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There is only one success--to be able to spend your life in your own way.-Christopher Morley
Child's Play Challenges
By David
Posted August 28, 2009

In another time and another place, children used to play with their friends on the block. They used to tell their parents "Iím going out to play. See you later," and often before they could hear their parents' reply, they were out the door. In the distance they could barely make out a faint "Donít be late for dinner," as they bounced down the street to join their circle of friends.

There was a time in which parents and children never had to worry about things like kidnappings, violent crime, and child molesters. It was a simpler time and in many ways a much better time to be a child.

These days, parents can't avoid the reality that unspeakable evil exists, threatening their children at every turn. A quick lookup of police registrations of convicted child molesters shows that basically every neighborhood has its share of extreme danger.

More often than not, each week, there is yet another horrible news story of child abductions, families murdered, and the like. Sure, we can pretend that it doesnít apply to us, because weíve carefully selected a safe neighborhood in which to raise our family, and a safe school for our children. Sometimes, this type of self-assurance is the only way one can cope with the stark reality of parenting these days. But in the back of our minds, if not in the forefront, we all know that our families not immune from the dangers that exist.

So, these days, we never let our children out of sight, except when they are in school and in camp. Instead of going out to play on the block, they are driven to pre-arranged play dates. We take them to indoor play areas and parks where we are familiar with the layout. We pull up a chair outside our home and watch our children play on the block, riding their bikes and scooters.

Things Have Changed
Things Have Changed

Even though we live in a good neighborhood and have a reasonably good standard of living, I sometimes wonder about how growing up in a sheltered world will affect our children. Maybe they wonít mind at all, as they see itís the norm for all their friends. Maybe as they grow older and can be more independent, they will relish their freedom even more so than we did. I really donít know.

In the meantime, we continue to keep our children in sight, hope for the best, and quietly wonder about whether we should be living in a place where children can still play alone safely, and whether such a place exists altogether in this day and age.

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