Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Kids being Kids

Kids these days live very differently to kids in my day.  We used to get on our bikes, ride up and down the street, ride to the shop, go down to the creek at the bottom of our street with buckets and nets and look for fish, tadpoles and generally ride to each others places during the day time all without our parents.  There other kids living in our street and we all hung around together.  My kids are now 9 and 6 (Sienna is 7 next week) and they have never even ridden their bike on the road (I've made sure of that).  They are more protected these days and whether we just didn't hear about those "not so nice things" happening back in my day, these days with TV, Social Media, Twitter, Instagram, videos on U-Tube and the like, we actually are right there witnessing things live as these events unfold even though we read about events in the newspaper we actually watch them live.

I remember in September 2002 I was watching the TV with the Twin Towers in New York after the first plane crashed into it and then stood in my lounge room all the way over the other side of the world in Australia and watched live as the next plane crashed into the second tower.  We watched the Tsunami live on TV as it is happening, so we are made aware of events around us and events on the other side of the globe as they unfold in live time

Anyway back to my story of me riding my bike on the road as a child and my kids are 9 and 6 and haven't done that before.  Last week I took them to the bottom of our street which is a dead end and unless you live in the 2 houses opposiste you wouldn't really have a need to drive into this section of road however we walked down there and the kids rode their bikes on the road.  I sat on the footpath watching them thinking how this was a big deal for me to let them ride on the road and how safety conscious I was compared to what we did as kids.  There were no helmets in my days, we had big banana handle bars on our bikes which were all the rage and we all wore home made Hawaiian shorts and crop tops which I made myself using the old treadle Singer Sewing Machine.  Just in one generation how things change, and I can't even begin to imagine how different the lives of kids that James and Sienna will have in the future will be different to their lives now as kids.  All parents want the same thing and that is to protect their kids and keep their children safe.  I just think about Daniel Morcombe as a 13 year teenager and I can't help thinking we are not over protecting our kids these days.  Goodness knows when I have to protect them from people on the streets and these days it's people who you can't see you also have to protect them from ie inside computers.  Those ones are the worse kind because they are a "nothing".  Someone approaching them on the street who makes them feel uncomfortable is one thing but someone out there in the world of the internet who they can't see, well that is an entirely different story.  Kids don't know what they don't know.  The world certainly is a very complicated place in 2013.  In the meantime look at my kids riding on the road.....unfortunately it did result in one of them having a big tantrum which made it unpleasant well - for me mostly but I tried to be the mother and give them a little bit of freedom by having a ride on the road.

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