Entrepreneurial Dad Runs a Neighborhood “Playborhood”

This article
talks about one father’s goal of raising his kids in “a playborhood — a version of American kid life featured in shows like “The Little Rascals” and “Leave It to Beaver,” in which kids build forts and ride bikes outside, unsupervised — free, skirting danger, but ultimately always lucky.”

The article discusses how the father’s parenting styles overlap with entrepreneurial behavior. Mike, the father of 3, stated a problem that he noticed with parenting today: “There are a million studies documenting the negative effects of lack of free play in children . . . I asked myself: What am I going to do about it for my kids?”

Describing his solution, the article states: “He analyzed the problem like an entrepreneur, by thinking of children as consumers and seeing their time as a scarce resource.”

“Mike decided he had to corral his neighbors to sign on to his platform. He designed big neon-yellow plastic signs like those used to warn of wet floors, emblazoned with an icon of children playing and the word Playborhood. He invited kids to parties and gave the signs to their parents, to put in their yards and on the road in front of their houses so their children could ‘reclaim the streets from cars.’”

It’s a longer read, but fascinating.

This following section seemed particularly relevant to our discussions of the role of law: “Mike tells me that people sometimes ask him if he is afraid of lawsuits in the event of an injury on his property. He would never let fear of being sued dictate how he lives his life, he says. What about second-degree manslaughter, I asked: an accident enabled by negligence, if, say, another child — or even one of his own — broke his neck leaping from the playhouse onto the trampoline. (Unenclosed trampolines are a staple of personal-injury law; an estimated 85,000 children under 14 were hurt on trampolines last year.) Does he ever worry about that? He flashed me a look, then snorted with laughter.”

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