Tuesday, 2 October 2012

The best place in the world to bring up children?

Last night I stumbled upon the #PAS12 hash tag on twitter, asking people what would make Scotland the best country in the world to bring up children.

Now this is a subject very close to my heart. I was born and raised in Scotland (as was husband), went to Uni in Scotland and only moved away after graduation.

For both of us,childhood was a time spent outdoors, on the beach, puddling in burns, building dens, walking along disused railway tracks, having freedom basically. We played out on the street until the light failed, we had fields and countryside to run wild in but were rarely further than 5-10 minutes from our back door.

We remember it as an idyllic childhood. Our parents were there at breakfast and dinner, commuting was an alien concept and 'holidays' were simple affairs involving a tent. My parents once drove for an hour, taking the scenic route to a campsite a more 10 miles away to make it more of an adventure!

That's the childhood I want for my boys. The simplicity, the access to the beach & countryside. I also want them to grow up close to their grandparents, while their grandparents are still young and fit enough to build campfires with them and go fishing together.

During 2 short weeks in the summer we flew kites, ate wild raspberries, discovered pirate coves, found dinosaur footprints, enjoyed fish only 10hrs out of the sea, watched for dolphins, hunted a Gruffalo in deep dark woods, dreamt of finding Nessie, built dens, enjoyed proper rope swings and permanently had sand in our shoes.

For me, it's giving families the ability to enjoy the abundance of fresh air that Scotland has to offer that will make it the best place to grow up. I was lucky to have that ability during my childhood and am doing everything I can to ensure my boys will soon have the same.

11 comments:

  1. I love this post. You're right it's what makes having children in Scotland a joy.

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    1. Thanks Ellen. I can't wait to give my children that freedom that I had.

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  2. Nothing idyllic about this at all, in fact I'd say it's the bare minimum we should ask for all Scottish children - the ability to explore their own country. It's why low-cost public transport is on my wish list: http://www.rossmcculloch.com/what-would-make-scotland-the-best-in-the-worl

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    1. And safe roads for them to cycle on - stunning beaches are a mere 5 mile easy cycle away from where I grew up and the deep dark woods are just over the road :-)

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  3. I'm glad to say its not just Scotland where this is true, although we also holiday in Scotland every summer!

    @petezanzottera

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  4. Lovely post. It is what makes Scotland really special - makes me want to be a child myself again. It's been a joy bringing my son up here - camping holidays, looking for blackberries, campfires. He did say to me once 'Mummy, why do you like going for holidays where there's lots of grass and no shops?' He'll thank me for it one day!

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    1. He really will! I'm ashamed to say that I didn't really appreciate Scotland until I moved away. But then you rarely appreciate what's on your doorstep do you? My parents grew up in Edinburgh and never visited the castle until years after they moved away.

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  5. Oh I so love this post.
    I spent the Summer taking my 2 nieces and 1 nephew + Aaron out, A LOT, as I wanted them to experience fresh air and freedom.

    It's London, but we achieved it; so so very important.

    Liska xx

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  6. It's one of the reasons we moved out to the countryside - we wanted them to have space and the freedom to run around falling out of trees and the such like

    To me the sign of a happy child is one covered in mud and bumps - imagine the fun they've had getting like that

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    1. That's so true Muddling - mud and bumps are an essential part of childhood :-)

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Come on in, the water's lovely.

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