#ABloggingGoodTime Week 123
14th March 2019
Welcome to #InstaLinky Week 30
17th March 2019

Is This World Safe For Our Children?

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When you stop and think about it, my generation were so lucky growing up. I can remember going outside with my sister to play in the road or on the green with friends from a fairly young age. I can remember being allowed to walk to the shop on my own or with a friend to spend 20p on 20 sweets when penny sweets really were just that. We rode our bikes, we stayed out until it was almost dark, and we felt safe and happy. Sadly, even living in a quiet cul-de-sac, surrounded by families, I can’t imagine ever feeling happy enough with the state of the world, to let my daughter do the same. The question is, am I overreacting? Is our world safe enough for our children?

I suppose it actually comes down to a matter of opinion.  As a mother of a young child it doesn’t feel very safe. Sadly, when walking past large groups of young people, I hold her hand a little tighter and avoid making eye contact with them. Even when out in our safe and secure garden, I always have one eye and one ear on her because you simply never know what might happen.

a man in a shirt texting on a phoneIf you take a look at crime statistics these days, the number of children taken or even more alarmingly the number of children committing crimes is forever on the rise. I do have to stop and wonder though if it is in fact the media that has turned some of us into scared insiders and others to lives of crime? They may not be the sole cause, but I think they’re a massive contributing factor.

I am someone who makes my living from the use of Social Media and often the contents of stories in the media, so I don’t hate them by any means and in some cases think they’re an incredibly powerful tool to utilise in the right moment. However, I also think they hype up and sensationalise things that don’t need to be which can insight fear and a mob mentality within the general public.

a woman in a dark jacket leaning against a wall surrounded by shadowsYears ago, at the age of 24, I was walking home from work alone at 4am in the morning. I had just graduated, I couldn’t afford a taxi on a barmaid’s wage (pre-teaching job) and had walked home alone many times. That night, I was spotted by a group of girls, who I later found out were aged 13-16, stood at the end of my road. To avoid them, I walked down the road behind my house which would still give me access to my home. However, I am not sure anything I could have done would have been the right move.

My mere presence had annoyed them and they began following me, shouting and jeering at me, throwing cups of what smelt like cider at me and over me, pushing me, throwing cigarettes at me until I turned to go onto my property and they pushed me down a couple of steps and I fell to the floor. After a few more jeers and spitting on me, they ran off.

Want to know what the worst part of the whole experience was? I simply went inside, had a shower and got into bed. The next day I got on with my life and even spotted some of them in the daylight on my way to work. I changed the way I walked home for a little while but that was it.  I did nothing.  Why?

a pregnant woman holding her bump in a white dress in a dark room by an open window that has green foliage outside itI’m not sure in all honesty. I regret it now because I think that if you do nothing then nothing will change but I think I was scared of the repercussions, especially as they knew where I lived. Perhaps, I didn’t really have any faith that something would actually be done, considering they were minors, or maybe I felt it was my own fault for walking home in the early hours, in the dark, by myself. Who knows.

I did tell my mum, who was furious to discover that I was walking home alone at night but understanding. She mentioned the incident recently and it was funny because I hadn’t thought about it in so long.

Alyssa is growing up so fast that it is both overwhelming and a little sad. I have no doubt that in the not so distant future, I will have requests about going out to play with friends. Sadly, with the state of the world and many of the people in it, I’m not sure I will ever be in a position to say yes, without following her and sitting and watching to make sure she’s okay. I think I’d rather have her friends trampling through my house making a mess and noise – at least then I’d know that they were safe. Hopefully I won’t be “hated” too much for being “uncool.”

Do you worry about the safety of the world we’ve brought our children into?

 

 

14 Comments

  1. Laurie says:

    What an awful story about being attacked by a gang of young girls. How scary it must have been! I used to work in a restaurant (pre-teaching) and would get out late at night too. I had to walk through a dark secluded parking lot to my car, which was always a little nerve-wracking. A (male) customer sometimes would volunteer to walk me to my carr, until one time he grabbed me and kissed me in the parking lot! My manager banned him from the restaurant, and walked me out to my car himself after that!

  2. It really was a hateful thing to have had happen you, and so unfortunate it has shaped your world view. Understandably so. But really, so much of this is media hype … all sorts of things were happening in other generations, but also, the vast majority of people then and now, were and are fine. It’s a tiny tiny few that garner all this attention. Not that one shouldn’t be careful about the obvious stuff regarding personal safety. But you get what I mean: don’t believe the hype! #ablogginggoodtime

  3. I know what you mean. There are things that the Hubby used to do (riding his bike to school and back) that I wouldn’t dream of letting LP do even though he’s older now. All we can do is try to keep our children safe and hope for the best.
    #ablogginggoodtime

  4. At the moment, my boys are only small but I don’t look forward to the time when they’ll be independent and out and about on their own. We live in a very safe area but it just takes one small incident to change that!

  5. Kate says:

    I worry about my son returning to the UK because of knife crime even though he is sensible, does not drink and does not cause any trouble. I think we had no idea what our own mums were going through worry wise when we were little. It is easy to put rose-tinted glasses on about the past too – there were always worries about blokes hanging around in the park with bad intent when I was a child in the Seventies and Eighties. I was once told off so much for disobeying and taking a family dog into the park. I was attacked by a man whilst at university on the street and some did not believe it could have happened in that city and others did not know what to say or how to help. I reported it because my friends encouraged me to and he was never caught. It was many months later that I told my parents as I did not want to worry them. Turns out my own mum was attacked on the street in around 1940 by a man. I guess we just have to try and out good values into our children and hope that by doing so the world can improve and become safer. As you can see I have clever answers for you. #ABloggingGoodTime

  6. HI Katie, with this post, it is like you climbed into my brain. I worry about that every day, and so does my Mrs. We stay calm, but the truth is, the kinder cannot go and out and play by themselves or bike to the store. We were lucky, safer, dumber? Maybe all three? The world today is a tough one to figure out. And watching over Alyssa or my kinder, we need to stand guard.

    Thank you so much for featuring my post! #ablogginggoodtime xoxo

  7. I worry every day at the state of the world and how safe it is for the children! #TriumphantTales

  8. I worry every day at the state of the world and how safe it is for the children! #ABloggingGoodTime

  9. Rosie Doal says:

    I don’t allow my kids to play outside and that really does tear me up because when I was a child, my front door would always be open. The kids on the street would all be playing outside on their bikes or with their skipping ropes. We were able to go up and down the street and even to the corner shop. I’m too scared to let my kids out of my sight . They will never grow up with those memories x #ablogginggoodtime

  10. Katie it is definitely a different world that our children are all growing up in and there is a justification to be more cautious. I think one of the most worrying stages of the early years of parenting is learning how to gradually remove that safety net to a point that allows our children to grow and flourish without placing them in any danger. I don’t think there is one universal answer and much of it is work in progress. Thanks for hosting. #ABloggingGoodTime

  11. Okay wow! First, what were those girls doing hanging out that late at night? That’s always my question as a parent. I can’t help it. It’s just immediately where my head goes. Second, I have had to do the same thing walking home at night from waitressing or catering an event. It’s very scary but survival instincts kick in and you do what you think is best to get yourself to safety. I also don’t let my kids outside without me with them. Now they’re both older and they do go out with friends on occasion but it’s not very often. I also am always checking in with them. The world we are in today is so messed up. Other generations have felt the same way though and I think we need to remind ourselves from time to time of that fact. Thanks so much for hosting #ABloggingGoodTime

  12. Modern Gypsy says:

    I think about this often, even though I don’t have children. The world we are leaving them is worse in so many ways – more unsafe, environmental disasters waiting to happen, uncertain jobs and economies thanks to AI. It must be even more difficult to grapple with all of this as a parent.

  13. I do think the Media absolutely hype it up, fear equals big money, the worse the stories the more advertising dollars roll in. Is it scary, shit yeah! Do I worry? Absolutely! My daughter will be 15 soon, my other daughter will soon be 12 and my son is 9 and I worry about them, but I also do not want them to be crippled by fear so although we do discuss world events and things that are happening we do not let them watch the news, and we don’t either as it just gets into your head. I am so sorry for what happened to you, my sister and cousin were with some friends on a train at 15 years old and were overly bashed by a group of girls who were cheered on by a group of boys, I remember at the time I was 11 and I was so sad for my big sister, she had broken ribs and her mouth was all cut up because she had braces, my cousin had a severe concussion and the other girls suffered some broken bones. As a parent I can teach them things about safety and I can raise them to be good people in society, but sadly I can not wrap them in cotton wool. There are some horrible, cruel teenagers and adults out there, but I do believe the media makes it so much worse.

  14. Here in Mexico there is a lot of -probably justified – fear of crimes like kidnapping and a lot of stories in the media of children being snatched in public places. I rarely let go of my daughter’s hand when we are out, it is a sad situation. #ablogginggoodtime

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