It’s been interesting to see the debate in the press over the last few days on whether children should be allowed to cycle to school. The catalyst for this, outrage on one side and support on the other, has been the Schonrock family and specifically their 5 and 8 year old ‘being allowed’ to cycle a mile to school in Dulwich. The Telegraph article is here but there are plenty of others, e.g the BBC
What’s very interesting is the school threatening to report the matter to Social Services (I’d be surprised if Social services felt this was worthy of taking further given the very real demands on their resources and time).
As a parent and a Youth Worker I experience a tension sometimes. As a Youth worker I know my children need to grow, learn, risk and gain confidence, something they cannot do by being controlled, ferried and inoculated from embracing life. As a parent though I do get nervous but I do know that’s about my anxiety and shouldn’t be the driver of what my children do and don’t do.
My youngest cycles a busy couple of miles to school or walks (and gets lifts sometimes instead) and has done since he was 9. It’s been a real boost to his confidence and sense of self. It also seems to have reduced his anxiety about facing new challenges.
I’ve heard some sort of story or parable about a particular moth that endures an enormous struggle to emerge from it’s chrysalis. The story also details that an attempt to help it emerge by cutting the edges of the chrysalis will result in the Moth never being able to fly. The battling to emerge from the chrysalis being an essential component in the animating of it’s wings. I also seem to recall it had some relevance to this but I forget why now.
Captains Log Supplemental:
I’m also always interested in the debate often enters the arena of the roads not being safe for cyclists therefore they shouldn’t be on them, rather than, our roads are dangerous; maybe we should re-think the pre-eminence and dominance of motor vehicles.