Monday, September 01, 2008

Free range children?

Are we too protective of our kids?
Are we living in an overly clean environment?

I've been wondering awhile about those questions, so when I read those, they certainly added fuel to my thoughts:

Why I Let My 9-Year-Old Ride the Subway Alone
This post on the blog Free Range Kids discusses about how much independence to give children: it's something I often discuss and sometimes argue about with my wife.
  • Should my 4 year old go to the post box on the corner of our street, just one house away, on her own -with us watching from the window? We think so.
  • Should my 7 year old be allowed to open the oven unsupervised to prick a cake with a sharp cooking knife and check if the clafoutis is ready? I think so, my wife disagrees.
  • From what age can they walk about a mile to school -unsupervised? 8? 10? 15???

Apparently unrelated are allergies. They seemed no provisions for allergic kids when I was at school and now everyone's going nuts about it. Nuts and a growing list of things are banned from kids parties.
As I've written here, we're exposed to more pollutants like diesel and many chemicals and many suspect there are links to cancers, asthma, allergies, etc...

As I've written here, I think we shold eat more un-pasteurised foods. This article from the Beeb seems to confirm this: Farm pregnancy 'cuts asthma risk'

My conclusions? Should we be less protective of our children, while reducing the chemicals ingestion and exposure and eating more natural stuff? I think so.

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