Children these days are mollycoddled a lot more than the children of a few decades ago. They tend to explore the world around them less, partly because they have all sorts of devices and screens to keep them entertained. Society seems to be perpetuating the idea that the world is an increasingly dangerous place, where parents should be concerned about letting their children do what children should be doing at their age, i.e. running around, playing, exploring the world around them and generally just having fun.
It’s quite common for things to be cancelled, removed, changed or banned outright in the interests of health and safety. A great example of this is the case of Hillfort Primary School in Liskeard, Cornwall, actually banning children from running in the playground back in 2016 in order to reduce the number of children getting hurt. Another example is of kids being banned from flying kites in a park and kids having to wear goggles when playing conkers. The general consensus is that health and safety rules are becoming more restrictive and are making the world seem to children like a lot scarier and more dangerous place than what it actually is. The more children see common, relatively safe activities being restricted or stopped altogether, the more they’re going to want to just stay at home where it’s safe and they can’t get hurt.
Children should most definitely be encouraged to fall over and get hurt. They should most definitely not be made to adhere to extreme health and safety rules; they should not be made to think simple activities such as running, flying kites or playing conkers are unsafe in anyway. They should be encouraged to be children and to enjoy their youth while they can, as it’s such a precious time of life that’s over before it’s begun. They should be actively encouraged to explore the world around them, even if that means they fall over and get hurt once in a while. They should want to look beyond their doorstep and gain a sense of curiosity about the world.
Spending time outdoors, running around and playing – all that stuff’s important for children because it gives them resilience and toughens them up. It helps them develop important skills and gives them the confidence to do things and to be bold enough to try new things. Even if they get a few cuts and bruises along the way, so what? The experience of getting out there, learning new things and having fun is worth a few minor injuries.
Life’s all about risks. Life’s also not plain sailing, nor is it always going to be safe and sterile. Life’s about taking risks, getting out there and doing things, even if it means there’s a small chance of getting hurt or something going wrong. All children should be encouraged to not be afraid to take risks and explore the world around them. The benefits and experiences they can gain are so worth it, even if they sustain a few small injuries along the way. Falling over and getting hurt are character-building; they make us stronger and tougher, plus they instil confidence and make us more resilient. Children should be tough and unafraid of a few lesser injuries, not scared to leave the house for fear of getting hurt.