Great article! Thank you!

I grew up in a big city (Moscow, Russia) and had a great childhood. We all lived in apartment buildings with a large playground in the middle. Children from neighboring apartment buildings would come and play at any time during the day. There were always children playing. We mostly played "capture the flag", "hide and seek", "robbers and policemen", etc. I remember playing up to 8 hours a day during vacation time. I should admit that sometimes games were somewhat dangerous. I remember boys going to railway tracks to play, exploring construction sites or abandoned houses... I don't remember but I'm sure things happened. But overall life was full of happy play back then.

My children's life is so different! I wish I could provide them a similar environment I grew up at as far as playing with friends is concerned. But I cannot. Where we live now there are no children playing in the streets. They probably are either at home playing computer games or away taking some extra classes. To arrange for a play date I have to invest quite some time and effort calling parents and trying to get our children together. Even when children get together they are supervised and judged most of the time...

It's more or less OK if a child is a natural team player. He or she will find ways to play sooner or later. What if a child is not a team player at all? These days it will be hard for him/her to develop team playing and social skills.

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