Today we needed to take a trip to the local supermarket. Not very fun but much needed when you have mouths to feed.
Anyway, on our trip out we passed a child on a bike who was no older than seven. My guess would be that he was perhaps five or six years old and i'm being generous with my estimate. My husband slowed down to a crawl on spotting this child riding his bike in the road in the wobbly manner that children do and much to our shock he turned his bike towards the car and cycled towards us smiling to himself. If my husband hadn't stopped the car, i really dread to think what would of happened. There were no parents around that i could see and this child didn't seem to care or realise how close he came to hitting the car. Even with us stopped it would of hurt. Yet if we or anyone had of hit this child it would be the driver who was at fault. Where is the sense in that? When do parents have to shoulder some responsibility for their lack of care to their child?
Firstly i couldn't believe that anyone could be that foolish as to leave a child of this age who obviously isn't very sensible riding a bike on a 30mph road. At that age you can hardly blame the child who obviously lacks any common sense going on the way he was grinning ear to ear while peddling as fast as his little legs could go in the direction of our car and it isn't the first time i have witnessed such behaviour from unattended small children.
It's things like this that make me think that there should be some sort of test before you can breed. I wouldn't of dreamt of leaving my children unattended at that age. For starters they don't see danger like we do, maybe in their eyes a big hunking piece of car coming towards them will just feel like Nerf foam when they ride into it or run into it. I also often see pre teens and young teens hanging out in bus stops in all weathers. What's the sense in that? They are normally not waiting for a bus. Sometimes it's boiling hot, but hoodies are up and they are sprawled out in a dirty bus stop like it's some sort of trendy youth club.
Oh and how i hate to hear swear words coming out of the mouth of babes. You know something is wrong in the world when a little child in nappies shouts out the F word to one of his friends or siblings.
Childhood for many seems to have changed, it's no longer about climbing trees, collecting tadpoles, splashing about in paddling pools and enjoying that first lick of an ice cream when summer finally arrives.
Instead it's about how hard they can kick a ball into someones car, how many swear words they can say in one sentence, how they can all say "it's not fair" in Kevin and Perry type voices when they get grounded for one day and other such pathetic behaviour.
As parents it is our responsibility to teach our children right from wrong and to guide them in the right direction so they respect themselves and in turn others.
I hate to give too much thought to how children will behave (or not!) in the years to come.