From the Policy Studies Institute work on “children’s independent mobility” in Britain comes this:
*Approximately half of children’s journeys were made on foot
*80% of 7- and 8-year-old children got to school unaccompanied by an adult
• 30% of children under ten years old are allowed to travel
alone to places (other than school) within walking distance
• 9% of 7- and 8-year-old children got to school
unaccompanied by an adult, whilst levels of car ownership and use were fairly similar
Why don’t we see this for what it is? A heist! We have STOLEN children’s freedom! They are transported from locked space to locked space like prisoners. And we are expected to be their jailers.
Why is it so important for kids to walk around and play outside, independently? The loss of these mean:
• Considerable loss of autonomy…
• Decline in physical condition potentially leading to obesity and other health disbenefits,
• Gaining insufficient practical and social skills owing to inexperience in
In trying to give our kids a better life — why should they walk when we can drive them? Why should they scrabble around in the park when we can give them professional sports lessons? — we have taken away the building blocks of independence, and the social skills they will need TO SUCCEED.
How can we give them back?
Together, these give kids a chance to make their own fun and become part of the neighborhood again. Please let me know if/when your school adopts these simple, childhood-changing Let Grow initiatives! Drop a line to Lenore@LetGrow.org.
Hurry! The gates of freedom are closing and children are trapped inside! – L.