Spread the love
There was a time when we all thought how lucky we were to live in this big beautiful country or ours. The problem is that the states and territories throughout Australia are increasingly becoming more and more restrictive. We are becoming what is commonly referred to as “The Nanny State”.
There are new laws being passed constantly banning us from doing some of the things that we obtained great pleasure from in our youths. Things like going fishing, lighting a camp fire, building a tree house on our own property, riding a bicycle without a helmet, letting off a few fireworks, doing a cartwheel at school or giving one another a hug at school. It is bureaucracy gone crazy!
So what has changed so dramatically in 30 years that we have to have a ‘big brother’ looking over our shoulder all the time telling us what we can or can’t do? We were once regarded as the ‘land of the free’ but times have changed dramatically and our governments have seen fit to overprotect it’s citizens. Some people are also of the opinion our ‘caring government’, a government with the highest number of female Cabinet Ministers in the history of Parliament and the first female Prime Minister, was always going to be too ‘nanny’.
My parents approach to parenthood was basically “let the kids roam free like free range chickens”. We played outside at all times unless it was practically a cyclone or a blizzard! I doubt whether my parents knew where we were and they weren’t worried if we were riding our bikes around without shoes or helmets. They certainly weren’t perturbed if we were in the bush building a cubby house or chasing cows around the paddock. They weren’t even concerned if we were letting off fireworks in the back yard!
The latest bit of insanity is that kids are now being banned from blowing out candles on communal birthday cakes at Childcare centres. The new guidelines state that kids who want to blow out a candle on their birthday should bring their very own cupcake to avoid blowing germs over a shared cake. Additionally, daycare staff now have to wash toys, doorknobs, floors and cushion covers every day. So what are we trying to achieve?
Are we trying to wrap our kids in cotton wool? What will happen to children’s immune systems if they are protected from everyday germs? The Australian Medical Association warns that the clean-freak regulations place kids in a bubble. It’s normal and healthy to be exposed to a certain amount of environmental antigens that build up our immune systems. If you live in a plastic bubble you’re going to get infections (later in life) that you can’t handle.
An article in the Australian Newspaper titled ‘Our kids are covered in bubble wrap’ http://www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/columnists/our-kids-are-covered-in-bubble-wrap/story-e6frg7bo-1226231339776 says:
“Driven by the best of intentions, we are also cosseting children from emotional discomfort. Life in a bubble of self-esteem built by loving parents for a young child may seem like a proper shield from the harsher edges of reality. Until the bubble bursts in later years, when those children-turned-teenagers-turned-adults, are greeted by the real world. Maybe we are not doing our kids any favours by protecting them so much. Just maybe we are actually doing them some harm”.
If we are completely honest with ourselves I guess we don’t really want to revert back to the ‘good old days’, when seatbelts weren’t worn in cars or helmets weren’t mandatory on bicycles, as we all know that these innovations have saved numerous lives. But I believe that as parents we should have a say over what our children can and can’t do, because after all that is our job.
Kathy was a 50 something year old when she started up this blog 6 years ago, but has since turned over another decade and is now in her early 60s. She is married with two adult children and lives on the Tweed Coast of New South Wales, Australia. Kathy enjoys living life to the fullest and loves to keep fit and active by maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Some of her interests include reading, photography, travelling, cooking and blogging! Kathy works part-time as a freelance writer but her real passion is travelling and photographing brilliant destinations both within Australia and overseas and writing about it.