Ask Weezy Highlights by Louise Palanker
Cover Art by Shock777
Are kids really less safe today than they were 30 years ago?
Here’s a question that just came in to the Our Place app regarding safety, freedom, kids and danger:
My mom never lets me have a social life!! Im always stuck inside the house! I’m almost 14… I’m a good kid with good grades!!!!
If I ask to go to the movies, a fair or anyplace with my friends, I cant go!!!! I can only go outside if my parents go too! So the only thing I do is stay home texting! How do I get my mom to let me go out more? I feel like she doesn’t trust me!
Your mom trusts you. She doesn’t trust the world. It’s sad that modern kids do not have the same freedom to run and ride and explore and create that my generation enjoyed. But the reality is that you don’t have it. You do need to accept what is and work within that reality, rather than just fighting against it.
We can speculate as to the reasons why kids today do not have very much freedom. Are there really more child predators today then there were when I grew up? Probably not. But because of the internet, are they better organized? That may very well be.
But I believe that the reason you have less freedom is because of a thing called the 24 hour news cycle. What is this? It’s news that’s on 24 hours a day. The national news used to come on from 6:30-7pm. They did not have time to report on every missing kid. That half hour of news was followed by an episode of Lassie where little Timmy would go running all over God’s creation, so far from home that he got stuck in a well and the only one who noticed was the dog.
Times change, our connectivity has grown increasingly interwoven and your parents are now more aware of what could go wrong. It is disturbingly ironic that you are actually in more danger sitting in your room, on your device and possibly talking to a stranger than you would be riding your bike up and down the street.
But enough of my theories. The best way for you to feel less trapped this year is to join organized activities that get you involved with other kids. Your freedom is coming. It’s a couple years away, but it will get here. Right now, do not spend your day talking to strangers online. That is very dangerous.
Instead, plug yourself into the activities that are available to you. Join, take part, sign up, belong to something that is fun and safe for kids your age.