'If you hold their hand every time they cross the road, they will get run over the first time you don't.'
Completely agree! My son is three and we live near a very busy road, through constant 'parenting' from before he was one. Only ever crossing the road how I would expect him to cross, not just glancing over my shoulder and wandering across the road EVERY TIME we cross. He will now walk upto the kerb side (a foot back) and wait for me, telling me when it is safe to cross. He is not ready to do this on his own but he may by the time he is five. This then will so engrained that he will not break the rules even when he is 12 and all his mates are dashing across the road.
Each part of the world that he gets introduced to needs a different approach for instance he is allowed to run amock around our lounge, where nothing is baby proofed, he gets one warning 'if you continue doing that you will hurt yourself' then when he falls over he will learn not to run so fast, that falling over hurts, and hopefully that daddy doesn’t just say these thing for the fun of it. It is not an instant lesson but one learnt over time.
Each one of these things I do, I do because his life and well being is ultimately my (and my wifes) responsibility. This will extend to the internet once he has tired of the cbeebies web site. I do not need nor want the gov. to intervene. If we had followed their advice on baby proofing the room, he would not know that it hurts when you fall, and those corners are kinda ouchie. This was evident at a birthday party, a year ago, where he fell down three steps, whilst falling he put out he hands to break his fall. Other parents at the party could not believe that he had done that as their children had not shown this skill (for want of a better word).
I want my son's to grow up a little bit street wise, so when they do venture out into the big wide world they are as prepared for it as possible, if this means introducing them to the dangers they face in a controlled way, then that is what will happen and is my prerogative.