ONE SUNNY afternoon as our children played nearby, I asked a neighbor at what age she would allow her son to bicycle around the block by himself.
"I don't think I would ever do that," she replied. "The world is a very different place now than it was when we were growing up."
Did she really think the number of child molesters and kidnappers in the world had increased in the last 20 or 30 years, I asked? "Oh, yes, I think it is increasing. Because of the Internet."
At a PTA meeting, during a discussion of traffic problems around the school campus, I asked what we could do to encourage families to walk or bike to school. Other parents looked at me as if I'd suggested we stuff the children into barrels and roll them into the nearest active volcano. One teacher looked at me in shock. "I wouldn't let my children walk to school alone … would you?"
"Haven't you heard about all of the predators in this area?" asked a father.
"No, I haven't," I said. "I think this is a pretty safe neighborhood."
"You'd be surprised," he replied, lowering his eyebrows. "You should read the Megan's Law website." He continued: "You know how to solve the traffic problem around this school? Get rid of all the predators. Then you won't have any more traffic."
Friday, March 30, 2007
Why Kids Are Fat
Here's an excerpt from an article in the LA Times about kids riding their bikes to school. Click the link to read the whole thing. It's amazing to think that people actually discourage their kids from getting exercise based on falsehoods.