Freedom to grow

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  • I'm going to get lynch mobbed for this! But reading another thread inspired me to share this with you all.

    Many parents are denying their children the same freedom to go out unsupervised as they enjoyed, because of fears for youngsters' safety, a survey suggests.
    Some 43% of 1,148 adults quizzed for the Children's Society said children should not be allowed out with friends until they were 14.
    But most said they had been allowed out without supervision aged 10 or younger.
    The charity said spending time with friends was fundamental to children's well-being and development.
    The over-60s were the most cautious of the respondents, with 22% of them saying children should be aged over 16 before going out alone.
    Nearly seven out of 10 (69%) of those asked said they were still in touch with at least one childhood friend.
    Isolation warning
    The survey was part of the charity's Good Childhood Inquiry - a series of reflections on childhood.
    Experts told the inquiry of the importance of letting children have the freedom to play independently and make friends.



    Being isolated from or bullied by other youngsters can lead to serious problems such as depression, aggression and anti-social and delinquent behaviour, they warned.
    Children said having lots of friends and being able to spend time with them were central to having a good childhood.
    Chief executive of the Children's Society Bob Reitemeier said: "Children have told us loud and clear that friendship matters and yet this is an area in which we appear to be failing them.
    "As a society we are in a real quandary. On the one hand we want freedom for our children, but on the other we are becoming increasingly frightened to let them out."
    He added: "If we go too far down the road of being over-protective and not allowing children to explore, to play, to be up with their peers, but also with children of other ages, then we may be influencing the way in which they look at society and social interaction later on."
    Children's well-being
    Teachers have expressed concern about the lack of play in the curriculum being taught to young people.
    There are also fears youngsters face too much pressure from national tests.
    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."




    I let my five year old have quite a lot of freedom, before we moved I let her play in the street with her friends without me, she knew where she was/was NOT allowed to go, and she never went past the boundries I set for her, I let my daughter walk across our local park and go to the toilets alone... We now live on a busy road..





    When I was growing up I also had freedom to play out with my friends... So why is there this societal paranoia, cases like the one in the media now are rare, as is child murder, assault, sexual abuse by strangers... these things are more likely to be commited by people that are allready known to the chid, and usually the childs family as well. What is this teaching our children about the world... you can trust no-one except your parents... which to my mind is saddening.




    Our children need space to grow as individuals...

  • You're right - the streets locally are deserted now during school holidays and in the evenings!! We were always out playing and used to wander for miles. Their kids will either grow up to be total rebels, finally let off the leash or tied to their parents apron strings for life!!

  • Quote from tekno slave

    Our children need space to grow as individuals...


    Agreed


    Quote

    I let my five year old have quite a lot of freedom, before we moved I let her play in the street with her friends without me, she knew where she was/was NOT allowed to go, and she never went past the boundries I set for her,


    It depends on the road but in a very large majority of them this would be, IMO, very foolish - traffic levels are FAR higher than they used to be and especially with the proliferation of part of the "chav" phenomenon (young lads racing around housing estates in cars with the stereos bumped up) they ARE more dangerous than they used to be.


    A quiet cul-de-sac in a 'nice' area is about the only place I'd be happy for a 5 year old to play unsupervised.


    Quote

    When I was growing up I also had freedom to play out with my friends...


    Me to...we'd bike for miles... But the roads were quieter then.


    Quote

    So why is there this societal paranoia, cases like the one in the media now are rare, as is child murder, assault, sexual abuse by strangers... these things are more likely to be commited by people that are allready known to the chid, and usually the childs family as well.


    Is this the case?


    Quote

    What is this teaching our children about the world... you can trust no-one except your parents... which to my mind is saddening.


    But then the opposite is usually "trust everyone" or "trust everyone in a uniform".... Perhaps a better option would be "trust the people your parents are friendly with" and that would perhaps be on a way to setting this back on an even keel.

    "The only rules that really matter are these: what a man can do and what a man can't do."

  • I couldn't agree more. I'm very lucky in that we have kids on both sides Dylan's made friends with, so when he goes to play he's only going next door but I've noticed there are never any kids on the streets these days. Even where my nan lives (small town in Ireland) the kids only play right outside their house. When I was a kid we were off exploring the fields and everything.

    It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.


    Jiddu Krishnamurti

  • Quote from Coyote

    Agreed

    :D

    Quote from coyote

    It depends on the road but in a very large majority of them this would be, IMO, very foolish - traffic levels are FAR higher than they used to be and especially with the proliferation of part of the "chav" phenomenon (young lads racing around housing estates in cars with the stereos bumped up) they ARE more dangerous than they used to be.


    A quiet cul-de-sac in a 'nice' area is about the only place I'd be happy for a 5 year old to play unsupervised.

    Well I did say before we moved... where we lived before it was more than safe to let the kids play outside... no cars...and us parents could hear them. Unfortuantely we now live on one of the busiest roads in Brighton, so my girl no longer plays outside..;)

    Quote from coyote

    Me to...we'd bike for miles... But the roads were quieter then.

    We were so lucky...



    Quote from coyote

    Is this the case?

    Afraid so...
    Mental Health and Growing Up, Third Edition
    Child abuse and neglect http://www.rcpsych.ac.uk/menta…dneglect.aspx?theme=print



    Factsheet 19: Child abuse and neglect - the emotional effects: for parents and teachers


    [B]About this factsheet[/B]


    This is one in a series of factsheets for parents, teachers and young people entitled Mental Health and Growing Up. The aims of these factsheets are to provide practical, up-to-date information about mental health problems (emotional, behavioural and psychiatric disorders) that can affect children and young people. This factsheet looks at what child abuse is and the harm it can cause, and offers practical help about how to detect it and where to get help.
    [B]Introduction[/B]


    [B]What is child abuse?[/B]


    All parents upset their children sometimes. Saying `no' and managing difficult behaviour is an essential part of parenting. Tired or stressed parents can lose control and can do or say something they regret, and may even hurt the child. If this happens often enough, it can seriously harm the child. That is why abuse is defined in law. The Children Act 1989 states that abuse should be considered to have happened when someone's actions have caused a child to suffer significant harm to their health or development.

    Significant harm means that someone is:

    • punishing a child too much
    • hitting or shaking a child
    • constantly criticising, threatening or rejecting a child
    • sexually interfering with or assaulting a child
    • not looking after a child - not giving them enough to eat, ignoring them, not playing or talking with them or not making sure that they are safe.

    [B]Who abuses children?[/B]


    Children are usually abused by someone in their immediate family circle. This can include parents, brothers or sisters, babysitters or other familiar adults. It is quite unusual for strangers to be involved.

    • Carr, A. (ed) (2000) 'What Works with Children and Adolescents?' - A Critical Review of Psychological Interventions with Children, Adolescents and their Families. London: Brunner-Routledge.
    • Jones, D. & Ramchandani, P. (1999) 'Child Sexual Abuse - Informing Practice from Research'. Oxford: Radcliffe Medical Press.
    • Monck, E. & New, M. (1996) 'Sexually Abused Children and Adolescents who are Treated in Voluntary Community Services'. London: HMSO. Out of print.

    [B]Sources of further information[/B]

    • ChildLine provides a free and confidential service for children. Helpline 0800 1111; www.childline.org.uk.
    • The NSPCC (National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children) has a number of useful publications. Child Protection Helpline 0800 800 500; Welsh textphone 0808 100 12524 (alternatively, the NSPCC run Asian helplines in five languages); www.nspcc.org.uk.
    • The Mental Health and Growing Up series contains 36 factsheets on a range of common mental health problems. To order the pack, contact Book Sales at the Royal College of Psychiatrists, 17 Belgrave Square, London SW1X 8PG; tel. 020 7235 2351, ext. 146; fax 020 7245 1231; e-mail: booksales@rcpsych.ac.uk, or you can download them from this website.


    Quote from coyote

    But then the opposite is usually "trust everyone" or "trust everyone in a uniform".... Perhaps a better option would be "trust the people your parents are friendly with" and that would perhaps be on a way to setting this back on an even keel.


    No it is not, I have taught my daughter about personal space, respect and trusting her own instincts... children are far more aware than most adults seem to think. I think telling children to impicitly trust anyone can be harmful...like telling a child they have to do whatever an adult tells them to do... we can teach children how to use their own judgement...that is supposed to be a part of raising a child, isn't it?;)

  • Quote from tekno slave

    children are far more aware than most adults seem to think.


    Thats why so many are safe with matches and nails/powersockets :whistle:


    Instincts have to be trained to a degree; especially in the artificial world.


    Quote

    I think telling children to impicitly trust anyone can be harmful...like telling a child they have to do whatever an adult tells them to do...


    Its for the parents to take the lead, by example, and the child to learn primarily from absorbtion, in my view. :D


    Of course the catch is that most modern folks are, in my view, stupid; which kind of makes a mess of this - but I am talking theory/ideal here not dumbing it down for the normal twit of today :D


    Quote


    we can teach children how to use their own judgement...that is supposed to be a part of raising a child, isn't it?;)


    Yup, but a lot of that comes from example - how much of child learning comes from copying rolemodels? :whistle:

    "The only rules that really matter are these: what a man can do and what a man can't do."

  • Up to they start school one needs to be guardian and protector, once they start then train them to be independant individuals without your paranoias.

  • Quote from Coyote

    Thats why so many are safe with matches and nails/powersockets :whistle:


    Instincts have to be trained to a degree; especially in the artificial world.

    Yes I totally agree with that..and aiding a child to understand and trust their instincts. Humans prefer not to take risks even when the risk is small...hence we have saftey matches... teaching a child about physical saftey in our artificial environment is not exactly part of this topic is it... trolling?:whistle:





    Quote from coyote

    Of course the catch is that most modern folks are, in my view, stupid; which kind of makes a mess of this - but I am talking theory/ideal here not dumbing it down for the normal twit of today :D

    can you fully explain what you mean here, I'll try my best to understand it...well if I can drag my knuckles up from the floor first...:rolleyes:




    Quote from coyote

    Yup, but a lot of that comes from example - how much of child learning comes from copying rolemodels? :whistle:

    A fair bit... but again is this on topic.. leave this thread alone if all you are going to do is come up with inflamatory comments that have nothing to do with the topic under discussion....

  • We had a sharp reminder with regards to child safety this morning! I was taking Vari up to school with our neighbour and his son (we were going for the bus as I am feeling a bit ME'd and my neighbour has walking difficulties). As we crossed the road, our other neighbour (who is a bus escort) was being the lollipop lady. This was because the regular lollipop lady was seeing to an incident. The son of one of my PTA colleagues had been hit by a car. No, he hadn't crossed beyond the manned crossing as you might suppose but had been standing at the bus stop when a white car had ran through the red light, swerved and hit him and a metal guard fence. Fortunately the boy (he is at high school) is OK - just being taken to hospital for observation - but his mum was very distressed (she was also at the stop with his sister). The b**tard had driven away but had broken one of his lights, so hopefully they will catch him. We had gone to the shop for change - if we had been a minute earlier... I shudder to think.

    The kids in our street play out after school, in the evening and at weekends. Luckily we live in a "nice cul-de-sac" where we all know each other and each other's children. There is a park just up the road but it is a very busy road to cross (as detailed above) so I don't let V go there unaccompanied yet and I still walk her to school (or bus if I am poorly). I would prefer her to be walking to school alone but as I have to be in work for 9 and she goes to breakfast club at 8, the park is just a bit too quiet at that time to let her go yet. Contrast this with our neighbours next door (whom I have mentioned before on these forums) - their 9 year old daughter walks to and from school alone, hangs about on the main roads with much older (12+) kids and dresses, well, like a wee tart. Maybe I am being over protective, but I still prefer for V to play in our street, with kids I know of her own age and dressed like a 10 year old!


    "The lovely thing about being 40 is that you can appreciate 25 year old men more" - Colleen McCullough I'm not 40 - I'm 18 with 22 years' experience!

  • I've already mentioned, in another thread, my concerns about children who's parents do not allow them to become independant (not helping them learn to dress and so on), and I've certainly seen the problems caused by being over-simplistic and telling children "never talk to strangers". A lot of the kids I work with have some autistic features, or other problems with language that mean they take things very literally. One girl I've worked with had been told never to talk to someone she didn't know, so when her teacher was off sick one day and a supply teacher covered the class, this girl refused to say anything to the teacher - because she didn't answer when the register was called at the start of the day, she was marked down as absent, and that was just the start of the problems.

    I was lucky enough to grow up at the end of a cul-del-sac, and can remember playing outside without supervision from about the age of 4. I was always given a 'landmark' to tell me how far I could go ("you can go up to Mrs So-and-so's gate, but no further"), and this limit gradually moved away from my house as I got older. I suppose one thing that helped was there was a group of similarly aged kids (safety in numbers?), and you knew you could go to anyone's parents for help - first aid or whatever.

  • Quote from AnnieAnne

    I've certainly seen the problems caused by being over-simplistic and telling children "never talk to strangers". A lot of the kids I work with have some autistic features, or other problems with language that mean they take things very literally.


    I think it is unwise to warn ANY child to stay away from strangers...

    Quote from AnnieAnne

    I was lucky enough to grow up at the end of a cul-del-sac, and can remember playing outside without supervision from about the age of 4. I was always given a 'landmark' to tell me how far I could go ("you can go up to Mrs So-and-so's gate, but no further"), and this limit gradually moved away from my house as I got older. I suppose one thing that helped was there was a group of similarly aged kids (safety in numbers?), and you knew you could go to anyone's parents for help - first aid or whatever.


    Which is what most parents should do... but this dosen't seem to be happening. As I said I was inspired by a different thread, in which members of this forum were stating that children should not be allowed to go out without supervision until the age of 10, some even suggested 12!! :eek:
    And this seems to be quite common in our society... I'm really interested in why people think that this is good for their children... how it is going to help these kids develop... or even keep them safe?

  • Quote from tekno slave

    I think it is unwise to warn ANY child to stay away from strangers...

    I agree, that was just an example of when it is a particularly bad idea.

    Quote from tekno slave

    I'm really interested in why people think that this is good for their children.

    I can't answer that, as I don't hold that view either - but I would like to better understand why people think that, too.

  • Quote from tekno slave

    teaching a child about physical saftey in our artificial environment is not exactly part of this topic is it... trolling?:whistle:

    Not unless the definition has changed :confused: :harhar:



    Quote

    can you fully explain what you mean here, I'll try my best to understand it...well if I can drag my knuckles up from the floor first...:rolleyes:


    It wasnt aimed at you :rolleyes:


    It refers to how I see most folks in this country; stupid. So leading by example is my ideal but I recognise it probably aint gonna happen with the majority of folks as they are just too dim-witted to do a good job of it :insane:

    "The only rules that really matter are these: what a man can do and what a man can't do."

  • Quote from tekno slave

    As I said I was inspired by a different thread, in which members of this forum were stating that children should not be allowed to go out without supervision until the age of 10, some even suggested 12!! :eek:
    And this seems to be quite common in our society... I'm really interested in why people think that this is good for their children... how it is going to help these kids develop... or even keep them safe?



    Well V is 10 and I think she is developing fine thank you! Living just outside of the city centre, there are far too few open greenspaces such as fields that can be accessed without having to negotiate very busy and dangerous roads (see note below). If we lived somehwere closer to wild spaces I think I would feel differently. We try our best to get V of out into the country and let her explore. She also goes away camping with the Cubs. When I think back to when I was 10, I had to stay within a certain range of my house and I don't think I am any more strict than my parents.

    By the way, just to let you know, the incident that I spoke of earlier happened because some a***hole in a white BMW couldn't wait til the bus was finished at the stop, pulled out and overtook it in the opposite lane, nearly headed into oncoming traffic, swerved and drove into the barrier and my friend's son. Fortunately the lad is now at home but with badly bruised ribs. I stood at the bus stop on my way up to the school sports day this afternoon and watched several other a***holes do exactly the same! Until something is done (and don't think I am not planning something) V will NOT being crossing that road on her own!


    "The lovely thing about being 40 is that you can appreciate 25 year old men more" - Colleen McCullough I'm not 40 - I'm 18 with 22 years' experience!

  • Quote from Jule9

    Well V is 10 and I think she is developing fine thank you!

    In fairness, I think you'd be hard pushed to find any parent who would accept that their parenting decisions are retarding their child's development. Parents invariably assume that they're doing the best for their child, but their proximity to the situation and their natural defensiveness means that they're not always the best judges. No offence - your parenting skills might be amazing, but your own assessment of them is inherently gonna be subjective. ;)

  • Yep, I'd agree with that. It's almost always taken someone pointing out a better to way to make me realise where I've been going wrong.

    It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.


    Jiddu Krishnamurti

  • Quote from Coyote

    Not unless the definition has changed :confused: :harhar:


    funny thats what I thought earlier...:whistle:





    Quote from coyote

    It wasnt aimed at you :rolleyes:


    It refers to how I see most folks in this country; stupid. So leading by example is my ideal but I recognise it probably aint gonna happen with the majority of folks as they are just too dim-witted to do a good job of it :insane:


    Well to be honest I do find you're whole 'the world excepting those on UK hippy to be utterly stupid' stance a bit to much to swallow... especially as it seems to be a recurring theme with you.... Bad experiences or not...and as for modelling well....:whistle:

  • i guess mainly but not exclusively it's girls you have to worry about, although you have to wonder how much the 'dangers' are overstated by media scumbags.


    but personally i'm very glad i had a son as i'm sure i would have worried much more about a daughter (and i was a bit of a worrier about my son anyway).

    The trouble with quotes on the internet is that you never know if they are genuine - Abraham Lincoln

  • Quote from ZZZZZ

    i guess mainly but not exclusively it's girls you have to worry about, although you have to wonder how much the 'dangers' are overstated by media scumbags.

    but personally i'm very glad i had a son as i'm sure i would have worried much more about a daughter (and i was a bit of a worrier about my son anyway).

    To be honest I think boys are more likely to suffer damage from the world purely because they interact with it more physically. If your thinking of the sex angle its not really a problem till they're teens really, but I think thats another topic.

  • Quote from tekno slave


    Well to be honest I do find you're whole 'the world excepting those on UK hippy to be utterly stupid' stance a bit to much to swallow...


    I dont except UKHIPPY folks, I just dont make a general practice of pointing at anyone or using them as examples :D


    Quote

    especially as it seems to be a recurring theme with you....


    Its called being consistant :harhar:


    Quote

    Bad experiences or not...and as for modelling well....:whistle:


    huh?

    "The only rules that really matter are these: what a man can do and what a man can't do."