Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The End of Children Roaming

The end of roaming and an appreciation of local geography

Written from a Generation Y perspective
: How many times did we hear from our grandparents, "I walked five miles to school up hill both ways." The story usually is not heard from our parents, however. The increase in scale of living allowed our parents to be driven to locations or at very least bike. Catholicgauze's generation was blessed with the same benefits but the increase in perceived crime combined with Satanic Panic, kidnapping fears, and other hysterias to limit our roaming. Today's youths are limited even more in their freedom.

The Daily Mail has an excellent article describing the end of roaming children phenomenon. The article brings up why we should care about the lack of roaming. First off is the simple matter of physical health and exercise. Geography also comes into play, though. A roving child comes into contact with a variety of natural and human landscapes. This allows for an acquired apprication of the world (or at very least different enviornments). Even in a city, different neighborhoods can educate one immensely about people and the world. Geography, even local geography, matters.


Eddie said...

Have you heard of the uber popular "Dangerous Book For Boys"? It teaches fathers and sons many of the old "roaming" games and activities seemingly long forgotten since the era of obsessive parenting.

Catholicgauze said...

No I haven't but I should once the monster that is the thesis is done. Games like Orienteering and other roaming activities are ones that I will teach my children.

Goethe said...

D.H. Lawrence's early novel "Sons and Lovers" describes the hero's many-miled walks morning and evening to and from the train station (from where he was transported to the city to work). The mother also used to make the long walk on a regular basis. I forget offhand how many miles they walked, but definitely incomprehensible to affluent moderns.

Tony Cassidy said...

Interesting post, I do think the age of roaming is over for most youngsters, perhaps not so in more rural areas of the U.K. .

An interesting new aspect of child geography in the U.K. is the ASBO, which limits the movement of an individual within certain areas, depending on their misbehaviour.