11 June 2007

Raising Children in Captivity

A BBC article laments that parents don't let their children out to play with freinds:

Adrian Voce, from the Play England project, said it was unfair to blame parents as they only had their children's well-being at heart.

"Compared to the well-being derived from being out and about and socialising and growing and developing, weighed up against real threats to your child's safety - real or perceived threats - it's a no-brainer for parents," he said.

"They'd rather their child was short of a few friends and over-weight than dead on the road."

We are rearing our children in captivity - their habitat shrinking almost daily.

In 1970 the average nine-year-old girl would have been free to wander 840 metres from her front door. By 1997 it was 280 metres.

Now the limit appears to have come down to the front doorstep.

"You might get kidnapped or taken by a stranger," says Jojo.

"In the park you might get raped," agrees Holly.

Don't they yearn to go off to the woods, to climb trees and get muddy?

No, they tell me. The woods are scary. Climbing trees is dangerous. Muddy clothes get you in trouble.

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