I was talking last night with a group of local ‘mummies’ about the world as it is. We collectively reminisced about the ‘good ole days’ when we could all happily walk to school by ourselves without much hassle.

There was talk about the local policeman whom everyone knew by name. You couldn’t get in trouble with him, that would just be embarrassing. It was a time when everyone knew what kids were up to. They looked out for each other. Kids dobbed on kids, parents reported back to other parents and everyone was kept under control. It was a wild time, too, of no seatbelts, kids left in cars while the mothers did their weekly shopping. Strollers parked out the front of supermarkets while the parent ducked in for some cheese and biscuits!

Now we can’t hug kids in schools when they’re hurt, Police powers are restricted and everyone has to book a time in the week to borrow a cup of sugar. Our children’s hands are sanitized, their battles fought with lawyers instead of sensible conversation and the leaders of our communities have their hands tied by parents in denial.

People are set on fire at parties, bashed in the street and break ins are no longer seen as an emergency.

I left the night feeling rather dull in the head. So depressing. Has the world gone mad? Are all our kids doomed to walk the cold and unforgiving streets hounded by drug lords and ladies? Is it safe for our little ones to walk to school on their own? Can their hands stand getting dirty? Are we a bunch of paranoid parents or has the world gone festy and dark?

We agreed on a balanced view. Freedom with responsibility, street savvy kids who know they are loved and accepted at home. Kids who can stand on their feet and take responsibility for their actions. A new breed, we hope.

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