Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Free range kids etc.

When I was young, oh so many years ago, from the time I could walk I was a wanderer. As early as four years old I wandered to friends houses, the hidden playgrounds of disused garages, down to the banks of streams to fish for Minnows and Bullheads. My Mum even caught me selling my unwanted books door to door (Age 5). My friends and I built dens in the woods and formed our own secret 'clubs' away from the eyes of grown ups. We rode bicycles, fell into ponds, out of trees, collected bruises and fought our friends and enemies alike. From after breakfast until dusk in the Summer months, we were outside, playing without adult supervision. In short, I had a free range childhood.

By the same token, I have viewed the recent press led paedophile paranoia with astonished perplexity. Our own girls grew up allowed to visit friends houses, although I did get called out on a couple of occasions when they got too boisterous, but as far as I was concerned that was mere inconvenience. They had instructions to let us know where they were, and sleepover privileges were used as a kind of sanction. We let them grow up with a little independence and it seems to have paid off. Two maturing human beings with as bright a future as we can help them with (Or they would want us to). Parental result!

Alternatively we could have subscribed to the hysteria and let people like below order their waking hours;

It is thus with a certain feeling of vindication we hear of the 'Free range kids' movement, where parents are encouraged to let their children off the leash a little and, well, be children. Boisterous, harmless kids who come home in time for tea and don't stop out all night. Like I used to be.

No comments:

Related Posts with Thumbnails