Monday, December 3, 2007

Innocence lost

I took my kids outside today to ride their bikes. They absolutely love to be outside riding their bikes or scooters and talking to the neighborhood kids, and I love that it's good exercise for them and that they get to socialize a little. But they don't get to do these activities nearly as often as they would like, simply because I can't spend hours outside watching their every move. I can't count the number of times my daughter has asked if they could please go play in the FRONT yard this time, and I've had to say "no" because I needed to work on things inside the house and couldn't watch them. I really feel as if they have been cheated out of what should be a really wonderful part of childhood because our society has deteriorated so much that parents have to be fearful to let their children out of their sights for even a moment. When I was little, we would ask our mother if we could go out and play, and the answer would be, "Yes, be home by such and such a time," and we'd run off into the neighborhood to find our friends and play for hours. We rode bikes, jumped rope, built forts, made snowmen, rollerskated, you name it. When we went to the store, us kids could run off and play in the toy aisle while our mom shopped. We had some freedom and felt safe. I'm so sad that my own kids can't do that. I can't let them out in the neighborhood without worrying that they'll be grabbed by a kidnapper in a passing car. I can't even let them go a couple aisles over in Target for fear that some sicko might be staking out that section just waiting to expose himself to my kids. And we wonder why our children want to sit in front of the TV for hours and are getting fat. They're bored out of their minds being trapped in the house all day! I hate that we live in such a scary world now. If only we could go back in time....

2 comments:

Gretchen said...

You're so right! I remember that when we lived in Japan, my mom could send me (as a 7 year old) to the grocery store by myself to pick something up that she forgot.

JustRandi said...

You're completely right. It's horrible how we can't allow our kids to play in the front yard anymore. And yet, as soon as they're teenagers, parents feel free to drop them off at the mall or the movie theater. What's up with that?