The Barriers – Fear
As a society we are increasingly terrified of letting our children roam free to explore their local patch and their own wildness.
Roaming distances have shrunk by 90% in a generation.
The reasons are complex and challenging for us all. But now is the time to reconsider how as parents and communities we can start to change this.
Largely perception and media-driven
But none the less the fears are real.
We are scared of leaving our children outside on their own and we look uncomfortably at people we don’t know in our streets and neighbourhoods.
How can we change this?
Risk Averse Culture
“Don’t do that, be careful, watch out, don’t run, don’t pick that up, come here!”
Just start noticing the language we use with our kids outside.
How do we stand back and make falling over and getting dirty the good thing that it is for building confidence independence and risk awareness?
Step back and let them grow.
It’s a minefield out there
As kids get older, they tell us the streets become dangerous with gangs and postcodes bringing all kinds of darkness into young lives. How can we work to create a feeling of safe neighbourhoods and safer places for kids, as they grow? How can we let them be free, but feel safe?
Can community bring their confidence back?
Mind the car! Watch the van! Wait…
Car-ridden streets of noise, pollution and danger, which must be reclaimed by kids and communities alike. Let’s re-claim the roads with street parades and parties. We can close the roads for play days. And we must teach kids that walking with headphones in (and on ‘phones) isn’t great.
Bring back the Green Cross Code? Bring in more 20mph zones? Make wider pavements in new developments…
What can we do to make our streets safer for play?