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Old 02-14-2009, 12:47 PM   #1
Nate the great
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(Free PDF) No Fear: Growing up in a risk averse society

This book is about the parental hysteria that has increased over the last 30 years. This is a social issue that worries me. The publisher is offering the book as a free PDF. I recommend you repay their generosity by buying a copy.

Quote:
No Fear joins the increasingly vigorous debate about the role and nature of childhood in the UK. Over the past 30 years activities that previous generations of children enjoyed without a second thought have been relabelled as troubling or dangerous, and the adults who permit them branded as irresponsible. No Fear argues that childhood is being undermined by the growth of risk aversion and its intrusion into every aspect of children’s lives. This restricts children’s play, limits their freedom of movement, corrodes their relationships with adults and constrains their exploration of physical, social and virtual worlds.
from:
http://www.gulbenkian.org.uk/publica...cation/no-fear
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Old 02-14-2009, 02:06 PM   #2
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"One of parents’ greatest fears is of ‘stranger danger’ –
prompted in part by intense media coverage of cases of
child abduction, which can give the incorrect impression
that this type of incident is on the increase. "

- Because it's not. Where do you live ????

"Rather than having a nanny state, where regulation and
risk aversion dominate the landscape, we need to aspire
to a child-friendly society."

- First inspire a "child-friendly society", prove that it exists,
and then we can talk about the rest. Idea sounds good, but
I can see you are very clever in your own room detached from
the reality.

"In 1971 eight out of ten children aged seven or eight
years went to school on their own. By 1990 this figure
had dropped to less than one in ten.
In 1971 the average seven-year-old made solo trips to
their friends or the shops. By 1990 that freedom was
withheld until the age of ten. "

- Because you want your 7 year old to walk on the streets alone in a city?
Are you out of your f..g mind?

"Parental fear of letting children play unsupervised is
limiting children’s freedom, to the detriment of their
physical, mental and emotional well-being."

- I have friends in South Africa. There you can't play alone,
walk alone unsupervised. Everyone of them had a better
childhood than me. This is just unfounded.
I don't know what is he fighting for but he clearly has no clue.
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Old 02-14-2009, 02:16 PM   #3
Nate the great
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mambo View Post
"One of parents’ greatest fears is of ‘stranger danger’ –
prompted in part by intense media coverage of cases of
child abduction, which can give the incorrect impression
that this type of incident is on the increase. "

- Because it's not. Where do you live ????
I don't understand your statement. Are you saying that you think abductions are increasing? If so, statistics show that you are wrong.

What has increased is the hysteria over each abduction, not the number of abductions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mambo View Post

"In 1971 eight out of ten children aged seven or eight
years went to school on their own. By 1990 this figure
had dropped to less than one in ten.
In 1971 the average seven-year-old made solo trips to
their friends or the shops. By 1990 that freedom was
withheld until the age of ten. "

- Because you want your 7 year old to walk on the streets alone in a city?
Are you out of your f..g mind?
Certainly. I wandered all over when I was seven. One of my friends lived over a mile away, and my single working mom didn't have the time to drive me.
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Old 02-14-2009, 02:50 PM   #4
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I was 1-1/2 blocks away from my grammer school. I walked there alone, with other kids going to school, in the mornings and home in the afternoon. Now my 8 year old niece has to be brought and released by her parent every morning and picked up ever afternoon, the same school. When I was in Sixth grade, about 11 years, I walked about 6 blocks to the school, same thing.

I don't have any kids myself but I figure I would be just as crazed as the next parent thinking someone is out there thinking about taking my baby. Kids take it in stride, each generation deals with their own times.

I think it also has to do with only having 1 child as opposed to having, in my parents case, 6 kids. You loose a lot of that over-protect thing with each child. Todays couples don't have those big families anymore. That one child is covered in a blanket of 'don't give my kid the coodies'.

Last edited by pagansoul; 02-14-2009 at 02:57 PM.
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Old 02-14-2009, 03:53 PM   #5
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People love being worried. Any reason is good for it.
As longevity and pampering of the self augments, so do fears of loss.
As the care for children becomes more expensive, we are forced to have fewer so they become more precious to the genitor in us.
With less chores to do because of technological help, we get more time to worry.
It's an ecology of worries. No escape.
My children are raised and have left. I worry just as much for them.
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Old 02-14-2009, 05:06 PM   #6
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Thanks for the link.

While it is good that parents care so deeply about their children's safety, a little rationality is definitely required. The chance of your kid being abducted while playing unsupervised is incredibly low and the benefits of play to a child's development is enormous. Many schools and councils are also introducing ridiculous bans on things like tree climbing, conkers, candles on birthday cakes, cartwheels etc. I fear that sheltering kids from any and all risk will lead to adults with a reliance on the state to make decisions for them.
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Old 02-14-2009, 07:18 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mambo View Post
- Because you want your 7 year old to walk on the streets alone in a city?
Are you out of your f..g mind?
When I was a 7-year-old, I walked on the streets alone, on my way to and from school, as did the entire student population of the country. Thirty years on, today's kids are still doing it and I see no reason why they shouldn't. Perhaps we're all out of our minds and the entire country should be reported to some global Child Protection Services organization. But I doubt it.

I'm sure there are cities and countries where it is unsafe for a person with no obvious means of defending themselves, regardless of their age, to be out in the street alone in broad daylight, but where that is not the case, I don't see that this collective and even state-mandated overprotectiveness makes any sense.

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Old 02-14-2009, 07:52 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Milo Dijete View Post
When I was a 7-year-old, I walked on the streets alone, on my way to and from school, as did the entire student population of the country. Thirty years on, today's kids are still doing it and I see no reason why they shouldn't. Perhaps we're all out of our minds and the entire country should be reported to some global Child Protection Services organization. But I doubt it.

I'm sure there are cities and countries where it is unsafe for a person with no obvious means of defending themselves, regardless of their age, to be out in the street alone in broad daylight, but where that is not the case, I don't see that this collective and even state-mandated overprotectiveness makes any sense.
First of all, of course, any govermental mandates can be over reactive. I speak not to the obvious, but to the following.

Perhaps where you live, you do not have pedophiles, or those who love to hurt children.

Here, just a month ago, a 7 year old and his 9 year old brother went to a neighborhood park by themselves. less than a block from their home. And bear in mind, this is one of the safer areas of the county.

They were found less than an hour later, bludgeoned to death with an aluminum baseball bat, and the perp lived in the neighborhood and didnt' even know them. He just felt like doing that. He is 'under observation', and will most likely spend some time in a mental hospital instead of being shot like the animal he is. Wait. Thats an insult to animals. There is no word for this monster.

I quote this obscenity, because no matter where you live, it is not safe to let your children run free. Crap like this, It happens EVERY DAY.

This isn't the world of 'yesterday' I ran the streets 50 years ago also. Look around, read the papers.

Why they shouldn't, indeed.
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Old 02-14-2009, 09:40 PM   #9
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This sounds like a very interesting ebook and I'll have to download it.

I've thought about this myself - I've wondered if indeed things are "worse" or if it all fits into today's "Child-as-God" cultish mentality. "My son/daughter is a 'good citizen' at JFK Junior High". God forbid kids who excel actually get recognized for special achievement - everyone gets a trophy!

Even though I think kids are overly coddled and deified today, I'm not sure you can pin it all on that, though.

I think that some is just that we don't make taboos of some topics they way they were 50 years ago. Today people talk about pedophiles instead of covering over "shameful" behavior. I think that's why we think bad things happen more today than it did before.

I've also moved from a sub-sub-urban (more urban than rural, but not really attached to a large city) township to a run-down suburb to a fairly urban area. What was safe for me as a kid probably isn't as safe where I live now. My mother never locked our house or her car doors - and I lived in the side of town that people looked down on. I would never consider that today!

But I think we have to find a balance between fear and smothering. Kids need to learn self-reliance - to find their own inner strengths! - while they're still young enough to have a "get-up-and-try-again" attitude. I'm so tired of dealing with 20-somethings at work who still expect "every kid to get a trophy". And god forbid one of those kids gets an "average" or "meets expectations" on a job review.

Sorry. This went a bit off topic, but it's very, very timely for some personnel issues brewing in my department at work. See this little guy here? This is what one of my co-workers looks like ... every day. Life's not fair. We expect her to work. Wah, wah, wah.
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Old 02-15-2009, 09:50 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by desertgrandma View Post
I quote this obscenity, because no matter where you live, it is not safe to let your children run free. Crap like this, It happens EVERY DAY.

This isn't the world of 'yesterday' I ran the streets 50 years ago also. Look around, read the papers.

Why they shouldn't, indeed.
Psychopaths live everywhere. I don't believe they didn't exist 50 years ago. I don't even think there are fewer of them, related to the total population, in, say, Croatia, than in the U.S. We are never going to be "safe" from them, no matter what we do, unless by some miracle psychopathology disappears off the face of the earth.

There are of course things we can do to be safER. If a child plays in a deserted park, trees hiding him/her from sight, with no older children or adults about who could help, or if a child or an adult walks a dodgy neighbourhood alone after dark, these are obviously risky situations and should be avoided, no question about that. On the other hand, a child (or, more frequently, a group of children) walking to school in broad daylight on a normal street, in the midst of people going about their daily business, who are not going to just shrug their shoulders if a maniac is insane enough to try something in those circumstances, is a totally different proposition altogether. I would at the very least hesitate to think that the vast majority of the world's parents are being criminally irresponsible in allowing it, or that they are missing something that is obvious to me. After all, they are the best judges of what works locally and what doesn't, which was one of my points.

I have only to think of the local cases of abduction, rape of murder I know of, involving teenagers and younger adults (those involving younger children in the last 15 years were cases of psychopathological parental abuse) to conclude that none of them would have been prevented by dropping children off to school and picking them up every day, which seems to be the norm in the UK and the U.S. these days, and what my posting was about. They involved woods or overgrown parks, and cars in the middle of the night or on rarely used roads. What the sickos are after are situations where they won't be observed.
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Old 02-15-2009, 10:52 AM   #11
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Those stories have always existed, they've been hidden to prevent the copycat effect. Now that there are more journalists that we need, everything turns out as news. I don't blame them they need the work since manufacturing jobs are disappearing.

I remember several attempts at my "capture" from my childhood days. I thank my parents for giving me the streetsmarts attitude that saved me, and that was in the early sixties. The best we can do is teach our children the same. Humans are social barbarians and will remain so. It's in their nature. The solitude that we face more and more as we submit ourselves to an isolation from media bombardment is also the reason for a degenerescence of the responsability obligations a life in society requires to keep it together. (I'll be blasted fer this )

Here there is a movement, a purge, that brings offenders of yesteryears before justice by silenced victims of those eras. By the noise those cases make, you would tend to think that abusing kids was the norm then. I remember that beating kids was tolerated then. Thank god that's over.

But we're still a long long way to a safe place for kids outside the home... and even there it isn't always the case.

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Old 02-15-2009, 11:05 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by desertgrandma View Post
First of all, of course, any govermental mandates can be over reactive. I speak not to the obvious, but to the following.

Perhaps where you live, you do not have pedophiles, or those who love to hurt children.

Here, just a month ago, a 7 year old and his 9 year old brother went to a neighborhood park by themselves. less than a block from their home. And bear in mind, this is one of the safer areas of the county.

They were found less than an hour later, bludgeoned to death with an aluminum baseball bat, and the perp lived in the neighborhood and didnt' even know them. He just felt like doing that. He is 'under observation', and will most likely spend some time in a mental hospital instead of being shot like the animal he is. Wait. Thats an insult to animals. There is no word for this monster.

I quote this obscenity, because no matter where you live, it is not safe to let your children run free. Crap like this, It happens EVERY DAY.

This isn't the world of 'yesterday' I ran the streets 50 years ago also. Look around, read the papers.

Why they shouldn't, indeed.

I ran/cycled the streets 40-50 years ago, and the fields/woods without (obvious) harm. BUT I agree with the statement that 'safe' is a relative term - and that there is vastly more media attention to the issue now-adays. 40-50 years ago, Moira Hindley and her boyfriend were equal to the stories we hear these days. Media attention is more intimate, intrusive and altogether too instant, makes repeats more likely imho - sheep following sheep (and that's an insult to sheep!).
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Old 02-15-2009, 11:06 AM   #13
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The downside now is that I would be very reluctant to offer assistance to an obviously lost and distressed youngster .....
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Old 02-15-2009, 11:21 AM   #14
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The downside now is that I would be very reluctant to offer assistance to an obviously lost and distressed youngster .....
Totally agreed, one would be blamed as much as the offender and face time consuming trial and investigation. Since we all belong to bank and responsibility, helping is a strangling luxury.
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Old 02-15-2009, 12:11 PM   #15
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Have I missed something, or is this download not readable on a mobile e-book reader? It's only offered in 2-page format. Maybe this should be posted in the StationaryRead forum? Or LaptopRead forum?
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