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(NPR)   A look at how, over the past three generations, parents have evolved from telling their children to "be home before the lights come on" to "DO NOT WANDER MORE THAN AN ARM'S REACH FROM ME OR YOU'LL GET TAKEN"   (npr.org) divider line 346
    More: Asinine, wander, The San Diego Union  
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20843 clicks; posted to Main » on 01 Oct 2012 at 5:12 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-10-01 02:26:31 PM
Your kids getting taken isn't such a bad idea, as long as you have a very particular set of skills.
 
2012-10-01 02:40:54 PM
2.bp.blogspot.com

FLOBBITY-FLEE!
 
2012-10-01 02:41:27 PM
I can't imagine not being able to wander the neighboorhood with my friends as a kid. Video games were fun, but so was getting lost in the woods.
 
2012-10-01 02:42:03 PM
I grew up on the edge of Billings, MT in the late 80s-early 90s. There was a ditch to the north, a ditch to the east, and plenty of dirt roads and asphalt to bike on in between. That's the difference: space. Housing developments pop up so quickly now I don't know where you could find that lifestyle and still have access to a decent job.
 
2012-10-01 02:42:17 PM
We would...as this article says get the boot out of the house right after breakfast and be home for dinner and supper. If one of us got grounded the rest of us would show up and hang around until we got run off....with our grounded compadre!
 
2012-10-01 02:42:35 PM
Thanks TV! When communication is sped up and people are racing for ratings, they'll try to scare anyone with anything. Up next, how the grass in your front yard may be killing your child.
 
2012-10-01 02:47:42 PM
I always wondered how much of a link there was between stranger danger and childhood obesity

Also, there is some degree of irony that the murder of Adam Walsh, which in many ways created the mass hysteria of the idea of the man in the van coming for your children, was due to his parents leaving him to play video games in a store. Parents looking to keep their kids closer to home and in sight had to find something to keep them busy, leading to higher sales of video games

I also encounter what I like to call the Lifetime effect, similar to the CSI effect were end users (I do IT) are scared of online stalkers and people coming after their family from watching one too many Lifetime Original Movies. I tell them chances are they are too boring for anyone to care about.
 
2012-10-01 02:47:52 PM
I'm fighting the good fight.

Be home by dark is the rule in my household.
 
2012-10-01 02:49:06 PM
Ladies and gentlemen, this is the reason we have a nation of fatass little kids. As opposed to Fark, which is the reason we have a fatass big-ol' me.

And there is no more danger now, BTW. Two generations ago, about a hundred kids were abducted and murdered by strangers in the US every year. Nowadays, it's about the same number, and when you account for population increase, that's actually a reduction. Yes, I realize that TFA is about the UK, but the same basic math applies. It is in fact no more dangerous now for kids to roam around outside. When you factor in the loss of lifespan that childhood obesity will cause over the long haul, and also factor in the statistical truism that at least for young kids, the most likely person to murder them is a parent, we are probably killing MORE kids as a paranoid, 'lock-em-inside society than we would be letting them roam. The only difference is the 24-hour worldwide news that never fails to report a missing (white) kid, so we find out about every horrible, extraordinarily rare tragedy that does occur. The psychological disconnect occurs here -- when we see a story about a scary stranger abducting and murdering a kid, we get paranoid about "them", but when we hear about some horrible parent killing their own kid, we think "well, I surely wouldn't ever do that". So one of the rarest of homicides ends up driving our actions, and it's a damn shame.

/used to wander all over the place collecting beer cans for my collection.
 
2012-10-01 02:53:50 PM
If I had kids, road traffic would be the thing that worried me the most. You can't go a mile from my house in any direction without crossing a major highway. I get the impression that traffic wasn't quite that gnarly in the 1950s.
 
2012-10-01 02:55:57 PM

dahmers love zombie: And there is no more danger now, BTW. Two generations ago, about a hundred kids were abducted and murdered by strangers in the US every year. Nowadays, it's about the same number, and when you account for population increase, that's actually a reduction.


See, that's proof that its working. If we let kids run around by themselves like we used to years ago, you'd see a 7 million percent increase in kidnapping or whatever.
 
2012-10-01 02:58:14 PM

Dancin_In_Anson: We would...as this article says get the boot out of the house right after breakfast and be home for dinner and supper. If one of us got grounded the rest of us would show up and hang around until we got run off....with our grounded compadre!


Would that have happened if you grew up in Manhattan, even back then? TFA would be a lot more interesting if it compared average population density over time as it relates to childhood. They're jumping straight to the conclusion of blaming society and parental fears while in the meantime a hell of a lot more kids are growing up in densely populated areas. That's the issue that needs to be articulated and addressed (if there even is a problem). Journalists are lazy when they pin this solely on get-off-my-lawn nostalgia and they do society a disservice.
 
2012-10-01 03:00:56 PM
encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com

Children are more likely to be kidnapped or abused by family or people they know than by strangers.
 
2012-10-01 03:06:13 PM

GreenAdder: Your kids getting taken isn't such a bad idea, as long as you have a very particular set of skills.


Honestly, I'm really on board with Liam killing every motherfarker in the room, but I can't get behind those movies for whatever reason.

Lumpmoose: Dancin_In_Anson: We would...as this article says get the boot out of the house right after breakfast and be home for dinner and supper. If one of us got grounded the rest of us would show up and hang around until we got run off....with our grounded compadre!

Would that have happened if you grew up in Manhattan, even back then? TFA would be a lot more interesting if it compared average population density over time as it relates to childhood. They're jumping straight to the conclusion of blaming society and parental fears while in the meantime a hell of a lot more kids are growing up in densely populated areas. That's the issue that needs to be articulated and addressed (if there even is a problem). Journalists are lazy when they pin this solely on get-off-my-lawn nostalgia and they do society a disservice.


Period (auto)biographies seem to indicate that regardless of where you lived, you just kinda got left to do your own thing until dinner time, rural or urban.
 
2012-10-01 03:09:01 PM

Lumpmoose: Would that have happened if you grew up in Manhattan, even back then? TFA would be a lot more interesting if it compared average population density over time as it relates to childhood. They're jumping straight to the conclusion of blaming society and parental fears while in the meantime a hell of a lot more kids are growing up in densely populated areas. That's the issue that needs to be articulated and addressed (if there even is a problem). Journalists are lazy when they pin this solely on get-off-my-lawn nostalgia and they do society a disservice.


Having grown up in NYC, yes, kids were allowed to roam around by themselves even back in the *gasp* 1970's and 1980's. We'd just pack up. By age 12, most kids I knew were taking the subway by themselves too.
 
2012-10-01 03:13:33 PM
That's why I'm lucky I had Uncle Roy to babysit me, and I got to star in all those movies, too!
 
2012-10-01 03:16:24 PM

Lumpmoose: Would that have happened if you grew up in Manhattan, even back then?


Hard to say. I grew up in suburban Houston and we had a wooded area (owner willed it to the Audubon Society) that we rode bikes in, caught snakes and turtles in and generally did kid things. The woods were also frequented by hippies smoking weed, lovers and weirdos. And Houston in the 70's wasn't the safest place in the world by any stretch. I dunno...it just seems that parents are wound way too tight anymore.
 
2012-10-01 03:34:35 PM

Mr. Coffee Nerves: That's why I'm lucky I had Uncle Roy to babysit me, and I got to star in all those movies, too!


Jeffy?
 
2012-10-01 03:38:26 PM

serial_crusher: If I had kids, road traffic would be the thing that worried me the most. You can't go a mile from my house in any direction without crossing a major highway. I get the impression that traffic wasn't quite that gnarly in the 1950s.


Back in the 50s, cars had 4 drum breaks. And rear wheel drive. And people barely knew how to drive.
 
2012-10-01 03:46:32 PM
A significant part of my decision to move to Alaska was to be able to have free-range kids. They've had run of the town since they were about 10 or 11. Huge ski area for them to play in during the winter.
 
2012-10-01 04:06:52 PM
familyonbikes.org
 
2012-10-01 04:07:13 PM
Sadly, most kids can't find their way to school, a friend's house or navigate their own neighborhood by themselves. Never wonder why kids are so fat, unhealthy and fear based. Kids in cities have been taking busses and subways by themselves for years. It teaches them self sufficency and survival skills as well as self confidence.
 
2012-10-01 04:09:53 PM

Mr. Coffee Nerves: That's why I'm lucky I had Uncle Roy to babysit me, and I got to star in all those movies, too!


Link
 
2012-10-01 04:20:41 PM
When I was 8-12 I lived on the Air Force Base in Denver. We were allowed to go anywhere on base that there were houses. Once you got to the main artery in and out of the base, that became "permission land," as in, we had to get permission to ride our bikes that far. Of course, once we got our IDs, we'd sneak off base to go to the Circle K in Aurora to buy candy.
 
2012-10-01 04:32:42 PM
As a professional child stalker, I must say, my industry is going the way of the buggy whip because of paranoia. I don't like it.
 
2012-10-01 04:39:53 PM

jaylectricity: When I was 8-12 I lived on the Air Force Base in Denver. We were allowed to go anywhere on base that there were houses. Once you got to the main artery in and out of the base, that became "permission land," as in, we had to get permission to ride our bikes that far. Of course, once we got our IDs, we'd sneak off base to go to the Circle K in Aurora to buy candy.


Lowry was a pretty safe base man...as long as you know to stay out of the road and even then people on Air Force bases are a little more alert for pedestrians...especially on a big training base. :)
 
2012-10-01 04:40:26 PM
I had the best of both worlds: We lived in the 'burbs, so there were always a lot of other kids near your age and town-type places to go, and we lived on the edge of those 'burbs so we had fields and woods and creeks to play in.
Mom and Dad were small town/farm kids when they grew up so they were of the "Go outside and play, be home for supper" mentality.
When we got new shoes, we kept the old ones for wading in creeks and mowing the lawn.
The rule was no snakes/toads/frogs/turtles/whatever-else-you-just-caught in the house.
When we wanted to build a treehouse, Dad gave us the hammer with the loose head and cracked handle. Location, design, and acquisition of materials was all up to us.
Baseball, football, and basketball were all played year-round.
If it rolled or slid, it was raced down the hill we lived on (lots of skin got left on the pavement).
If you got hurt, you were only allowed to go home unless you had a broken bone or if you were bleeding and, scrapes didn't count.
Every mom on the block could/would rat you out and/or give you a needed swat of the butt for misbehavior.
Homemade treats were accepted on Halloween, and adults did not accompany their kids (unless they didn't have an older sibling and were under 5).

Now stay off my lawn unless you are one of my cousins' kids, and you are playing with your friends.
 
2012-10-01 04:45:37 PM
thefeministgriote.com

encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com

More dangerous than

encrypted-tbn1.gstatic.com 

/
 
2012-10-01 05:04:11 PM

Lollipop165: Lumpmoose: Would that have happened if you grew up in Manhattan, even back then? TFA would be a lot more interesting if it compared average population density over time as it relates to childhood. They're jumping straight to the conclusion of blaming society and parental fears while in the meantime a hell of a lot more kids are growing up in densely populated areas. That's the issue that needs to be articulated and addressed (if there even is a problem). Journalists are lazy when they pin this solely on get-off-my-lawn nostalgia and they do society a disservice.

Having grown up in NYC, yes, kids were allowed to roam around by themselves even back in the *gasp* 1970's and 1980's. We'd just pack up. By age 12, most kids I knew were taking the subway by themselves too.


OK fair enough, I don't know WTF I'm talking about. Considering the current crime rates vs. the 70s and 80s, it has to be safer now.
 
2012-10-01 05:09:26 PM
My parents were always very protective of my brother and I and we never really understood it, until later when my parents told me that in the mid-70's one of my brothers female classmates was abducted and killed while walking to school across a shortcut through a wooded trail. I can totally understand why she didnt want us to wander too far away from her growing up. (still kinda sucked though).
 
2012-10-01 05:15:18 PM
My kid walks alone about half a mile to and from school every week day. It's just the way things work around here.
 
2012-10-01 05:15:21 PM
Now that I think about it, 20 years ago the rule was to run around outside, then come home for dinner at sundown. Times were simpler back then I think.
 
2012-10-01 05:17:37 PM
My kids go to school over 20 miles away. I'll get them up earlier tomorrow.
 
2012-10-01 05:19:28 PM
As a child growing up in the suburbs of Salem Oregon in the early 80s... I and my brothers were allowed to wander miles from home between the ages of 7-10, literally miles. My father's whistle was fairly loud, he was pretty good at making himself heard in the fields/small-forests of that area of the time. Sometimes he got super upset, but it was never from worry that we might be abducted or anything, it was always from annoyance that we wouldn't know when he wanted us home.

Of course, if I were growing up these days, he would just text us. That means with bikes we could be on the other side of town and still make it home in time for dinner in about 30 minutes.
 
2012-10-01 05:19:37 PM
The monsters have always been out there, they just get more coverage now.
 
2012-10-01 05:20:03 PM

HulkHands: Back in the 50s, cars had 4 drum breaks. And rear wheel drive. And people barely knew how to drive.


One one side, I came to say that.

On the other, though, exceedingly few roads were 5-8 lanes wide. The roads weren't traffic-engineered to be driveable at 70mph (even if the sign says 35). And, because so many more people (kids and adults both) were walking, people were expecting pedestrians at most corners... rather than being a twice-a-day exception to the rule.
 
2012-10-01 05:20:48 PM
The only time I was not allowed to roam free around my hometown was when William Suff was dumping dead hookers on the backroad trails I would ride my bike on. Linky
 
2012-10-01 05:21:02 PM

TheBeastOfYuccaFlats: GreenAdder: Your kids getting taken isn't such a bad idea, as long as you have a very particular set of skills.

Honestly, I'm really on board with Liam killing every motherfarker in the room, but I can't get behind those movies for whatever reason.


For me it was the fact that a. he left other people's kids behind in pursuit of finding his own and b. he has these guys he works with and doesn't ask ONE of them to strap on a gun and come help???
 
2012-10-01 05:21:24 PM
I remember when I was a kid [insert all of the terrible things I used to do that I recognize now were bad and my parents probably should have known about]. I also am shocked that parents are shifting to more hands on.

Given the things I used to do with my girlfriends in high school, yeah I'm probably going to be a bit more proactive than their fathers.
 
2012-10-01 05:21:34 PM
We grew up in the suburbs in the 70s, but my mom was kind of old-timey. When it was time to come home for dinner, she rang a big, loud cowbell out in the front yard. You could hear it for at least a quarter-mile in all directions.
 
2012-10-01 05:21:42 PM

ConConHead: The only time I was not allowed to roam free around my hometown was when William Suff was dumping dead hookers on the backroad trails I would ride my bike on. Linky


Did your parents think you were hooking?
 
2012-10-01 05:22:16 PM

Evil Mackerel: The monsters have always been out there, they just get more coverage now.


There are arguably fewer out roaming these days than there were growing up in the 70's and 80's. We have probably caught and put away the worst and have gotten better at tracking them down in recent decades. The number of identified serial killers is way down compared to 30-40 years ago.
 
2012-10-01 05:22:17 PM
As a new parent the thimg that most worries me is traffic. My street is pretty quaint and peaceful but to get more than 2 blocks in any direction you have to cross pretty busy streets (4 lanes plus turning lane). I know I can teach my kids to cross but seen plenty of close calls in my time it still worries me a bit.
 
2012-10-01 05:22:32 PM
I was 8 years old in 1990. I had the run of 100 acres of rural IL. When my son if 8, if we still live in the house we have now, I'll give him the run of the neighborhood. It's about 1 mile in perimeter.
 
2012-10-01 05:22:36 PM
And kids? Remember, odds are, it's your parents who will rape you to death.
 
2012-10-01 05:23:07 PM
Ya gotta tolerate some shrinkage.
 
2012-10-01 05:23:18 PM
there are valid points on both sides. I have already seen me be more protective with my daughter than I ever expected. it is interesting to say the least.

I look back on what we did growing up and I am sometimes amazed any of us made it out alive. I want my children to have similar experiences. But I aslo don't want to look back and be like "well, yeah, duh, of course they died at a young age."

it's a toughie
 
2012-10-01 05:23:33 PM
Bill Bryson regularly leaped into the Raccoon River, which was a watery soup of "dead fish, old tires, oil drums, algal slime, heavy metal effluents and uncategorizable goo."

But 'twas all in good fun! Now if you'll excuse me I have to get to my chemo session...
 
2012-10-01 05:23:53 PM

dahmers love zombie: Ladies and gentlemen, this is the reason we have a nation of fatass little kids. As opposed to Fark, which is the reason we have a fatass big-ol' me.

And there is no more danger now, BTW. Two generations ago, about a hundred kids were abducted and murdered by strangers in the US every year. Nowadays, it's about the same number, and when you account for population increase, that's actually a reduction. Yes, I realize that TFA is about the UK, but the same basic math applies. It is in fact no more dangerous now for kids to roam around outside. When you factor in the loss of lifespan that childhood obesity will cause over the long haul, and also factor in the statistical truism that at least for young kids, the most likely person to murder them is a parent, we are probably killing MORE kids as a paranoid, 'lock-em-inside society than we would be letting them roam. The only difference is the 24-hour worldwide news that never fails to report a missing (white) kid, so we find out about every horrible, extraordinarily rare tragedy that does occur. The psychological disconnect occurs here -- when we see a story about a scary stranger abducting and murdering a kid, we get paranoid about "them", but when we hear about some horrible parent killing their own kid, we think "well, I surely wouldn't ever do that". So one of the rarest of homicides ends up driving our actions, and it's a damn shame.

/used to wander all over the place collecting beer cans for my collection.


This needs to be restated more than people realize.

The best study I know of, from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (it's from 1998, there may be more recent studies), examined cases of about 750,000 missing kids. Of that number, 500,000 were runaways or throwaways. Of the remaining 250,000, another 200,000 were parental abductions (where the noncustodial parent takes the kid). Of the remaining 50,000, most were either "other family" abductions (i.e. the grandmother thought she could do a better job than the mom) or situations where "kidnapping" was a part of another crime (the example cited was a statutory rape case where a boy and girl were parking--the "kidnapping" occurred when the boy moved his car up the road). Fewer than 200 of the three-quarters of a million cases were stereotypical kidnaps by strangers for purposes of sexual assault. In those cases, more than half the children were recovered alive.

Now, if you're a parent whose child was one of the 90 kids kidnapped that year and raped and murdered--that is of course one child too many. But people have to consider that their kids are way way way more likely to be molested by their babysitter or the coach or the nice next-door neighbor while they're sitting at home or on a play date, than they ever are to be snatched off the street by some weirdo.
 
2012-10-01 05:24:06 PM
Cars driving 50 in a 25 and a school zone no less and critical thinking skills are why I have a trampoline and a fenced in yard.

You show me you can watch out for yourself when I give you the opportunity, you will get more.
/that is once i can talk the wife into it.
 
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