I was out walking Milo tonight and just thought how great it was to see kids playing in the street at 8.30pm when it is dark (except for street lighting of course). I would guess they were between say 7 & 10, running up and down the road, playing on their little bikes and one had a little dog on a lead. The builders had left a pile of sand and they were all jumping and digging in it. Brilliant!
Some moany old so-and-sos might say it is irresponsible to leave them out on their own, but I say good on 'em! It reminded me so much of my own childhood, when back in the 70s in the UK similar scenes would have been seen up and down the country. Not so any more and I for one think it is sad.
In my early years when I was really quite little (maybe 5 or 6) we lived in a neighbourhood that was still under construction (Grove Hill, Hemel Hempstead) and I can remember playing on building sites - and I mean climbing up onto scaffolding and climbing up 1 or 2 stories! They would deliver the triangular timber roof frames and pile them up on top of each other and we would have great fun climbing up and into them. And like the kids on Al Reef, we jumped and dug into piles on sand. Behind all the construction were corn fields. We would walk into the fields and walk for ages in corn that was taller than we were! - finding our way back by following our tracks.
I tried as much as possible to give freedom to my kids as they grew up; letting them walk to the shops, playing out front etc. , but society still kind out frowns on you in the UK (and in other places) if you give kids too much freedom.
I'm a big believer (and I think the facts back me up), that in the UK the crime rates on child abduction are pretty much constant when looked at over the last 30-40 years and too much scare mongering goes on because of high profile cases like Madeleine McCann. As sad as these cases are, it still remains a fact that these sort of cases are very, very rare (and course in the UAE the incidence is even lower), and should we make significant behavioral changes because of these very rare events?
Well I don't think so and so I say to the parents of kids on Al Reef - keep on letting your kids out to play, let them enjoy their childhood.