From Mental Floss:
With today’s paranoia of terrorists, child molesters and more, kids are missing more and more opportunities to go out, have fun and well…be kids. To fight this, a new parenting mentality has started to arise, arguing that kids should go outside to play rough, even if it means getting a few scrapes and bruises along the way. The free-range parenting movement has been getting a lot of steam lately and the idea has been a hot topic of debate. A recent book called Fifty Dangerous Things (You Should Let Your Children Do) has taken the concept one step further and actually recommends fifty different potentially dangerous activities that can help children learn about science, athletics and more.
The problem is that without exposure to mildly dangerous situations children never learn to assess risk, avoid harm and once they reach the magical age of 18 they can’t be expected to respond to the world like adults. Mind you, adults can’t be treated like adults anymore, for the compensation culture and the readiness to sue has made no-one responsible for their own behaviour anymore. It is always someone’s fault, and never your own.
I used to joke (especially as most friends had their families 7-10 years after Lou and I) that with Child 1 you are cautious, by Child 2 you are relaxed and by Child 3 you are positively negligent, but behind this is a realisation that children need to learn responsibility, and a response to the real world, whether that is walking or cycling home from school or being home alone for 10 minutes.