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Health & Parenting

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Kids Playing: Slingshots vs. Video Games

Is The Dangerous Book for Boys really that dangerous, or is it just what we need?

Questions of Safety continued...

We rarely see kids playing outside on the block because of crime, she points out.

This lack of perceived safety has sired the whole concept of the “helicopter parent," she explains. "Parents literally don’t let their kids breathe and everything is so, so controlled that kids end up in the house using technological toys," she says.

"They do this to the exclusion of other activities, and kids’ attention spans become shorter, and some of the content of these video games is really way inappropriate and not psychologically healthy," she says.

In this sense, "this book is a backlash," she says.

This book also sires father-son bonding, she tells WebMD.

"It's a way to connect boys with fathers," Weingarten says. "Boys can now say, 'hey can you help me make this paper airplane,' and fathers and sons are doing projects together, and that is fantastic," she says.

In terms of physical danger posed by some of these activities, "kids scrape their knees and break their bones, it happens," she says.

"Playing is crucial, and play is learning, and that is what everyone is forgetting, and a book like this brings it back," she says.

And that is sort of what the brothers Iggulden were hoping for when they first put pen to paper.

"The original idea came about when I had a son of my own in 2000," Conn Iggulden explains. "I started looking for the sort of books I enjoyed as a boy and couldn’t find any with the sort of verve and attitude I wanted."

From there, the Iggulden brothers worked for six months in a shed, reliving everything they had ever done as kids and a few things they cared about as adults. "We honestly thought no one else would be interested, [and] it’s been enormously satisfying finding out that society has moved on from the dubious decades where we all pretended boys and girls were the same."

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Reviewed on August 01, 2007

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