Cover Story: The Overprotected Kid
"Hey! Parents," writes The Atlantic's national correspondent Hanna Rosin. "Leave those kids alone." In this month's cover story, Rosin exposes the consequences of overprotective parenting: how the rising preoccupation with safety has transformed childhood, stripping it of independence, risk-taking, and discovery. New research shows that this helicopter parenting does more harm than good, robbing kids of creativity and courage, without actually making them any safer. Rosin explains how our safety-obsessed society came to be, and explores the emerging countermovement. Traveling to Wales, she visits a radical new breed of playground that allows kids to manipulate their surroundings, and seems more like a junkyard (with water obstacles, tires, and even fires) than the mulch-and-rubber surfaces of today. At TheAtlantic.com, see Rosin's story in the new responsive feature template, where you can also watch a video of kids playing at the Wales playground, The Land.
Is Stop and Frisk Worth It?
"'Get on the car!' Kiairus Diamond has heard these words from Newark police on three occasions in the past several months ... Kiairus, a sophomore, sat with Roman Richardson, a senior, and Joshua Rodriguez, a junior ... Roman and Joshua have heard it, too: Roman once, and Joshua, in one form or another, 12 times." When a New York judge ruled last summer that the NYPD's stop-and-frisk policy was unconstitutional, civil-rights activists rejoiced. But law-enforcement officials are facing one of the biggest policy changes they have ever seen. Daniel Bergner embeds himself in Newark, New Jersey, a community that has been battling with stop-and-frisk, to provide a close examination of the policy from all angles. In extensive ride-alongs with the police, conversations with those stopped, and interviews with community leaders, Bergner seeks to address the loudest and most painful present debate in American criminal justice: Are young men of color being unfairly—and unconstitutionally—singled out?
Field of Schemes
In a small Iowa town, Hollywood turned a cornfield into the set for what would become an instant classic. Since Field of Dreams debuted 25 years ago, the site had been a quiet tourist attraction. But when Chicago developers recently purchased the space, with grand plans to turn it into a mega baseball complex, it left the community bitterly divided. Adam Doster travels to Dubuque County in search of the answer to a curious question: Should the field's fake authenticity be preserved?
The Case for Strong Mayors
National correspondent James Fallows makes a case for why cities work when Washington doesn't: strong mayors. As part of his American Futures dispatches, Fallows focuses on Greenville, South Carolina, and Burlington, Vermont—cities whose stories have surprising points of resonance. Travel in smaller-town America leaves Fallows optimistic: "Once you look away from the national level, the American style of self-government can seem practical-minded, non-ideological, future-oriented, and capable of compromise."