Bred in captivity

Hot on the heels of my comments about leaders on a big camp, comes analysis from the Childrens Society showing that we are becoming more risk phobic as a nation.

The report suggests that children who aren’t allowed out of their parent’s sight before they are teenaged end up suffering and lacking in judgement.

The BBC comments page is a familiar picture. Despite all the evidence to the contrary, people are still asserting that today’s world is a much more dangerous place than the one they grew up in. It’s only more dangerous because people are getting ever more unable to judge risk.

It’s often asserted that even though a risk is not proved, it’s better to be on the safe side and guard against it. Risk assessment is seen by some as the act of eliminating, rather than sensibly controlling risk.

Worrying disproportionately about specific, unproven risks, far from keeping people safe, puts us in danger, by diverting attention away from a general awareness of the world around us.

Letting children get muddy and bruised helps them develop an awareness that will stop them getting seriously hurt in their teenage and adult life.


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