Childhood: ‘They don’t have the freedom we had as children’

This headline is based on a recent poll by the charity Action for Children, who surveyed 1,559 parents and 1,379 grandparents of children 11 to 18-year-olds.

Parents are increasingly worried about letting their children out unsupervised. The increase in mass media now reports many horrible things that happen to children globally making it seem like it is unsafe for children in the wider world.

Increased rules on things like child safety seats in cars have meant that it is more difficult for carpooling among parents. Regulations on things like bike helmets, safety fences around pools etc. make these things less accessible to low income families.

The fact that every child now has a phone means that parents can constantly check up on their children and this can also decrease a child’s sense of freedom. Widespread computer use mean children spend much more of their free time inside.

The charity also questioned 2,082 children aged 11 to 18, and found 91% were worrying about “adult issues” such as Brexit and poverty. The survey also found very high levels of concern about cyberbullying.

What do you think? Do young people have less freedom than we did?

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