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She climbs a tree and scrapes her knee, her dress got a tear….Or does she? Most likely not, since she/he is stuck inside playing video games. I know, I know, this has been pondered by many. But it really does seem kids today are now total house hatchers. Yeah, some of them are very active and parents drop them off to sports and other activities but are they having adventures or have a sense of adventure. You know the ones where, your parents only allowed you to stay within the area so they could find you but you pushed it out and discovered that stream of water, believing it was fresh for drinking because the plants filtered it further upstream. Or caught frogs in a marshy pond, affectionately known to all your peers as the Swamp. Or brought along that empty Jam Jar, with holes punctured in the lid, to be used to entrap as many bees as possible and to seek out the illustrious Red Arse. Or maybe to build that camp or fort or tree house out of dismantled pallets, old discarded pieces of wood and using stolen tools from your fathers garden shed.

What has happened? Are children today missing out on escapades and exploratory journeys that I gladly experienced? Character building and life molding exploits! Are my memories even that at all? Were they all just child’s play? The memories are so distant now they feel like a dream and they are vague and give me the feeling they never happened at all.

Does it come down to safety? I don’t think so. My niece was 10 when she was allowed to go to school on her own. I was about the same age, so nothing has changed there. I think kids are growing up so fast, and early, but I remember hearing that when I was child. I don’t think it’s about trust on the child, more trust on the rest of the public….Stranger Danger. Surely the concern of parents is a factor on how loose the reigns around their children are. The tighter the reigns, the limited the adventure?

I can only put it down to the age we live in. I can’t say that urbanization or suburban sprawl is a factor, since I know kids from Dublin Inner City from years back had their own set of adventures in their own way. Where I’m from in Finglas, back in say 1985, was considered at that time to be the outskirts of Finglas. My Mother remembered when it was considered the country side. Now Finglas has sprawled a lot more, the only thing that is restricting it is the Airport, just on it’s back door. The country lane, with barely any traffic, has become a large Shopping Centre with an underground car park. A far cry from blackberry picking on the field hedgerow! So has this urbanisation hindered childhood adventures and quests? It’s possible they are having virtual adventures in cyberspace but is this the same as what I’m talking about?

Kids still read, but do they still read old books like Enid Blytons Famous Five. Would this be irrelevant and out of date or would it inspire? Does Harry Potter inspire kids the same way? I hope so.

I can remember the smell of burning sausages on an old grill over a camp fire. I would not have been more than 10 years old, when we decided to make our own lunch one Saturday afternoon. Do kids today have any clue to attempt this? Would it even interest them to try? I worked for 2 weeks fruit picking during one summer. I got paid ‘peanuts’ and worked hard but it was fun. A girl arrived one morning in a white blouse and left that day in a pink one. This was due to the vast number of projectile raspberries fired from unseen hands, like a heavy red meteor shower. Now, kids can grow their own farm on Farmville. Does it have the same sense of enjoyment and fun as actual fruit picking? Will there be someone in 30 years time writing a similar post to this, spewing on about how kids of his present are out of touch, compared to how he was today. Actually, I’ve just come to a conclusion. I’m the one out of touch.

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