Remember the snow days of your childhood? Sleeping in late, hot cocoa after a day of sledding and so much time spent outside you weren't quite sure you would ever be able to feel your fingertips again?

What happened to those snow days of yore? Quite simply, we destroyed them. Parenting became a full-time job. We came to believe that entertaining kids on an off day became our jobs, not theirs. This phenomenon, perpetuated by Pinterest, leaves parents in the role of cruise ship entertainment director.

During the last few snowstorms in my town, everyone lamented all of the "no sledding" signs on every hill, even ones in parks not near roadways. Thing is, I'm pretty sure I saw these signs as a kid, maybe they were “no trespassing” signs. The difference is, I went sledding alone with friends and simply ignored them, as kids do. We walked around town or around the park, picked a hill, and went careening down until someone yelled at us to stop.

When I was a kid, it was my best friend's older brother's job to watch out for us, to tell us not to go down the biggest hills head first, to bring us home when we got hurt. When he moved out and we started bringing her baby sister out, his job became our own. We were not nearly as good at it, and we brought her home after she took some spills. We learned responsibility and problem solving those afternoons, skills younger generations are constantly told they are lacking.

According to a new study, we were also certainly healthier and more active than our always-supervised counterparts. The Canadian study, reported on by the Globe and Mail explains,

Researchers analyzed data from a survey of more than 1,000 parents of Grade 5 and 6 students at 16 public schools across Toronto.

Kids had to wear an activity measurement unit for seven days and parents were asked to self-report how often they allowed their kids to go out on their own.

And about 35 per cent of parents polled never let their kids to go out solo.

Kids who were allowed some time out to explore on their own or with friends were more physically active than kids who were always supervised.

My mother, even on her most patient days, never would have spent the hours that we did outside with us. She had her own stuff to do. My job was being a kid, but hers wasn't just being a mother. She knew that I had to be left to do my kid stuff, and she was home waiting to hear about my day at the end of it with dinner–and of course, a mug of hot cocoa.