According to a recent survey by The Childrens Soceity, it seems that todays parents are too afraid to let their children play out unsupervised, because of fears for their safety. 43% of parents believed children shouldn’t be allowed to play out unsupervised with their friends until they were at least 14 years old, despite the fact that they themselves had been allowed to play out with their friends when they were young. It’s not surprising really, when you consider what sort of world we now live in. When I was growing up, times were different. I have happy childhood memories of being able to ride my bike and play out safely. I grew up in a quiet country area, where all the neighbours knew one another and our house was in a cul-de-sac and free of traffic. Unfortunately those times don’t exist any more. It’s a shame for the children but for their own good at the end of the day.
Experts who conducted the survey as part of the Good Childhood inquiry warned of the importance of letting children have the freedom to play out and make friends, with some childhood friendships lasting a lifetime. They interviewed children who told them that being able to play out and have friends was central to a good childhood. Some children preferred to discuss problems like bullying with friends rather than their parents. I think it’s all about striking a happy medium. It would be so sad if children missed out on one of the happiest times of their lives because of the sort of world we now live in.