There was a disturbing article in The Independent last week about the way that British children are being deprived in the name of keeping them safe.
A typical eight-year-old’s “home habitat” - the area that children are allowed to travel around on their own - has shrunk by 90% over the past 30 years. … Parents fear being judged harshly if their kids are seen outdoors unaccompanied… Behaviour that would a few years ago have been ‘larking about’ is now labelled anti-social
Parents are more fearful of “stranger danger’ than ever — the other parents I speak to “know” that the world is more dangerous for their children than it used to be. Statistically though, children are no more likely to be hurt by strangers today than they were 30 years ago. Perceived danger has increased, real danger is constant.
I’m not writing this as a disinterested observer. My soon-to-be 8 year old daughter is desperate to be allowed to walk to school on her own. My head thinks it is a great idea, but my stomach knots at the prospect. I believe very strongly that children need to be allowed some independence, even to be exposed to modest risk, if they are to develop normally. That’s what my intellect says.
My emotions are telling my mind to shut up and mind its own business.
What do you think?