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Learning to Swim

April 1st, 2008

“At a public swimming pool we have gates, put up signs, have lifeguards and shallow ends, but we also teach children how to swim.”

From the Executive Summary of [dfes.gov.uk] Safer Children in a Digital World; The Report of the Byron Review via Slashdot [slashdot.org]

That sounds like common sense. I think more parents need to read and understand that. It is not societies responsibility to teach your children it’s your responsibility as a parent. There will always be things beyond a parents control and society should take steps to minimize the risks to people — children and adults — but in the end it is down to individuals to be responsible. In the case of children it is the responsibility of the parents to teach and to shelter them, for the rest of the world is is down to personal responsibility. Most people seem to have forgotten this. Too many people in the first world expect that someone will take care of them; that they have a right to be an idiot, which they do, and that society has a duty to come along behind them and clean up their mess, which it does not. We seem to have forgotten that part of growing up is leaving the nursery and the nanny behind. Rather than focus on protecting children from the evils of the world we should help parents teach their children how to protect themselves. Every child should learn to swim just in case they fall in the deep end.

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