10/22/08 — Sad world: There is no room for 'childhood' anymore

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Sad world: There is no room for 'childhood' anymore

Two men in two weeks -- and two sets of accusations that there has been improper behavior involving children.

That news is enough to make any parent think twice about letting his children out of his sight.

It just isn't easy these days as a mother or father to figure out what you need to teach your children about staying safe. The old rules simply don't apply anymore.

And perhaps it is time to acknowledge that the world we knew just a couple of decades ago and beyond just doesn't exist anymore.

There seem to be more and more stories of children being victimized by adults. And with the advent of the Internet, that number seems to be increasing exponentially.

So what does this mean? It is simple really.

Our children simply have to lose a little of the wide-eyed trust and unflinching love and acceptance for all people that are really the hallmarks of childhood.

In other words, there is room for much less childish innocence in this world.

There are steps we can take as adults to cut back the possible dangers -- we can watch our children more closely and make sure we know where they are and whom they are with all the time.

We can even make sure that their Internet time is reduced and supervised more closely.

But in the end, what we have to realize is that the days of Mayberry and neighborhoods where people could leave their doors unlocked are long gone -- and if we want to protect children -- anyone's children -- we have to get involved.

That means more neighborhoods banding together and more people standing up and demanding stiffer sentences for those who victimize children. We have to watch out for each other -- and for each other's children.

We might not put an end to the bad things that can happen, but we might be able to prevent a couple of tragedies.

And that would make getting involved worth the effort.

Published in Editorials on October 22, 2008 10:58 AM