Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Frank Furedi: Paranoid Parenting 13 years on

Frank Furedi published his Paranoid Parenting in 2001.

In today's Independent he looks at what has happened over the ensuing 13 years. He does not paint an encouraging picture:
In 2001, when I published my book Paranoid Parenting, I was genuinely surprised to discover that virtually all experiences associated with childhood came with a health warning. 
At the time, Paranoid Parenting documented the growing tendency to extend adult supervision into every aspect of children's lives. It was apparent that the outdoors had become a no-go area for many youngsters and that the majority of parents did not even allow their offspring to walk to school on their own. 
The idea that children were too vulnerable to be allowed to take risks had already become entrenched. That was bad enough. But since the turn of the century, the regime of child protection has become steadily more pervasive and intrusive. The relentless erosion of children's freedom has been paralleled by the constant tendency to politicise parenting. 
During the past decade or so, the banning of a variety of activities associated with children's life has acquired a relentless dynamic. I still remember, when in February 2007 after a group of children were suspended from school for throwing snowballs, an angry mother writing to me to ask: "What will they think of next?" 
Regrettably, the obsessive impulse to regulate children's life ensures that the next target of child protection is already on the horizon.

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