Monday, 7 June 2010

All Told

Children grow up being told what to do. They spend their days at school being taught this and that. If they’re involved in sports they’re being coached. When they go home they’re being guided, by their parents. All said and done their days are spent being told what to do with their lives.
Where’s the kid time in today’s society? The play time? It generally comes with a parent there watching, telling them what not to do. Warning them what could happen. Suggesting consequences with damage control for preventative injuries. Quite honestly, I think it’s pathetic. Let them be!
I loved my childhood evenings. “Go outside and play,” me and my brothers were told. My parents enjoyed quiet time with their candle light dinners and cocktails. There was no supervision. Occasionally someone would come home with an injury. For the most part, when we were in the neighbourhood we hung out and took care of each other. We played tag, kick the can, hide-and-seek. Whatever.
Mum would stand on the front porch and ring a cow bell when it was time to come in, usually around dusk. Do we give our children today this kind of opportunity?
At the bike park the other day I’m watching kids ride and parents are hanging around talking. Looking on. Chirping, “Don’t do that,” and “Be careful if you do that you could fall.”
One poor soul winded himself falling off his bike. Some other mum went into high gear and called the boy’s parents even while he was pleading he was fine. Why not let them be?
I had to leave shaking my head. What kind of world are we going to have when our children grow up with every minute of their day being told what to do? How will they ever learn to think for themselves?

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