Tuesday 10 November 2009

Danger, Will Robinson!

Yesterday I had to go to funeral. It wasn't a particularly sad event as the person was 102, but it was sentimental. It was more of an end mark to a life that had fitted that had been jammed full of events and experiences.

After the service my brother and I were talking about all the things that had happened in the past 102 years and how amazing it would have been to have lived through them all. 
We then reminisced about all the things that we used to get up to in suburbia that kids these days would never get to do. Riding motorbikes sans helmets, playing in the bush without parental supervision, letting off fireworks in the backyard and a whole host of other very fun things.

These days kids aren't allowed to do much at all, mainly due to the kid who lost his eye on cracker night and the other kid who suffered a head injury on the motorbike or those kids who blew up their faces with gelignite they found in the bush (I actually knew these kids...).

The question is, that while are kids are super safe, are we wrapping them too tight in cotton wool? Are we depriving them of experiences that will help them carve they way in the world. Make them be bold thinkers, inventors or explorers. Will they be a generation of people who play it safe and take the middle road? Will they be kids who just see 'Danger' wherever they go?

What's the answer to keeping your kids safe, but giving them enough freedom to discover the world?


  1. I'd say Trust Your Instincts but at the same time always err on the side of caution. My 14yo son only started taking the public transport to go to school beginning of last year. I would have wanted it earlier but it didn't feel right at the time.

  2. It's hard isn't it? My childhood was a lot like what you've described, and I still want that for GG, but then I think of all the "close shaves" we had, and shudder... Still have definite plans to teach her how to catch yabbies in the creek, ride a horse bareback and build a proper campfire though!!

  3. I liked this post, I often think about this.
    I had so much time on my own as a child, just getting up to mischief and being very inventive. It's very sad that children will never again experience heading out the door in the morning and only returning at mealtimes - is it the end of imaginative, unsupervised play?


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