The Instigator
Pro (for)
3 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
4 Points

Children are too restricted

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/3/2013 Category: Education
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,054 times Debate No: 37296
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (6)
Votes (2)




Back in the 1970s, my mum and her 5 siblings would race home from school, dump their school bags in their rooms, shove some leftovers in their mouths, and run back outside to
climb trees,
build cubby houses,
explore the bush,
ride bikes,
and skip on the street until "

It became to dark to see, or
Their mum called them back inside for dinner
Fast forward to 2012........
46% of Australian kids get 3 hours or less of active play per week
Only 35% of Australian kids walk or ride their bikes to school
The average Australian kid gets 7 hours and 48 minutes of screen time every day

As a result Australian kids spend 63% of their free time sitting.

They"re even less active on weekends than on school days.
As you can see, through out the years, kids have become less and less active.

Is it just technology that has caused this dramatic change in children"s lifestyles?

Or are there other reasons why kids today don"t play as freely as in the past?

Basically, I'm challenging people to argue that children are not too restricted in their play


I accept this debate. However, before going on to any arguments, I would like my opponent to exactly clarify what "restricted" is. Is it that the children have too many things to study? Or is it that technology 'restricts' them? I demand the proposition to exactly define what this motion is saying.
Debate Round No. 1


By restricted I mean that parents and teachers at school are restricting them by not allowing them to play freely as the fret about their safety....
Another reason why children don"t get to play freely is our hovering parents.

I recall a time when I was at a park, waiting for my turn on a flying fox.
One kid had jumped on the seat and was just about to push off, when a stressed out mother appeared out of the blue and prevented the poor boy for going any further.
The boy was around 9, my age at the time.

Surely he should be allowed to go on a flying fox without his mother interfering!
Parents these days are irrationally frightened of letting their children outdoors by themselves , they worry they will be injured or believe there is a child attacker hiding behind every telegraph pole!

There actually as not been any increase in attacks on children since the 1960s!
Monitoring too closely can have negative effects. It stifles creativity, imagination, confidence, learning, and independence. Children who are dependent on adults are less likely to think for themselves and take risks.

Yes, parents are allowed to be concerned about the safety of their children but is it really necessary to control the way we play?


What the proposition had said just now is not necessarily called 'restriction.' It is when the parents do what is best for their child.

Also, I would like to demand my opponent to give further evidence about how children are being 'too restricted'(in her words), since what she has stated was just one example, and we cannot judge the status quo by just one example that the proposition experienced.

Not only that, I would like to ask my opponent how round 1 (her speech) and round 2(her speech as well) is related.

Next, since my opponent did not define the exact age range for 'children', so I will assume that children are people under the age of 19.

Now, I would like to continue with an argument that I would like to present.

I personally think that they are not being TOO restricted. So, I ask my opponent one question. If children are being restricted, then why are there children doing drugs and drinking, and doing all kinds of things? Is this the result of the children becoming too restricted? The answer is definitely a NO.

In the case of little children, I say that they are not being TOO restricted. As long as there are big safety risks, there are no limits to playing. Is that really being too restricted? Or is that just a small restriction to keep a parent's child from getting hurt? The answer is that it is just a small restriction for a child's own safety.
Debate Round No. 2


Parents controlling the way we play has resulted in lessons in anything and everything.

Instead of playing dress-ups with friends, we have drama lessons.
Instead of learning to surf at the beach with our Dad " we have special surfing lessons.
Instead of writing a story at home on our bed " it is off to a creative writing class;
Instead of skipping, elastics, handstands and cartwheels " it is off to gymnastics
Sure - all these things keep us active but it is still not play.

Play is spontaneous,
created by kids -
not monitored and managed by adults.
And schools control our play too.
There are schools that ban running, handstands and even making daisy chains (for hygiene reasons apparently).

Playgrounds are being torn down and declared too dangerous. This is because schools fear being sued by parents whose children have injured themselves on it!

Okay then, let"s remove pencils from the classroom in case a child is pricked by a sharp lead point!

So with technology enticing us,
Parents hovering over us,
Schools restricting us
and our lives packed with activities "

When do the children play?


So my opponent has still not answered to my question and didn't rebut my argument as well.

I would like to mention my opponent's many flaws. First, I would like to ask how the quote about sharp leads relates to this debate today. We were mainly supposed to be focusing more on children being restricted, but the proposition has not elaborated on how pencils in the classroom is related to restricting. Not only that, I find her speech on round #3 already rebutted in my round two speech, in which I had already proved that children are not being TOO restricted in anything. Also, throughout her speech, she hasn't necessarily proved how the children are in desperate restriction, but instead, just gave the example that she experienced or thought. Yet, she didn't do her duty of defining the motion or stating the exact status quo. Lastly, there was no connection between her three speeches, which made this entire debate very chaotic. Therefore, I find no reason to state another argument of my own when my previous argument had not been attacked by the proposition and when her speeches made no sense.

Thank you, proposition, for bringing up this debate.
Thank you, readers, for reading this debate instead of skipping it.

Therefore, I am proud to oppose to this motion today.
Debate Round No. 3
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by DeFool 5 years ago
P1: Children used to get more exercise
P2: Kids get insufficient exercise today

Basically, I'm challenging people to argue that children are not too restricted in their play

Definition: "restricted" - parents and teachers at school are restricting them by not allowing them to play freely as the fret about their safety

P1:There actually as not been any increase in attacks on children since the 1960s!
P2: Monitoring too closely can have negative effects.

C: ?

(Implied: children should get more exercise, by way of less parental supervision)


Challenge 1: Insufficient sample size for large scale evaluation

Challenge 2: The R1 and R2 presentations are not related.

Clarification: Children are considered less than 19 years of age.

P1: Teen criminality contraindicates an assumption of too much restriction and parental oversight

P2: Parents have a responsibility to provide a safe environment that supersedes the need for free play

("is that just a small restriction to keep a parent's child from getting hurt? The answer is that it is just a small restriction for a child's own safety.")

C: ??

(Implied: the term "too much restriction" is subjective.)

This pattern continued for the remainder of the contest.
Posted by DeFool 5 years ago
There is no reason to feel that the debate was "flawed" or "improper" from a moral standpoint: there is an unavoidable learning process that must be gone through by all players. None of us are so clever as to be born with these learned skills. I have copied the actual notes that I took (for my own use originally) while scoring this debate in the preceding section.

I will show them out in the hopes that they may be helpful, so that PRO may see exactly what I saw as I read this debate.
Posted by mikicat10 5 years ago
Thanks for pointing out my flaws........ This is one of my first debates. Sorry if I didn't do it properly. I'm only 14!!!!!!!!!!!!
Posted by mikicat10 5 years ago
Don't worry, I'll come to that argument later. I basically say that parents restrict their children by always keeping them safe and fretting to much. For example, parents tell their children not to climb trees as it could hurt them
Posted by Franciscanorder 5 years ago
Seconded. I think that "forcing" is not the right word to use, or, rather, that children being forced to not play is not quite what you might be getting at.
Posted by Elusivetruth 5 years ago
Hmmmmm... what do you mean by restricted? You may want to be careful about your wording. From experience I can easily tell you that nobody is forcing these kids to watching tv or play on their computers, or consoles. On the contrary, any restriction is usually on what you refer to as "screentime". If it was entirely up to kids and they were not restricted at all... in this day and time a lot of kids would spend the majority of their time on Computers, Mobiles, Cosoles, or TV.

Do you perhaps mean that children are spending too much time indoors? I'm guessing that your use of the word restriction in this context is meant to refer to the children sitting all day and not moving much. Unfortunately your phrasing doesn't make this clear.

Basically you say the following "argue that children are not too restricted in their play."
First thought that comes to my mind is that children are spending all their time on various screens by choice, they are not being restricted to spending their time in this way. This is pretty easy to argue.. but it isn't the argument you are looking for is it?

Anyway... I'd advise you to change your resolution to avoid confusion.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by DeFool 5 years ago
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: The argument presented in defense of the premise was almost incoherent. S&G. I will describe what I saw in greater detail in the "Comments" section.
Vote Placed by RoyLatham 5 years ago
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: I think Pro's proposition was clear enough from the outset. She gave enough context to figure it out. "Too restricted" means something like "too scripted" and points to the lack of impromptu play. con didn't dispute Pro's individual claims, but rather the conclusions. Perhaps data on how much more dangerous the world is -- if in fact that's the case -- would support restriction, or arguments about parents having to work more. Con may be right, but didn't come up with a good case. Pro made reasonable arguments on a reasonably understandable proposition.