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Children not allowed out with friends
Detail: The charity, Children’s Society, as part of a series of reflections on childhood called “Good Childhood Inquiry” found out that 43% of 1,148 adults quizzed in Britain, would not allow children to go out with friends until they were 14. The over-60s were the most cautious respondents with 22% raising the age bar higher to 16 years for going out alone. The survey suggests that fear of youngsters’ safety leads to parental denial of children’s freedom outside home.

Curbing children’s freedom to go out and spend time with friends has serious consequences for children’s development and well-being. Chief executive of the Children's Society Bob Reitemeier said: "Children have told us loud and clear that friendship matters and yet this is an area in which we appear to be failing them….As a society we are in a real quandary. On the one hand we want freedom for our children, but on the other we are becoming increasingly frightened to let them out." Mr. Reitemeier cautioned: "If we go too far down the road of being over-protective and not allowing children to explore, to play, to be up with their peers, but also with children of other ages, then we may be influencing the way in which they look at society and social interaction later on."

Teachers too have expressed concern about the lack of play in the curriculum. There are also fears youngsters face too much pressure from national tests. Adrian Voce, from the Play England project, however said it was unfair to blame parents: "Compared to the well-being derived from being out and about and socialising and growing and developing, weighed up against real threats to your child's safety - real or perceived threats - it's a no-brainer for parents…They'd rather their child was short of a few friends and over-weight than dead on the road."

Source: Story from BBC NEWS:, 2007/06/05 04:10:09 GMT
Date: June 13 2007