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skyscraper connoisseur
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http://www.news.com.au/story/0,23599,23709886-2,00.html

PANICKY parents are breeding a generation of "cotton wool kids" too afraid to climb trees or ride their bikes, NSW's most senior child guardian has warned.


Mums and dads are so fixated on keeping their children safe that children are growing into nervous adults without acquiring basic survival skills along the way.

NSW Commissioner for Children and Young People Gillian Calvert has cautioned that alarm over stranger danger and traffic means that today's children are missing out on simple pleasures.

"Over the past 10 years we have seen a real reduction in the range at which children can leave their family home and move freely," Ms Calvert told The Saturday Daily Telegraph.

"Kids tell us they can't ride their bikes around streets any more."

The simple joys of childhood such as bike riding, climbing trees and even just crossing the road are basic skills that are in danger of being entirely lost.

And doctors report that robbing kids of their freedom is pushing up rates of anxiety disorders in even the very young, while reducing play is denying children motor skills.

The data were presented at a From Page 1NSW Commission of Children and Young People and University of NSW conference.

"There are real concerns about reduced play opportunities," the university's Sports Medicine Unit director Dr Carolyn Broderick said.

"Fundamental motor skills are developed through play as well as balance co-ordination and strength. And a lot of play equipment has gone from parks because of fear of litigation.

"Children now have a fear that wasn't there in the past."

Dr Broderick said research shows a significant drop in free play time and a quarter of parents were actually discouraging their children from playing sport because they were worried about injury.

But it is not just backyard cricket that has gone missing - research in state schools found international events such as terrorist attacks were making children feel insecure.

"Some children expressed fear of global threats such as war and terrorism and had a general insecurity about their own future and their community's," Ms Calvert said.

"These concerns meant they lived life in a restrictive, guarded way, either as a result of restrictions imposed by others or themselves."

Child expert Robyn Monro Miller warned fearful children would grow into fearful adults.

"Even the RTA says children shouldn't cross the road by themselves until they are 10. How does the magic age of 10 mean you can cross a road?"

Sydney University's Brain and Mind Research Institute director Ian Hickie confirmed rates of anxiety in children were on the rise because of parents obsessed with keeping their child safe.

"Parents think the world is more threatening and the idea is you have to protect them from the world," he said.

Recent research found children as young as two were being treated for anxiety.
 

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Watch my Chops
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6,047 Posts
Wacks of irony.

It's like all those perverts who looked at the 13 year old Girl and who screamed sexually explicit material. Keep the Kids inside and the woman dressed up folks, the wolfs are out.
 

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Moderator
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7,976 Posts
I would say the internet has had a pretty big hand in taking kids out of trees and onto computers.

When I was a kid, I barely ever touched a computer. It wasn't until around 1997/98 (when I was about 16) that I started to use computers more often. These days, young children use and rely on computers far too much.
 

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70's porn star
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6,730 Posts
And computers have given people more access to information. Things in the world probably aren't more dangerous at all but when something goes wrong it never goes unnoticed and unreported anymore so it makes people think the worse. Maybe chinas "good news only" policy of the past was a good thing. The latest earthquake is one of the first times media in china have allowed to broadcast such bad news and its not going down well.
 
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