As a parent I want to ensure that my kid is safe. I don’t let her run around in the kitchen with the stove on, she doesn’t play with scissors and if I let those things happen I’d be a bad parent. You can be a bad parent by keeping kids too safe as well.
As I type this, there’s a gaggle of kids in the yard outside my office window, playing a game that appears to involve running in circles until they all collapse. My eight-year-old son, his seven and four-year-old cousins, six-year-old brother – and yes, my three-year-old daughter – are red-cheeked and ruffled, rolling around on the sunny April grass.
And there’s not a grown-up in sight.
I spent much of my childhood running around the neighbourhood, going a few streets over and playing tag in the forrest. I live on a street that is just not really busy and I rarely see any kids out on the street playing. Makes me feel a bit sad to say that.
I think that we are short changing our kids by not letting them out there on their own.