Let your kids play it safe in the great outdoors

I WAS asked by my son while shopping this week if there were escalators when I was a kid.

While I laughed and told him that yes, we had escalators in my "olden days", his question reminded me of things taken for granted now.

In my day there was no Google to find out the answers to anything.

We had to dig through encyclopedias for that.

We didn't have the internet at all, not even a computer.

My parents limited the amount of television we watched, so we spent a lot of time playing outdoors.

That seems to be where times really have changed.

Research by the Australian Institute of Family Studies was released this week said overly protective parents were costing their kids up to two hours a week outside play time because of safety concerns.

I have to admit, there are plenty of things I did as a kid I wouldn't let my 11-year-old do now.

Depending on where we lived, I used to ride to school, but with large increases of traffic and everyone in a hurry, there is no way I would let me son ride to school now.

As a kid I would head out on the weekend with my friends, not to return until we were hungry.

Even then it would mean we would all head to the closest friend's house to be fed.

Our parents had no way to know where we were. After all, there were no mobile phones to call.

Even moving from city to country there were plenty of opportunities for adventure.

Harry Bruce Supermum June 26
Harry Bruce Supermum June 26 Harry Bruce

A 44 gallon drum and a piece of plastic hose was all we needed to create a circus act, or a mini Olympics.

A bit of dirt and a few planks of wood and we were the '80s version of the Crusty Demons.

We didn't dare each other to do crazy things. We double dared.

Sure, I still carry a few scars from those days - mostly physical, maybe a couple emotional - but l look back at my childhood with the fondest of memories.

We can give our kids the chance for great memories, and still keep them safe.

Next time you tell the kids to go and play outside, why don't you join them.

I double dare you.



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