traffic. I found this particularly interesting because I know that the area I grew up in is constantly becoming more and more congested. While we live 15 minutes from Jersey City, it can take my mom more than an hour to get to and from work daily. During an internship that I had in the summer, I would drive from my town (Kearny), to the neighboring one (Harrison), and what should take 10 minutes could take me more than 40. I don’t know exactly why congestion has built up so much in this area, other than maybe because it is so close to the job opportunities in New York, but I can certainly see how this limits children from playing freely in their town/on the street. I can also see how this might mean more children, and people in general, are spending their time in cars being transported rather than walking around the city.

I thought it was interesting that the article mentioned today’s children are likely to be age-segregated, as well. When I was younger, I was friends with a lot of people from different age groups. I thought about how those friendships came to be, and they were usually through knowing my neighbors or joining community activities. For example, the kids on my block ranged from five years older than me, to three years younger than me, but a lot of us would play manhunt or ride bikes together during the summer. I also played a lot of recreational sports, such as soccer and softball, which guaranteed an allotted time where I would practice with girls both older and younger than me. Without this community participation, I can see how a child would be limited to knowing only the people in their age group, just from school.

Below I added a picture of the park a block down from my house where a lot of my neighbors and I would hang out.

Image result for manor park kearny nj

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