Childhoods past and present: Anxiety and idyll in reminiscences of childhood outdoor play and contemporary parenting practices

Andy Rixon, Helen Lomax, Lindsay O'Dell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Outdoor play is considered an essential aspect of a ‘proper childhood’. However, unsupervised outside play is declining, a decline attributed to parental anxieties about children’s safety. However what drives these anxieties and how this impacts on contemporary outdoor play is less clear. Our paper seeks to explore this through an analysis of adult narratives generated through digital map-making and forum discussion about where they played as children and where they would allow a child to play unsupervised now. Our analysis explores the nature of these narratives and pivotal moments in which adults articulated the disconnect between their own recollections of idyllic spatial freedom and the spatial restrictions they place on contemporary children. This offers a rich understanding of how parents navigate conflicting cultural imperatives on risk-avoidance and children’s rights to a ‘good’ childhood.
LanguageEnglish
JournalChildren's Geographies
Early online date18 Apr 2019
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 18 Apr 2019

Fingerprint

reminiscence
Parenting
Anxiety
childhood
anxiety
present
narrative
children's rights
digital map
parents
Parents
safety
Safety

Cite this

@article{d111c3b4df1049a1b6456e4457d77c20,
title = "Childhoods past and present: Anxiety and idyll in reminiscences of childhood outdoor play and contemporary parenting practices",
abstract = "Outdoor play is considered an essential aspect of a ‘proper childhood’. However, unsupervised outside play is declining, a decline attributed to parental anxieties about children’s safety. However what drives these anxieties and how this impacts on contemporary outdoor play is less clear. Our paper seeks to explore this through an analysis of adult narratives generated through digital map-making and forum discussion about where they played as children and where they would allow a child to play unsupervised now. Our analysis explores the nature of these narratives and pivotal moments in which adults articulated the disconnect between their own recollections of idyllic spatial freedom and the spatial restrictions they place on contemporary children. This offers a rich understanding of how parents navigate conflicting cultural imperatives on risk-avoidance and children’s rights to a ‘good’ childhood.",
keywords = "Risk, play, children’s spatial mobility, remembering childhood",
author = "Andy Rixon and Helen Lomax and Lindsay O'Dell",
year = "2019",
month = "4",
day = "18",
doi = "10.1080/14733285.2019.1605047",
language = "English",
journal = "Children's Geographies",
issn = "1473-3285",
publisher = "Carfax Publishing Ltd.",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Childhoods past and present

T2 - Children's Geographies

AU - Rixon, Andy

AU - Lomax, Helen

AU - O'Dell, Lindsay

PY - 2019/4/18

Y1 - 2019/4/18

N2 - Outdoor play is considered an essential aspect of a ‘proper childhood’. However, unsupervised outside play is declining, a decline attributed to parental anxieties about children’s safety. However what drives these anxieties and how this impacts on contemporary outdoor play is less clear. Our paper seeks to explore this through an analysis of adult narratives generated through digital map-making and forum discussion about where they played as children and where they would allow a child to play unsupervised now. Our analysis explores the nature of these narratives and pivotal moments in which adults articulated the disconnect between their own recollections of idyllic spatial freedom and the spatial restrictions they place on contemporary children. This offers a rich understanding of how parents navigate conflicting cultural imperatives on risk-avoidance and children’s rights to a ‘good’ childhood.

AB - Outdoor play is considered an essential aspect of a ‘proper childhood’. However, unsupervised outside play is declining, a decline attributed to parental anxieties about children’s safety. However what drives these anxieties and how this impacts on contemporary outdoor play is less clear. Our paper seeks to explore this through an analysis of adult narratives generated through digital map-making and forum discussion about where they played as children and where they would allow a child to play unsupervised now. Our analysis explores the nature of these narratives and pivotal moments in which adults articulated the disconnect between their own recollections of idyllic spatial freedom and the spatial restrictions they place on contemporary children. This offers a rich understanding of how parents navigate conflicting cultural imperatives on risk-avoidance and children’s rights to a ‘good’ childhood.

KW - Risk

KW - play

KW - children’s spatial mobility

KW - remembering childhood

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85064664016&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1080/14733285.2019.1605047

DO - 10.1080/14733285.2019.1605047

M3 - Article

JO - Children's Geographies

JF - Children's Geographies

SN - 1473-3285

ER -