Should kids have more freedom?

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Should kids have more freedom?

Some of the happiest moments of my childhood summers were spent rambling aimlessly across the local golf course (the nearest green space to our home) with my siblings and our dog. We'd spend hours trying to dam the stream, crawling under the bridge to collect suitable stones then rigging up a rope swing instead when our attempts to stop the water proved futile. Where were our parents? At work, of course!

There were potential dangers aplenty and sometimes we did come a cropper. Once, a golf ball narrowly missed my sister's head; another time, I sustained quite a nasty gash to the temples when a rock went astray. But we lived to tell the tale and I'm sure being exposed to risk was good for us.

What do you think? Are children today too mollycoddled?

I think it's a real shame

I think it's a real shame that some parents today are so fearful of something happening to their children that they prevent them from exploring the world and having adventures. How on earth can children's survival instincts develop unless they are allowed to experience risk and learn how to get out of tricky situations?

Agreed @Gertrude. When my

Agreed @Gertrude. When my children were in their (very high) tree-climbing phase, sometimes other parents would express concern about their safety.

I found it difficult to watch them doing something risky too, but I knew it was important for them to test themselves – physically and psychologically. And guess what: they always managed to get down safely.

I believe those early experiences out of their comfort zone have helped them grow into sensible teenagers (although my fingers remain firmly crossed :-) ).

Of the outdoor kind? Most

Of the outdoor kind? Most certainly.

Online? Not if I have anything to do with it. There was a piece in the Times this week about teenagers and smartphones, which made me wonder if I've let my children down by not imposing tighter controls on what they do on the internet. Apparently, boys are being corrupted by online porn and girls are under pressure to look 'fit', not for sport but for sex.

It's chilling but - from what I see in my own family - not too far from the truth. My daughter's Facebook page is packed with pouting, hand-on-hip selfies. Who is she posing for, I wonder?

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