Sir: What has happened to our playgrounds? What mollycoddling milksop decided to pave them with rubbery squishiness? I took my young nephew to a city playground this afternoon hoping to toughen him up a bit. I think three and a half is the right age to start getting rid of any unfortunate effeminate characteristics a boy might have, and there’s nothing like a few lacerations to bring out a boy’s masculine side. But no matter how hard he fell down, or how many times I pushed him, we didn’t see any blood at all. When I was a boy, playgrounds were paved with concrete, with great jagged shards of broken glass embedded in it to give you some motivation not to fall down. I tremble to think of the generation of pansies we’re raising. What’s worse, when I got my nephew back home, my useless little brother wouldn’t let me smack the boy a few times with a belt buckle. It’s not like I’d really hurt him—just give him a few scars to brag about in nursery school. If we keep coddling our youngsters this way, where will our next generation of hockey hooligans come from? —Sincerely, Roland “Biff” Stew, M.Ed., Dormont.


  1. Jared says:

    To the Editor:

    Who’s mollycoddled? May I humbly suggest that it is your correspondent of June 18 (“Playground Perils Pilfered”), who arrogantly demands that the state be so benevolent as to provide the means of toughening up toddlers? This is a task that is routinely accomplished by the private sector absent any government intervention, and if Mr. Stew would take the least initiative, he would doubtless find many a construction site, landfill, quarry, or abandoned strip mine in which his young nephew may romp, play, and be punctured by sundry sharp objects.

    Unfortunately, we’ve raised a generation of mollycoddled mendicants who think it takes a village to raise a child, and then raise a commotion when the village doesn’t match the results of good, old-fashioned ruggedly individualistic child-rearing.

  2. Not GoingAnywhere says:

    “toughening up toddlers?” In my village we ensured the young soldiers were as far from the horrors of war as possible when young.

    The boys need to grow up and understanding what they are fighting for prior to being tainted by the failings of men.

    It does take a village.

  3. Jared says:

    Not GoingAnywhere: You can have your Delian League. I cast my lot with the Peloponnesus.

  4. NotGoingAnywhere@gmail.com says:

    Jared: Of course it is your choice to cast your lot where you see fit. However the brave soldiers of Delian would rather die in a celebration of life than see victory in mechanical obedience of war.

    Such IS Life.

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