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To think children's development is hampered by excessive fear of paedophiles

(67 Posts)
ReallyTired Sat 07-Nov-15 00:40:38

Children have far less independence than they used to. Most primary school children do not walk to school by themselves or have opportunities to play out.

ElsaAintAsColdAsMe Sat 07-Nov-15 00:51:37

I think some of what you perceive may be down to more working/less SAH parents so after school clubs and lifts to school are more convenient for family life rather than fear of paedophiles meaning they can't go out or walk themselves.

However I would rather my children's development hampered by keeping them safe rather than by something terrible happening to them, so I do risk assess more than my parents did tbh.

nocoolnamesleft Sat 07-Nov-15 00:55:06

How much is perfectly reasonable fear of the ever increasing level of traffic?

howtorebuild Sat 07-Nov-15 00:56:41

Why would you not want to keep a child safe?hmm

tabulahrasa Sat 07-Nov-15 00:58:51

Surely children are accompanied more than they used to be because of roads and traffic, not paedophiles?

GiddyOnZackHunt Sat 07-Nov-15 01:08:31

My dc's school have a policy that you can't leave unaccompanied before Y6 unless parents agree in writing and even then it's discouraged.
Usain Bolt could get from school to ours in less than 30s.
It isn't all parent paranoia.

DingleberryDip Sat 07-Nov-15 01:12:46


Whether it's paedophile fear or traffic fear there seem to be a lot of children who aren't even allowed play outside on safe, quiet cul de sacs.

Wrapping your kid in excessive amounts of cotton wool may give you peace of mind but is it hindering your child's development in the long run?

TheDowagerCuntess Sat 07-Nov-15 01:22:04

YANBU in a sense - I feel like I had a lot more independence as a child than I give my DC (although they are still only 6 and 5).

But I also think we were woefully in the dark about the extent to which children were abused, disbelieved and not supported in the olden days. And I say this as someone who wasn't abused, and doesn't even know anyone who was (but acknowledges that I am in the lucky minority).

UnderTheGreenwoodTree Sat 07-Nov-15 01:30:10

I think we are generally more safety conscious nowadays - but children can still have a rich, happy childhood.

Cars are the biggest risk to children these days - they are faster and there are more of them.

We also live less communal lives - for most people, the days where you know all your neighbours/everyone in the village, or street, and everyone looked out for everyone else, are gone.

It's not all fear of paedos - life is just different. But it is worth looking up the figures on number of children who suffered abuse - it's not just a handful, it's something like 1 in 6 boys and 1 in 4 girls. Which is worth looking out for, IMO.

DingleberryDip Sat 07-Nov-15 01:34:47

the days where you know all your neighbours/everyone in the village, or street, and everyone looked out for everyone else, are gone.

life is just different.


DingleberryDip Sat 07-Nov-15 01:35:52

Which is worth looking out for, IMO.

Er yeah. I imagine most people think child abuse is something to watch out for.

ReallyTired Sat 07-Nov-15 01:37:26

Child abuse is more likely to happen in the home than the street. Paedophiles tend to groom their victims and families. Child aduction is rare.

At dad's age mother used to send me down to the bakery to get bread or post a letter. It would be unthinkable to allow a six year old to walk 50 metres on their own.

DingleberryDip Sat 07-Nov-15 01:37:42

What happens to all these cocooned children once they turn 12 or 13 and say 'actually no Mum/Dad, I really don't want a lift'. Independence and streetwise behaviour is a gradually learnt thing.

amarmai Sat 07-Nov-15 02:01:52

Why wd you think that parents do not gradually give cc more independence? That is exactly what we do. Our cc , our decision when to do what.

DingleberryDip Sat 07-Nov-15 02:04:39


DingleberryDip Sat 07-Nov-15 02:05:40

Our cc , our decision when to do what.

Yes that's the way it works.

FarticCircle Sat 07-Nov-15 02:06:30

I think I disagree OP. Given the actual damage that paedophiles do, your dismissive attitude is really offensive to victims.

Children do need to learn independence, but the casual "benign neglect" of the 70's has no place today. And really, what is the difference between benign neglect and recklessness?

But if you had to put flesh on your assertion: which specific aspects of development are you talking about, and how much is it delayed by. And what is the correct level of fear of paedophiles to have?

Mmmmcake123 Sat 07-Nov-15 02:29:15

Reminiscing about times when children had independence and were therefore more savvy at an early age makes me wonder where people are coming from.
I don't think anyone would realistically like to bring back the days of the late 70s and 80s. If you think children were happier then you are ignoring all the abuse cases that have come out since. One of the many reasons they have come out so much later on is because children were not given much respect, 'shut up, play out, while I have a ciggie' (lol).
Just my opinion
Don't think development is hampered in any way whatsoever BTW.

Unreasonablebetty Sat 07-Nov-15 02:34:32

oP is right, in my experience anyway.
I was sexually abused as a child, so I've always been terrible for letting DD out of my sight.
In the past year I have become more self aware of the effect parenting has on our children.
We are taking small steps to try and allow my daughter a little more freedom, and it's doing wonders for her confidence.

The one thing I will say however, is the world is a very sick place at times. And whilst I understand in past generations things may have gone under reported, and we also weren't made as aware of things going on, but it really seems that these bastards are getting sicker and sicker and are acting in ways we don't expect.
Just six months ago, one of the mums from the school told me that she was at the park with her kids, when she saw a man trying to take a child from the same park, this man was insisting that he was the kids uncle, friend says, sorry you might be her uncle but I would never forgive myself if I let her go with you and she came to any harm, I'm gonna call the police and they will figure it out. Took her phone to ring them... He ran away.
The fact that stuff like that happens scares the shit out of me. I wish we could allow our children to have the freedoms they should have.

Senpai Sat 07-Nov-15 02:43:27

Reminiscing about times when children had independence and were therefore more savvy at an early age makes me wonder where people are coming from.

But kids weren't more savvy, they just didn't have supervision doing stupid shit. If I saw DD doing half the stuff I did as a kid, or even a teen I'd have kittens. I made it out of childhood unscathed, but plenty of kids didn't.

Child brain development hasn't changed any in the last 30-40 years. They're still the same small stupid people making short sighted decisions as they were back then, which is why supervision or texting to check in can only be a good thing.

ReallyTired Sat 07-Nov-15 06:21:51

It would be interesting to know if rates of child abuse is higher in Germany where children do have more freedom.

I did a child protection course at work and I was told that young teens were at greatest risk. The figure of one in 4 includes under age girls who are seduced by older men. Ie. A 13 year old who had sex with a 25 year old man who has showered her with presents. (Like the sex ring in Rochdale or Oxford)

Allowing children freedom is a managed risk. If a 13 year old is never allowed any freedom then how can they learn to function as an adult.

ShortcutButton Sat 07-Nov-15 06:27:26

Depends on where you live/your social circle

Plenty of kids here walk to school/play out/go to the shop/park

Certainly my kids development isnt hampered by restricted freedom confused

KenDoddsDadsDog Sat 07-Nov-15 06:32:14

We played in the street pretty much all the time . But looking at my parent's street in the 70s compared to now , the main difference is cars and traffic . No way would I let DD start skipping or rolling down the hill on a sledge like we did !

Baconyum Sat 07-Nov-15 06:36:30

Are you saying "under age girls who are seduced by older men" are lesser victims?

I'm a survivor and have worked within cp. I also have a relative who is still having medical issues 50+ years later after being hit by a car.

Traffic has massively increased as has the power and size of cars on the road. Our awareness of abuse (all kinds, there was no ea in 'the good old days') and who perpetrators are likely to be has increased as well as forms of abuse have increased (internet etc.)

STILL very few victims report (I didn't) for all sorts of reasons. So we have no idea how many victims or perpetrators are out there.

So no, I don't think we're overreacting or stunting our children's development. Abuse does that far more effectively and with worse (even fatal) consequences.

Enjolrass Sat 07-Nov-15 06:51:38

Firstly I don't think we know enough about how many kids have been abused. It's obvious that we don't.

However, neither dd (11 and in year 7) or ds (5) will be ever walking to school. Nothing to do with stranger danger.

I live in a large village. Ds doesn't go to the village school, it's shit. We put dds primary down and got in. It's 3 Miles away. On the road to it, part of it doesn't have a foot path and goes between 2 farmers fields. No one walks on it. Adults or children.

Again dds school is 2 miles away down the same road. She also starts school at 8.10am. She won't be walking that road in the dark. There is a bus, but it gets to ours after the school. So she need to sit on it til it does almost the whole route again and takes 45 mins. because the bus only comes once and hour she would have to leave the house at 6.45am. To get to the bus stop.

Or I can drive her drop her off near by. Takes 15 minutes tops to get there and back.

Nothing to do with not giving her freedom etc.

Life is different now. People don't always go to schools that are round the corner. Our village doesn't even have a shop anymore. I leave dd in the house alone for short periods. She is sensible.

Life has changed. It's not all parents faults and tbh I get fed up of every change in society being because parents are shit.

Fwiw my dad was given loads of freedom growing up. Several of friends didn't manage to actually make it to adulthood. The good old days weren't perfect either.

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