5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Let children be children, and adults be adults,
This review is from: Reclaiming Childhood: Freedom and Play in an Age of Fear (Paperback)If, like me you are fed up with headline after headline bemoaning how bad today's world is for children, then this book is a must read.
Guldberg puts the experience of childhood today into historical perspective, and as a result portrays children's lives in a much more positive light than most. She takes up all the fears of the modern age, from our obsession with healthy eating, to bullying and stranger danger, and indicates that things are not as bad as we probably think they are. Guldberg convincingly puts the case that children are not only healthier and wealthier than ever before, but importantly, they are more robust than we tend to give them credit for.
For Guldberg, if anything poses a danger to the next generation, it is our safety-obsessed culture and our lack of trust in other adults which encourages us to keep children safely cocooned away from the world. This adult fear of the world potentially denies children important experiences in independent play, that we perhaps took for granted, and that are an important part of growing up. We need to let children be children, and this means they sometimes need the freedom to make their own mistakes, and learn from them.
Whilst Guldberg challenges the many ways in which the fears of adult society are projected onto our children, she does this while promoting a very positive view of the importance of adulthood. In the final section of her book she poses a defence of parents, teachers and strangers in the lives of children, arguing that they each play an important but different role, and they should be trusted to get on with it.