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Do we overprotect our children?

James Harrod | 14:50 UK time, Monday, 29 October 2007

Hi, it's Peter on James' log in. Check out our new blog and post comments here

Dear World Have Your Sayer, morning / afternoon / evening, Peter Dobbie here with news of today's World Have Your Say on air at 1700 GMT, live from studio S38 here at Bush House.


Today we're devoting a big chunk of the programme to a question: do you protect, or rather overprotect your children.

The reason I ask is that youngsters are missing out on their childhood because we do just that: we bubble-wrap them, to keep them safe. A child play expert is claiming a reluctance to let children take risks could stop them developing vital skills needed to protect themselves. Tim Gill's new book says that instead of creating a "nanny state" we should build a society where communities look out for each other and youngsters. The book explores several key areas, including children's play, anti-social behaviour and fear of strangers. In No Fear: Growing Up in a Risk Averse Society, Mr Gill argues that childhood is being undermined by the growth of risk aversion and its intrusion into every aspect of children's lives. Some parents are afraid of letting their children play unsupervised.

But through encountering risks, children learn how to overcome challenging situations, nurturing their character and fostering a sense of adventure, resilience and self-reliance. Mr Gill says that restricting children's play limits their freedom of movement, corrodes their relationships with adults and constrains their exploration of physical, social and virtual worlds.

What do you think ? Do you worry for your childrens safety ? What lengths WOULDN'T you go to to safeguard your kids ? Let us know your opinion.


Also, not on the show as such, but more of a talking point. Remember the original Haloween movie with a young Jamie Lee Curtis being chased around by a man in a mask, slashing all and sundry, like death was on special that day. Buy one, get one free. Slashers Are Us. Anyway, that movie is 25 years old this week, and there's a special 4 CD boxed set being released too. It all comes together with the new Cronenberg film -- a man known for his blood, guts and dark themes; plus there's another new film called Eastern Promises out here in London, based around a story about the Russian Mafia. It's dark too, sinister and as one of the guys in the WHYS office said this morning "when it's gory, it's REALLY gory". MMMmmm, yes well....

What occurs to me is that films have become so much more violent since the original Haloween a quarter of a centuary ago, but WHY ? Are we all immune to violence, is it a male thing, do we need violence on screen because of our own bottled-up emotions that we cant get rid of any other way ? There's no delicate way to ask this but why do we like blood and guts -- the more blood and guts the better. You go to any cinema multiplex and I bet you 2 of the 6 films wouldn't be anything you want your children to see. But we grown ups flock top them, or do we ?

Tell us what you think, as ever via the usual contact details.

TEXT: +44 77 86 20 60 80
PHONE: +44 20 70 83 72 72

Later, Peter :-)


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