Hudson Valley Parent

HVP August 2015

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18 Hudson Valley Parent n August 2015 In a study titled "Homicide Trends in the United States, 1998-2008" by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, it was shown that between 1980 and 2008, 63 percent of all children under 5 who were murdered were killed by one of their parents. Only 3 percent were killed by strangers. Child abductions by strangers are incredibly rare as well. According to the National Incidence Studies of Missing, Abducted, Runaway and Throwaway Children conduct- ed in 2002, only about 115 of the 800,000 children reported missing annually are actually kidnapped by strangers. The vast majority of those reported missing were runaways or victims of a custody dispute. What's the harm? So sure, we don't need to be so afraid of our kids being hurt or abducted, but better safe than sorry, right? What's the harm in keep- ing them close to home under our watchful eye? Andrea Grunblatt, a psychologist and licensed play therapist operating in Kingston, says allowing children the freedom to explore and play without parents hovering or plan- ning every move gives them confidence. "They learn to feel competent at doing things on their own and dis- covering things," something which is important for a developing child," she says. And yet, a recent study by the University of California, Los Ange- les, found that American kids spend 90 percent of their leisure time at home, often in front of the TV or playing video games. Even when kids are physically active, their actions are arranged for them and they are watched closely by adults — either in school, camp, at home, ROOM TO ROAM (Continued from Page 17)

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