I must have looked like a nodding dog while I was reading this article
– it makes so much sense! It just can’t be healthy for children’s development to keep them so closely supervised all the time. And, as the article says, people tend to forget the statistics which say the vast majority of crimes against children are not committed by strangers – I think it’s just so much easier to focus on the “stranger danger” issues, because that’s something you can actually do something about, you can teach your kids not to take sweets from strangers, you can mollycoddle them and supervise them in the playground, so you get a sense of control. One of the quotes from British parents in response to this “take your children to the park… and leave them there” idea was from a dad who said that he’s not willing to take this kind of risk because he needs to know his kids are safe
. But hey, can you ever really know that? Is there such a thing as complete and total safety in this world? All you can really have is an illusion
that your kids are safe.
And if you wrap them up in cotton wool, you’re taking different risks – you’re risking your kids growing up without having a clue how to make decisions for themselves, how to make good judgements about risk-taking. You’re risking your kids growing up to be over-anxious adults.
And yes, I know, it’s easy for me to say – I haven’t got kids to worry about. But I’m pretty sure that if I did, I wouldn’t want to raise them on the fear & anxiety diet that my own mum brought me up on.
For more about this stuff go to Free-Range Kids – How to Raise Safe, Self-Reliant Children