No Sense of Adventure!

On the BBC this morning, there was a report (which I can't find a link to grrr) about how children are losing their sense of adventure due to overprotective parents and too much time in front of a computer.  I've been thinking about it all day.  The children I work with definitely haven't lost theirs, but none of them are older than four.  I am now intent on creating adventurous activities for them all week (tomorrow's will be awesome) because I cannot bear the thought of them losing their curiosity and eagerness to explore new things.

When I was a child, just reading the word adventure made me imagine far off lands and all sorts of exciting journeys - some of which I've gone on in adulthood!  When I heard this report about children no longer caring about getting out there and having an adventure, I thought how awful it must be! I know the world of today is different from even when I was a child and there are so many more dangers in it, but children still need the freedom to be inquisitive and adventurous! I firmly believe it's possible, but this blog is about writing, not my theories and experience of child development.

So!

Maybe I didn't get to go on the kinds of adventures I read about or saw on TV (why wasn't I ever part of a Famous Five group? I would've made a great George!), but I spent most of my time daydreaming I did.  Now I'm an adult (tied down by a day job that doesn't involve saving the world on a regular basis), I write adventure stories instead! I want to do whatever I can to take young people on adventures and inspire them to seek their own.  Perhaps not the kind of adventure that requires foiling criminal plots, but something that keeps a spark in their life or guides them to an exciting and fulfilling career.  I know the adventures I read about as a child have had an affect on the way I live my life.

Most of my adventures involve US roadtrips! GUESS THE STATE!

I want characters who care about the world and their friends and families, who will battle adversity and come out on top.  I want mysterious places with strange happenings and tension and horror and lots of action! I want the reader to put it down at the end and think "you know what, I can be like that too!"

I don't have children of my own, but as someone in the education sector, I'll do whatever I can to help the children I support get excited at the prospect of an adventure, even an imaginary one! I don't expect to educate the next bunch of pioneers, but I want to keep them curious and excited by this brilliant world of ours! Who knows what an adventurous child will grow up to be?

I read a pile of adventure books as a child, and still love them, but here are two of my favourite things (thanks,Youtube!) that I was completely obsessed with in my childhood.  The age of these things will give you a clue as to how far into my 20s I am ;).  They'll also reveal what kind of things I like to write:


Seriously, the best cartoon ever.  My nursery children are all into Ben 10.  Hah! If only they could see good ol' Jonny Quest.


Okay, so I still love Tomb Raider, but aaaaaaah memories! I wish I was as awesome as Lara Croft!

How do you all feel about protecting and inspiring children's adventurous spirits? Isn't the ability to take risks so essential in our adult lives? After all, by seeking to get published, all us writers are taking a great big leap into the unknown.

Comments

  1. Being adventurous at a young age is crucial in the development of children and unfortunately, I do think this is happening.

    I don't think computers are responsible to be honest. I think it's more to do with parents who won't let their children leave the house on their own.

    Growing up, I wasn't ever allowed to walk out the front door on my own. We did live in a rough area though. And even at the age of 19, my Mum still won't let me walk through certain places on my own, such as our local park but there were rumours that someone was set on fire by someone else there a few years ago so it's not a particularly safe place.

    Because of events like these, parents will much rather have their children inside. It may also be that there isn't much to adventure. If there is a road alongside your house, always full of moving cars going at speeds of above 30, will you let your kids run about? There isn't much for children to adventure anyway. During the day, they're locked in a classroom and made to learn from a national curriculum that un-teaches genius and then when it's over, parents are too tired from the day to do anything or have to work late. And then add onto that that children are being handed homework and that some people may live in areas where it's genuinely not safe to let your kids run about.

    Sure enough, if I ever have kids, I hope I live in a small village or something so I can let my kids go out for a while on their own every day.

    I've become more adventurous as I've grown older though. I'm still a bit anxious though. I guess it's just the way some people are brought up. It's just not as safe as it used to be.

    And I've just realised what a long post this is. I'm sorry!

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  2. Kamille: Unfortunately, ours is a world no longer as safe as the one our parents knew. In my professional work with children, I encourage investigative and adventurous play as much as I can, within certain health and safety limitations of course. I'd go on, but I shan't bore you with child development theories :P

    Basically, it's up to parents to find alternate ways of giving their children a sense of freedom and adventure.

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  3. The state is Utah! Driving across the salt flats, amirite?
    Great post! Yay for the Linky award, so I could discover it!

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  4. Kris: Spot on! Walking on them was sooooo weird! And you're welcome ^_^

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  5. What's your job if you don't mind me asking?

    it's a shame our world has changed so much. I used to read Enid Blyton books and wonder why I couldn't leave the house so often like the characters did.

    We have really small houses with small gardens over here. Especially in the south of the UK so it's not so easy for parents to find things for kids to do. Even when you play hide and seek, there are only three or four places for kids to hide. Bad example, sorry but I can't really explain this. Some houses are so small you don't have too many options. It's hard to build a fort made of chairs and blankets in the room which looks more like a closet.

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  6. Kamille: I'm currently a teaching assistant, but I trained in child development in a nursery between 2009 and June of this year.

    I'm quite lucky, living in Brighton. The beach is just down the road ^^

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  7. So, the first time my husband and I drove across them (well, first time for me while conscious), we got a video of me licking the ground to verify that they are, indeed, salty. And they are! Very, very salty.

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  8. Kris: You are a brave woman! I just loved how my feet sank into it XD

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