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To think that children are babied too much these days

(463 Posts)
BlueMirror Wed 21-Feb-18 10:20:33

I think it's really sad that many children aren't allowed the independence I had when I was younger. We live on a very quiet road and while some primary age children are allowed to play outside and climb the trees in the field opposite many aren't.
I also know of 18/19 yr olds who live at home and are basically treated like young teens with their parents calling them by the minutes to check on them, restricting where they can go/who they can see. They are adults!
Aibu to think that if you aren't even allowed out of the door by yourself until you're 11 then you're not going to be fully independent by age 18 and that adolescence now seems to extend into the 20's for many young people?
Supervised 'play dates' for 10+ year olds now seem to be a thing going by threads on here! What happened to going and knocking on your friends doors and seeing who could come out?
For comparison it was normal when I was younger to walk yourself to school age 7 and children played outside from much younger. By the time you hit your teens you were expected to be responsible and behave as an adult with all the freedoms that go with that. Aibu to think that kids are generally overprotected these days?

IWannaSeeHowItEnds Wed 21-Feb-18 10:25:02

Yabu - not your kids so not your business. Everyone has their own ideas on the best way to parent and so long as kids are loved and looked after, there is no 'right' or 'wrong' way.

theknackster Wed 21-Feb-18 10:25:16

YNBU, but nobody gets lessons in how to parent, unfortunately, so I can see why some err on the side of 'overprotective'.

FreeNiki Wed 21-Feb-18 10:26:37

I also know of 18/19 yr olds who live at home and are basically treated like young teens with their parents calling them by the minutes to check on them, restricting where they can go/who they can see. They are adults!

My mum did that to me almost 20 years ago now.

In fact when I came home from uni at 22 she was the same and also in uni holidays. Annoyed at me seeing my bf.

Controlling parents exist no matter the times.

PerfectlySymmetricalButtocks Wed 21-Feb-18 10:27:29

Going and knocking on friends' doors round here would mean walking for 10 minutes and crossing 2 main roads. Also, I don't think it's the done thing round here to just turn up on your friend's doorstep. DD 10 would be too nervous anyway.

BlueMirror Wed 21-Feb-18 10:35:17

Well you're right that it's none of my business what individual families do but I can have an opinion on a general trend. There's lots of research that shows that a lack of free outdoor play is actually damaging to kids brains. And that the supervised play dates, structured activities and excessive screen time which make up the bulk of kids leisure time has knock on effects on social skills, attention, learning, problem solving etc. So in trying to protect kids I think the modern way of life actually harms them. And that's without considering what kids may be exposed to online, childhood obesity etc.

DisgraceToTheYChromosome Wed 21-Feb-18 10:37:39

We moved to our village because the local children have always wandered about in a Just William stylee. The pre schoolers are accompanied, but none of the over 8s. Also, the local pub has a neat scheme where over 14s can have soft drinks up to 9pm unaccompanied. "I'll tell your mum" works if they get rowdy.

Mymycherrypie Wed 21-Feb-18 10:41:36

I was allowed to roam free as a child. From the age of about 9. Narrowly missed at least 3 abuse/assault attempts and that was in the 80’s. Especially with the high number of stabbings in the 12-18yo demographic in our area, I won’t be letting my kids go free range.

SaskaTchewan Wed 21-Feb-18 10:43:12


Allowing kids to run feral does not promote Independence, and it has absolutely nothing to do with screen times. My young kids play in the garden, not unsupervised in the park, sometimes they have friends. What does it have to do with obesity in this case?

I had very strict parents, and I am following their clue. As long as you live under your parents'roof, you follow their rules. It hasn't stopped me going backpacking then moving to different countries before I was even 21. Being strict at home doesn't prevent independence and self-reliance either. It didn't make me run away from home either, I just wanted to travel a bit.

Mymycherrypie Wed 21-Feb-18 10:43:21

Also wonder if the lack of parental control even contributes towards the high number of stabbings and gangs we have in the area...

BlueMirror Wed 21-Feb-18 10:44:13

Considering most abuse happens within the family/close friend circle I doubt that the risk of abuse is higher if you allow your child to play outside.

Katyb1310 Wed 21-Feb-18 10:44:16

We don't live near any other children so going knocking on doors isn't possible and we have to invite DD's friends round for a day or whatever. But my friend lives in the village where the school is and all the kids there do just go out and play and knock to see who's coming out. A lot depends on where you live.

meredintofpandiculation Wed 21-Feb-18 10:44:20

I live in a community minded town which nevertheless has problems with groups of secondary school kids hanging around and causing a nuisance of themselves. I feel it is partly because they haven't been brought up with the experience of amusing themselves for long periods of the day, so they don't really know what to do. I don't know what the solution is - I certainly wouldn't allow a 7 year old to walk the 3/4 mile route from school that I used - traffic has quadrupled since then - and I'd freak out if a 7 year old and her friend were to leave school at 3.30 and not arrive home till 5pm, which is what we used to do every day (as you might expect with a common full of undergrowth and den making opportunities on the route home)

DannyLaRuesBestFrock Wed 21-Feb-18 10:44:53

I am not a 'paedophile round every corner' type, but when I hear about the rare occasions something happens to children, it does make my blood run cold. Prime example, that poor 10yo girl who got split up from her friends in Openshawe in manchester and was sexually assaulted, but managed to escape.

I do not like the thought of my 9yo wandering around aimlessly and would much rather ferry her round to play in friends houses.

What's the issue?

IWannaSeeHowItEnds Wed 21-Feb-18 10:45:26

It's swings and roundabouts though Blue. Extremes of any kind aren't great but personally I'd rather be overprotective than not protective enough.
I would imagine that the kids with parents who are very involved, are not allowed to have unsupervised internet access. I do agree that kids need downtime and some parents don't set enough time aside for themselves, they are so busy running from activity to activity. On the whole though, I think lots of parental involvement is a good thing and there is no rush to grow up. Adult life kicks in soon enough

Trinity36 Wed 21-Feb-18 10:45:40

YANBU I completely agree. I wandered about, called on friends, played outside. It was lovely. I’ve started letting my two DD’s have some freedom and honestly, you’d think I was sending them out with a poster around their necks saying “come and assault me” they way I have been judged by quite a few family and friends. I think that to bring up independent thinking teenagers, we need to let them start making decisions before that age.

BlueMirror Wed 21-Feb-18 10:46:33

Also allowing your child age appropriate independence to take their bike out, see friends etc isn't 'being feral'.

Seeline Wed 21-Feb-18 10:46:59

Times have changed. My mum lives in the same house we moved into when I was 9, over 40 years ago. We used to play in the street - a quiet residential road in the suburbs. We played football, tennis, rode bikes, roller skates and skateboarded. Rarely interrupted by cars. Now you can barely see the road with all the parked cars ( and all the houses have off street parking too). Constant traffic and it's almost a cul-de-sac not leading to anywhere. Kids couldn't safely play out.
Also most of my DCs friends barely live in walking distance, let alone close enough to just knock on the door. Children aren't able to go to their local school anymore and are spread over wide areas.

NotSoSprightly Wed 21-Feb-18 10:48:42

My sister and I were allowed to play out the front in our cul-de-sac alone (but together) from about five/six I think. We were usually with our best friend who lived next door. Sometimes we would stray!

I wasn't allowed to go to the park without an adult until I was about 10, and I had to go with a friend and take my mobile with me.

My dad walked me to school all throughout Primary.

I know for a fact that if my parents were raising us now, we wouldn't have been given as much freedom to roam the immediate area as we were back then. I wouldn't let my kids do it now either.

Mymycherrypie Wed 21-Feb-18 10:48:49

That’s exactly what happened to me Danny. I used to walk to school with my friends every day, one day they were sick so I was on my own and a man tried to bundle me in to a bush. Another time (secondary school) a man later convicted of rape tried to get me to go in to his house. The boys who have just learned to drive going along in their cars and stopping at bus stops to catcall at the girls. A man weed on my friend on the bus. No, it’s awful. And that’s without the daylight stabbings in children’s parks.

Natsku Wed 21-Feb-18 10:49:32

YANBU, thankfully it's not like that where I live.

NotSoSprightly Wed 21-Feb-18 10:50:29

Considering most abuse happens within the family/close friend circle I doubt that the risk of abuse is higher if you allow your child to play outside

Well no, but a kid napping is.

BlueMirror Wed 21-Feb-18 10:51:55

I do agree that there are some areas where it is just impractical to play outside your home - if you live on a main road for eg. But I'm talking about kids I know who live on quiet estates with traffic calming roads and signs up warning of kids playing all 5 of them

IamPickleRick Wed 21-Feb-18 10:53:30

I’d rather take the current state of crime in to account rather than relying on “in my day” anecdotes about children playing out and it all being rosy and happy. In some areas it might be ok, in others not so much. I played out and most times it was fun, but sometimes it was a bit hairy to say the least!

BlueMirror Wed 21-Feb-18 10:53:54

Well yes if you watch your child at all times until they are an adult then you will massively reduce the already vanishingly small risk of them being a child kidnapping victim. But at what cost to their physical/mental health and cognitive development?

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