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What is socially acceptable in the UK, but not in the US?

There are quite a few things but the one that stands out the most for me is giving children independence. In the US it's almost frowned upon, with the exception of some really good parents able to withstand the henpecking from social bullying.

In the UK my child was under the age of 11 when she came to know how to navigate public transport around our city. It’s normal for kids I've seen as young as 8 or 9 to take the public bus, or ride bikes to school without parents.

One of the junior (elementary) schools not far from me had a safe biking campaign. They were encouraging kids as young as 5 to learn how to bike safely. I was quite impressed by this.

I have read comments from the States where people are concerned letting their preteen use the toilet without them. They were hellbent on berating a mom whose little boy of 4 ran into the men's room and asked a man for help washing his hands. Are men automatically predators now?

My children lived less that a quarter of a mile from school in the US. I could see them from my door turn a corner, that's it, they were at school. I had people pull me aside and said they were concerned for their safety when walking. They were 8 and 10 at the time, walking in a safe residential neighborhood together.

The fear-based culture in the US is overwhelming, no one trusts anyone and everyone is divided. Irrational fears translate into automatic bad parenting; because there is a .005% risk of a child abduction, maybe less, you the parent are automatically irresponsible because you are not watching everything they do even when it's age-appropriate

Another one of my favourite socially acceptable things regarding this topic is Penny For The Guy; I love this, I really do. Kids who dress up a dummy and beg for change (“Penny for the guy” they say) so they can buy fireworks and sweets. I always give to them, because I love to see kids being kids and not dragged into some adult hysteria.

In the US CPS would be called on their parents, some outraged good samaritan would be in shock wanting to know who left them there, where are their parents, why are they begging… It would become something that made the news, and the holier-than-thou parents on social media would demand the children be taken away…. All over a non-issue, in good fun. I'm truly surprised Halloween isn't outlawed in the US by now.

We have adventure playgrounds, I love them. My kids can play in a muddy sand and water pit, climb in a donated old boat, build a tower with tyres, and crates. There are even old mattresses and planks of wood. These kids are loving life, these places encourage kids to take risks, team build, have confidence and use their imaginations, and staff (it's free by the way) are encouraged not to interfere.

Could you see American children climbing old tyres in a park? If they even have a park it's usually so safe it's boring, built about a centimetre off the ground.

I think it’s socially acceptable to allow kids to be kids without fear in the UK. I love this approach.


This information was taken from Quora. Click here to view the original post.

Do you really think that UK and USA are that different? What examples come to your mind?

#Geography #Society #Quora

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What are your thoughts on this subject?
156 Comments
Beverly Knutsen
Jacky Pierce Friedman, We think alike. We long for the ‘Good old days’ - Dodge ball, skate on the sidewalks, kick the can, marbles, jacks, climb trees and more. Use your imagination. Come home when the street lights came on. . . and more.
65
Jul 12, 2018 1:02AM
Jill Pearson
My Irish Grandmother had a saying: "You have to eat a peck of dirt before you die!" Kids today grow up in a sterile environment, if they are even allowed to get dirty, they're whisked away to be cleaned with a "wipe" or a squirt of hand sanitizer. God forbid they're exposed to the elements. If they look up from their cell phones or game systems that is! Ill ask friends at our beach where their teenage kids are, on the jetski? Nope, inside watching TV or playing on the computer! I long for the good old days!
40
Jul 21, 2018 6:11PM
Deborah O'Neill
I’m glad I grew up in the 50’s and 60’s.
16
Nov 5, 2018 8:04PM
Jacky Pierce Friedman
I totally agree with this. Society today has gotten out of hand. When I was growing up we did all the stuff she mentions in the article. Heck. I had a nail through the bottom of my foot 4 times. I was taken to the hospital, given antibiotics, wrapped my foot and went home. We walked several miles to school. Went in bathroos alone. Played outside until the street lights came on. Road our bikes around the neighborhood. Some of my friends lived several miles away. All the neighborhood kids gathred together in the middle of the street and played games. My dad told us how he use to ride the bus and trolley from one states to another alone at 10 years old to visit his grandparents for the weekend. Went out and collected old bike parts to make new bikes and sell them. Nowadays kids don't even go out of the house. Amazing how the world has changed and it's sad.
10
Jul 11, 2018 1:47AM
mariancc
The U.S. Is a more dangerous place than it has ever been. Very sad.
9
Aug 11, 2019 8:32PM
Barb VanDusen
when I grew up I walked to school - it was a mile away - I was aged 6 and had polio so used crutches. Thank God - it gave me confidence and a better sense of independence
6
Nov 9, 2018 7:14PM
karen twirly
Deborah O'Neill, I always say the best times were the 50's and 60's. Moms were home, streets were safe, neighborhoods stable, war was not imminent. I enjoyed so much freedom. I grieve for my grandkids that see danger everywhere.
6
Jan 5, 2019 1:48PM
tbear
Beverly Knutsen, I agree with you! But it sure isn't like that now! 😊👍
0
Sep 29, 2021 9:31PM
tbear
Jacky Pierce Friedman, when was this, what year, and where! Things have changed A LOT in the last 50 to 70 years! I can remember doing that also when I was the age you are talking about! BUT that was in the late 40's! There are to many Craig's out there now! And you know it!
0
Sep 29, 2021 9:28PM
Arlene Appio Pletka
As a parent we are to raise our children to be good people. It is our duty to guide and protect our children. It is a different society today then when I was growing up.
2
Sep 17, 2021 10:15AM
Arlene Appio Pletka
First of all, young children ages 4-11 should not be taking public transportation by themselves and riding all over a city. This is the Liberal thinking. You have to be crazy to let a young child ride alone. Here is something to think about. Children are taken and never seen again. What if that happened to your child???? There are too many mentally ill people today walking around.
2
Sep 17, 2021 9:38AM
cmyork
You have a point where we have become obsessed with the safety of our children. And I agree that some have reached a point of coddling but the mere idea of having a child go missing is so terrifying even the low odds of it happening are too high for many parents. We have many great and similar parks throughout America for our children. There are great activity centers in all of our communities. You underestimate how we Americans compensate and utilize the resources for our kids to give them what they need to be strong healthy adults. In the United Kingdom, an estimated 112,853 children are reported missing every year. And the population is 65.2M (1.735%) National Crime Agency, UK Missing Persons Bureau. In the United States, an estimated 460,000 children are reported missing every year. In a population of 332.6M (1.4%) Federal Bureau of Investigation, NCIC. [All stats are close by not precise] This, however, is only a snapshot of the problem. In many countries, statistics on missing children are not even available; and, unfortunately, even available statistics may be inaccurate due to: under-reporting/under-recognition; inflation; incorrect database entry of case information; and deletion of records once a case is closed. And the situation in both countries have seen a rise in kidnapping due to human trafficking,
0
Sep 13, 2021 10:09AM
Stevan Overby
I don't honestly think the Queen wants us back!!!
0
Sep 10, 2021 4:31PM
Craig Gordon
With so much news being blasted at us constantly, we tend to view the world and others as being far more evil than it is. I think that bad things happen, but not with the frequency we seem to believe. It is really important that kids be allowed to be kids, have fun, play, interact. As that great philosopher Billy Joel taught us “The good old days weren’t always good, tomorrow ain’t as bad as it seems”
1
Sep 1, 2021 5:02PM
Phoebe
I can remember walking to school as young as five and six; the school was about five blocks from our house. Also did most of the things mentioned on here, what I didn't do my brother did. I think the US is so full of scare mongering, at least today. Whenever one bad thing happens and is shown on the news, the whole country over reacts as if that bad thing was about to happen again and to everyone.
1
Sep 14, 2020 11:26PM
Bryan Thompson
Don't try any of that now in America.
0
Mar 30, 2020 6:41PM
kandilarson
Beverly Knutsen, Dodge ball was sadistic Especially for people who wore glasses
0
Feb 14, 2020 1:23PM
kandilarson
Jacky Pierce Friedman, Sounds like you were an accident waiting to happen. Just kidding. Have a great day
0
Feb 14, 2020 1:20PM
Dennis Lane
Judith Bandsma, It's utterly rediculous because our legal system is utterdly rediculous.
0
Dec 15, 2019 8:17PM
Dennis Lane
Olivia Salina, Roots and Wings, right?
0
Dec 15, 2019 8:13PM
Dennis Lane
Carmen Bortz, "all the neighbors watched out for everyone s kid! " Yes. And that's the difference.
0
Dec 15, 2019 8:11PM
Dennis Lane
Barry G Hitchens, I believe you are thinking correctly. "Perfect indivudual Freedom" translates to the absolute entitlement attitude we see so often. Thanks for your comment.
0
Dec 15, 2019 8:10PM

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