Should Our Kids be Walking or Riding their Bikes to School More?
According to a recent story on Sunrise, Aussie kids are the most chauffeured kids to school in the world!
And don’t our congested roads confirm this between 8.15 and 9.15 every morning and 2.45 and 3.45 every afternoon. The speed limits are already reduced to allow for the scant pickings of kids that are walking home which is cool, but the roads are jam packed with desperate parents eager to get to the front of the car line and they are double and triple parked on every road adjacent to every school from primary school all the way up to high school. In fact, if you want to book a doctor’s, dentist or hairdressing appointment, do it at 3pm because they are all deserted.
I never had a single, solitary ride to school ever when I was a kid. I walked or rode my bike everywhere. Up until Year 6 I even walked home for lunch. When I was in high school, my commute to school consisted of walking 1km (in up to -30C weather) to the bus stop, catching a bus to the train station, catching a train and then walking another 1km only to do it all in reverse at the end of the day. I also walked, by myself, to piano lessons, art classes and girl guides.
And until I had enough money saved for a car, I took buses and trains to and from my part time jobs.
So why is it that we feel this need to pick them up and drop them off everywhere they go? Most Prep and Year 1 and 2 kids probably can’t be trusted to cross the roads sensibly but with crossing guards at every intersection and older siblings to walk with, even this could be overcome.
This trend cannot surely be all about fear of them being kidnapped because parents are still driving their high school students to school and to and from their Maccas jobs!
With childhood obesity so high on the agenda, together with the over abundance of electronic devices that they are glued to around the clock do we really need to take this little bit of exercise away from them too?