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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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20845 clicks; posted to Main » on 01 Oct 2012 at 5:12 PM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-10-01 05:24:58 PM  
brap jr. is allowed to waddle his way to Fat Camp every summer, to get there on time he usually has to set out around January and gets back home sometime in December, so it works out well for everyone.
 
2012-10-01 05:25:17 PM  
FTFA: Whatever is causing this, children don't seem to be objecting.

Hmmm, that IS surprising. I would expect these 8 year-olds to stand up and remind their parents of how children were raised in the 100 years before they were born. Since 8 year-olds are farking fonts of history and independence.
 
2012-10-01 05:25:21 PM  

DrySocket: 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.


Yeah I think most have moved out of meatspace and onto the internet too.
 
2012-10-01 05:26:43 PM  

vernonFL: [thefeministgriote.com image 438x355]

[encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com image 196x257]

More dangerous than

[encrypted-tbn1.gstatic.com image 275x183] 

/


Add the Boy Scouts of America. There's some freaky shiat that hit the news recently.
 
2012-10-01 05:29:06 PM  
I used to go playing in the woods for hours on end, but only because my parents couldn't afford an Atari.

Meh.
 
2012-10-01 05:29:21 PM  
Do they still have free range children out in the country? When I lived in the middle of damn nowhere, I would just kind of wander off into the woods. I was 8 and I'd be alone just wandering the woods for hours. Sometimes I'd get lost and have to try to find a road to figure out how to get back.

I don't think that was uncommon at that time and place. Does that still go on anywhere? I've been rockin' the suburbs for the past decade and I've lost touch with my roots.
 
2012-10-01 05:29:31 PM  
I loved being a kid. In the summer I could be out the door at seven AM and come back inside that night at nine without ever being asked where I'd been. Me and my friends rode our bikes as far as 20 miles away without a second thought.
 
2012-10-01 05:29:56 PM  

DrySocket: 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.


See to me, it's not just about serial killers or kid rapists or whatever, it's the fact that society in general has grown a blind eye to what's going on at any given moment. Maybe it's just my small town roots showing, but when I was a kid, the community in general was almost a surrogate parent; you could trust any adult around to watch out for kids running around, and tell them "No you shouldn't be trying to break into that abandoned house" or "Hey why are you kids chasing this boy who is clearly not having fun?" There are still places/neighborhoods/people like this, sure, but doesn't seem like nearly as many as there used to be.
 
2012-10-01 05:30:05 PM  
As society has become more perverse, the threat of child abduction and rape has sky-rocketed. No need to spend research funds to figure that out.

In this case, correlation does equal causation.
 
2012-10-01 05:30:27 PM  
I call bullshiat on the article.

I've got 2 kids 12 & 15. Them and all their friends are still roaming the neighborhood.

Matter of fact I've let them stay out PAST the lights coming on as long as they were in a pack.
 
2012-10-01 05:30:29 PM  
vernonFL:Children are more likely to be kidnapped or abused by family or people they know than by strangers.

The panic goes hand in hand with all men being predators....when they realize that fully HALF of the people out there ARE MEN!
 
2012-10-01 05:30:31 PM  
I mentioned to my mom a little while back that I was surprised she'd let me bike all over the place like I did in the 70s. She reminded me that there are now a massive number of cars compared to what it used to be like in the neighborhood. She was right, I remember being able to play ball in the street and only have to move for a car a few times an hour. Now, there is a car driving by her house every few seconds. I'll be moving to that area with my kids soon. I'm not afraid of stranger danger, I'm afraid of them getting hit by some texting moron.
 
2012-10-01 05:31:57 PM  

Null Pointer: Matter of fact I've let them stay out PAST the lights coming on as long as they were in a pack.


I'm sure the neighbors love that.
 
2012-10-01 05:32:05 PM  

chasd00: 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.


It took my *grandfather* to teach me how to cross a busy road like that - Mineral Spring Avenue in North Providence, RI can be treacherous even if you're in a car. But this former 12 year old kid, taught by his grandfather, had no troubles.

Teach your kids how to cross a street.
 
2012-10-01 05:32:26 PM  

give me doughnuts: 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.


Sounds a lot like my childhood. Once my dad got sick of me being in the house and handed me a magnifying glass, telling me not to come in until I found two snowflakes that were exactly alike.
 
2012-10-01 05:33:03 PM  
I let my kids roam the neighborhood, but then no one wants a 6'1" twelve year old, it'd be too expensive to feed him
 
2012-10-01 05:33:31 PM  

jayhawk88: 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...


That is one rule we have.

Stay out of the drainage ditch that runs along the road just to the north of us. It's an industrial runoff ditch that flows into a constructed wetlands for bioremedation. There is a plant upstream about 1.5 miles that has such a problem with chemical runoff from when they treat their timbers with creosote that they've had to "cap" a few parts of their property to prevent the abundant winter rains from penetrating the creosote soaked soil and washing it away. They dry the poles and railroad ties in the open air. Smells like mothballs when you drive by, sometimes enough to make your eyes burn.

The plant has been there since the mid 40's and is now nearly surrounded by residential areas. They'd move, but the cost of cleaning it would probably put them out of business. Superfund has looked at them and ordered certain things to happen, but lawyers are quite effective at dragging feet.
 
2012-10-01 05:33:55 PM  

UberDave: 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. :)


Oh sure, that didn't stop us from having to check our candy on Halloween for razor blades and poison. At the time it seemed normal, but now I'm wondering how a bunch of people that live together and have the same boss would want to poison each other's children.
 
2012-10-01 05:34:10 PM  
Adults seem to become terrified of the things they laughed at and endured as children, and it grows greater the older they get.
 
2012-10-01 05:34:40 PM  
Meh, so give 'em a cell phone or some other way to check in if they need to or for you to find them if you need them for something. Not terribly complex, there.
 
2012-10-01 05:34:58 PM  

Beauf: give me doughnuts: 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.

Sounds a lot like my childhood. Once my dad got sick of me being in the house and handed me a magnifying glass, telling me not to come in until I found two snowflakes that were exactly alike.


We also got to trick-or-treat after dark. Nowadays it seems like they're finishing up just when the sun's going down.
 
2012-10-01 05:35:02 PM  

garron: As society has become more perverse, the threat of child abduction and rape has sky-rocketed. No need to spend research funds to figure that out.


Meanwhile, in reality, the rates of both child abduction and rape have plummeted.
 
2012-10-01 05:36:15 PM  

Petey4335: 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.


That trampoline is probably twice as dangerous, and much more likely to hurt them.
 
2012-10-01 05:37:33 PM  

The Muthaship: Null Pointer: Matter of fact I've let them stay out PAST the lights coming on as long as they were in a pack.

I'm sure the neighbors love that.


It is the time honored tradition of yelling at the neighborhood kids. Who doesn't love that?
 
2012-10-01 05:38:05 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.


My Pop worked at Queens Criminal Court.As early as 11 years old I took the train from Long Island
to the courthouse,Then Pop and I would go to the Mets game.That was mid 70's.
 
2012-10-01 05:38:08 PM  

Jim_Callahan: Meh, so give 'em a cell phone or some other way to check in if they need to or for you to find them if you need them for something. Not terribly complex, there.


I planned in installing chips like they do for dogs.

/ no kids
// not serious
/// grew up running around with no hindrances. still run around with no hindrances. just, know I do it drunk.
 
2012-10-01 05:38:18 PM  
When I was twelve I sailed a twenty-foot boat from St. Croix to St. Thomas, about 40 nautical miles. By the time I got to Charlotte Amalia it was getting dark so I called my parents on St. Croix. The only thing they asked was "Just how do you think you're getting home?" Good times.
 
2012-10-01 05:38:28 PM  
When I was a kid in the 80s and early 90s it was rare for my parents to know where I was at. They just had a general idea of where I was at. I just had a general area that I could play in that was within yelling distance of my mother. In the late 80s and early 90s we moved to Alaska and when I was over at my friend Dave's place it was pretty much me and him and other friends in the woods next to his place. It was fun and a blast.

Heading home from school, I didn't ride the school bus until I was in high school. From the first grade through jr. high I walked to and from school. There was never any form of danger from strangers. My parents taught me at a young age "If your dumbass runs out without looking before crossing the street, you deserve injuries that you will get." Bonus: it wasn't just me by myself but a bunch of us all walking from the school to home. On school afternoons I was just told to be home within an hour of school letting out. I was home faster because of Thundercats. Biggest complaint I had in the first school before moving to Alaska, they had three dismissal bells. First was for early buses, second was for those who walked home and third was for those who rode the late bus. My first and third grade teachers were both major biatches who knew who the walkers were. On the days when the class was punished for what ever reason, those two teachers would do the regular punishments, then add the punishment of holding the walkers until the third dismissal bell.
 
2012-10-01 05:38:46 PM  

thurstonxhowell: garron: As society has become more perverse, the threat of child abduction and rape has sky-rocketed. No need to spend research funds to figure that out.

Meanwhile, in reality, the rates of both child abduction and rape have plummeted.


plummeted is just as inaccurate as sky-rocketed.

And to be honest, he did say the THREAT has increased. That might be harder to disprove.
 
2012-10-01 05:38:52 PM  

Null Pointer: Who doesn't love that?


I never had the pleasure. I did get to get yelled at as a kid, since we lived in a neighborhood. I live in the sticks now. No one around to yell at.
 
2012-10-01 05:38:56 PM  

bubo_sibiricus: chasd00: 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.

It took my *grandfather* to teach me how to cross a busy road like that - Mineral Spring Avenue in North Providence, RI can be treacherous even if you're in a car. But this former 12 year old kid, taught by his grandfather, had no troubles.

Teach your kids how to cross a street.


My eldest nephew went to high school two years ago. At the age of 14 he had NEVER crossed the main street of our city--not even accompanied by an adult. He hadn't been allowed to ride his bike to middle school--something his younger brother now does routinely--because of "fears of traffic". I dunno, maybe they could have taught him to walk on the sidewalk and only cross at the light? Like WE got taught to do?
 
2012-10-01 05:40:08 PM  

Gyrfalcon:
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.

This needs to be restated more than people realize.


Especially to my mother. Whenever she calls and asks what the kids are up to, I say "I kicked them outside to play."

She then gives me a lecture about the boogey man that is surely going to come by and kidnap them and it's so terrible these days with all these creepy kidnapers out there.

I then quote the facts. She doesn't believe them.

So, Mother Party! Read up! Kids are fine!
 
2012-10-01 05:40:11 PM  
I flew cross-country to visit grandparents with my brother when we were 9-10. No adult supervision necessary.

The rate of child abduction is so low as to be less relevant than bee stings or shark bites. Not worth giving a second thought to - pay attention to how you drive when they're in the car and change your smoke detector batteries if you are concerned with your kid's well-being.
 
2012-10-01 05:41:00 PM  
Back in the good old days, my father told me kids would have things happen to them and it just was something you weren't supposed to talk about. Creepy Father O'Malley and that Scout leader and the dead kid whose body was found naked out in the woods.

Two of my mother's brothers were molested by some guy back in beautiful suburban 1950s Anaheim. Solution? Don't talk about it. Nice families don't talk about those kinds of things. Pretend your one son hasn't taken up sniffing glue and prostituting his little brother to the neighbourhood pedo. Pretend it couldn't have happened until they turn into adults whose minds are shattering.
 
2012-10-01 05:41:35 PM  
happybabysolutions.com
 
2012-10-01 05:42:02 PM  
It used to be so that I could get 6, maybe 7 kids in a region before the stories would start making the news. Now I'm stuck prowling the really remote places that have spotty internet because even Edna that works at the bank gets an RSS feed on my string of grisly murders.
 
2012-10-01 05:42:19 PM  

Nadie_AZ: 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.


This...
 
2012-10-01 05:43:07 PM  

garron: As society has become more perverse, the threat of child abduction and rape has sky-rocketed. No need to spend research funds to figure that out.

In this case, correlation does equal causation.


Unbelievably wrong. It's unbelievable, because I can't believe that people still believe this.
 
2012-10-01 05:43:46 PM  
I used to get grounded to outside. Not to my room, because that's where I normally was anyway. I was to be outside, out of view of the house, all day except dinner. Then back out until dark.

Good times.
 
2012-10-01 05:44:03 PM  

basemetal: [bubblewrap]

OMG! THAT KID IS GOING TO SUFFOCATE!
 
2012-10-01 05:44:06 PM  
I remember growing up as a kid in Chicago back in the 70's when you could still carry a gun.
 
2012-10-01 05:44:41 PM  

Petey4335: 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...


I drove the legal 20MPH in the school zone front of the school that just had let all of the kids out - they were everywhere - and experienced Mrs. Soccer Mom behind me in the Mega-SUV curse, floor it and pass me on the left in the oncoming lane at 50MPH.

Maybe I shouldda terrorized her and walked alone among the kids.
 
2012-10-01 05:46:14 PM  
I was a Free Range Kid. I've watched, with increasing concern, the steady decline of my type over the decades.

Living in a rural area, I often would be gone all day and walked miles exploring things. I carried a BB gun, or a sheath knife and/or a machete and always a pocket knife since most of where I lived was forest and big drainage canals.

I was lean, wiry, fast, tanned and healthy. I rode my single speed, fat tired bike all over the place and often to school, 5 miles away. I did a lot of camping. I got banged and scraped up enough to develop an immune system strong enough to take on elephants. I often arrived home so dirty that my mom made me rinse off with the hose before going inside -- and right into the tub.

She found it rather entertaining doing my laundry when she emptied my pockets, never exactly knowing what she'd find in there.

What do I blame for the change?

Technology, the media and society.

See, as a kid, we had newspapers, one black and white TV, a radio and one fixed phone in the house for news. Then there was the theater in town for movies. TV was somewhat censored and that would not change until HBO arrived with cable TV and that alone started changing the world.

Now, you can't move without something throwing information at you. More than you want or need. Technology has enabled us to hear about murders anywhere within seconds of their happening instead of hours or days.

It's also given a free and easy forum to crackpots and loonies who spout their paranoid delusions to the world and those who have learned how to fake videos so well that you think they're real. Others 'helpfully' post instructions on how to make lethal things out of stuff found in the home or where to get more dangerous stuff.

Pip bombs became popular after an anarchists site posted instructions on how to make them and, naturally, kids did. Another site posted the recipe for nitroglycerine. Still another for gun cotton and gunpowder.

Pretty much, no one was willing to take responsibility for what might happen when others used their information. Some hoped many would. Others considered it their RIGHT to distribute lethal instructions to the masses.

At the same time, TV shows and movies became more 'real', disclosing crime solving techniques that the average public never knew -- and criminals made note of. Then they showed criminals using techniques to break into places that John Q Public didn't know and a hitman published a book on how to kill and get away with it.

The book was banned, but helpful citizens promptly published it in the internet.

Soon the news media was fighting each other for ratings, exaggerating stories and seeking the most lurid ones possible.

Out came the invention of the Supermarket Scandal rag, led by the National Inquirer, distorting facts and truth for decades and yes, Elvis is actually dead and no, his ghost is not roaming the county doing good deeds.

Then the nation became litigious, suing everyone for everything. Common sense bit the dust. People became fearful of doing things they used to do for fear of being sued. Like letting neighborhood kids play with their kids in their yard. If one gets hurt due to his own stupidity, the parents, though close friends, now sue for medical bills, emotional stress and anything else their lawyer can dream up.

The media would focus on a topic or two and just flood the public with lurid stories and expose's -- like dangerous gangs and how murderous they were and how perverts lurked behind every bush and weed outside, just waiting to snatch and molest your kid.

Other morons turned kid on kid sexual curiosity into a felony, something parents have handled for eons with no fuss for generations, now requiring the cops, the department of children's affairs possibly a shrink and more than likely major mass media coverage of the little pervs.

Meaning, at 5, when you showed a little girl of the same age, your 'dingle' and she showed you her 'flower', even though you had no idea what they were for, you were a PERVERT and the LAW had to step in.

Then around 500 'experts' informed you about how damaging, dirty and nasty this is while 500 more told you to get over it and the politicians promptly passed laws against it so vague and unclear that parents could be arrested for corporal discipline to their own kid.

Heaven help the dad who chose to bath with his son under 5 without mommy present to make sure he didn't diddle the kid.

All of this brought to you by the major advances in the electronic technology, the ranting of idiots with a now huge public forum and a change of business morals.
Just for the heck of it, flood the market with lurid video games. Go further by creating some that puts you in the criminal's shoes and see how fun it is to mow down pedestrians, get chased by cops and gun down anyone you choose.

Then, here comes the warped computer geniuses, who find hundreds of ways to electronically abuse your systems, some for fun, most for profit and they're followed by companies that PAY them for your secret information. Not to mention hackers who screw up your systems just for fun. Then entire companies who design needed equipment, like phones, that keep a record of nearly everything you do, can be turned on remotely and even track you when turned off.

Introduce social networking sites, which soon develop internet bullies while providing access to more 'friends' than you ever dreamed you could have without the trouble of personal contact.

While that's going on, TV is introducing all new fads, many of which go on to create new diseases like anorexia. People start copying both good and bad things since years ago, you usually only got three channels. Now, you have 500. Many of them have programs where seemingly wise, intelligent, mature folks are telling you that basically everything you thought right is wrong.

Enter the Jerry Springer version of reality shows -- rigged but you don't know it.

Paparazzi make sure you're kept up to the minute on any star who farts in public and will even climb trees, scale fences and use telephoto lenses to get that nasty money shot of them in the privacy of their own homes. Oh, yeah, rags and news companies will pay good money for a shot of a famous person taking a dump or picking their nose.

By now the concept of right and wrong is blurred, since the lawyers have been suing the krap out of anyone who questions it or making up defenses for those who KNOW they did wrong, but feel justified.

Like the law that had to be made making it illegal for landlords to secretly record their tenants because the technology popped up allowing it and they did it.

Consider this. Radar guns came out for the cops. Right behind them came radar detectors and the makers of them defended their RIGHT to subvert lawmakers technology. Lawyers found 50 ways to question the skill of a cop using a radar gun, including when it was last calibrated and casting doubt on the cops, which encouraged the public to doubt them.

So, see how stupidity evolves? Wonder why society goes nuts? For every great invention there will be hundreds of folks willing to alter it's purpose, compromise it, capitalize off it and use it for nefarious reasons.

Consider your cell phone. The old landline was actually safer. Especially the non-digital dials. Not as fun or useful though.
 
2012-10-01 05:46:21 PM  
At 15, I used to ride the bus 13 miles one way to go play at the arcade in the affluent neighborhood (they got new games earlier).

On foot, I've walked from downtown San Diego to 47th street, about 5 miles.

// it was shorter than that if you took the flood channel, as it ran diagonally to the streets. However you would occasionally run into undesirables in the culverts (so we always traveled in groups and carried sticks and stones).
 
2012-10-01 05:46:31 PM  
My kids are regularly out wandering around. The only thing I really worry about are cars, I tell them that they should assume any car they see on the street is trying to kill them and they should act accordingly. So far that seems to work. Also my kids know whos house/yard they are allowed to play in, what blocks they can ride their bikes down, etc.

I only wish there were more kids for them to play with around these parts. Who knows, maybe there are a ton of kids but all the other parents are the helicopter type?
 
2012-10-01 05:46:53 PM  

FunkOut: Back in the good old days, my father told me kids would have things happen to them and it just was something you weren't supposed to talk about. Creepy Father O'Malley and that Scout leader and the dead kid whose body was found naked out in the woods.

Two of my mother's brothers were molested by some guy back in beautiful suburban 1950s Anaheim. Solution? Don't talk about it. Nice families don't talk about those kinds of things. Pretend your one son hasn't taken up sniffing glue and prostituting his little brother to the neighbourhood pedo. Pretend it couldn't have happened until they turn into adults whose minds are shattering.


We ran pretty much wild all over our neighborhood; in and out of our friends houses as well as our own. Nobody worried about anything except rattlesnakes. Found out many many years later that our next-door neighbor was molesting his own daughter the whole time. Yes, nice Mr. X was diddling his daughter...but still we get the line "Well, things were DIFFERENT then!" Yeah, nobody talked about it, that's what was different.
 
2012-10-01 05:46:54 PM  
As a kid in the late 80's we only had two rules: don't go in the sewer, and don't play behind the hobo camp.
 
2012-10-01 05:47:05 PM  

chuckufarlie: thurstonxhowell: garron: As society has become more perverse, the threat of child abduction and rape has sky-rocketed. No need to spend research funds to figure that out.

Meanwhile, in reality, the rates of both child abduction and rape have plummeted.

plummeted is just as inaccurate as sky-rocketed.


Except for the fact that I at least got the direction right. Also, I would characterize double digit percentage point drops in raw numbers of events while the population rises as plummeting.
 
2012-10-01 05:47:11 PM  
3 generations? How about just one... I had pretty good unsupervised range, with a lot of "permission" range. Of course, we lived in what was then a country suburb of Indy. Our cul-de-sac was in the middle of nowhere, and the densest population area in the immediate area. Our address was on a Rural Route even. We had free range up and down our quarter mile street, and another quarter to half mile into the woods on either side. Beyond the end was the cornfield of a nearby farm, so that was more or less off limits more than 50 feet (even 5 feet in at full height and you can't see out).

With parents permission, we could bike much further. About a mile away was a cheap campground with a convenience store we could by candy and subpar firecrackers at. Another half mile was some house with a huge front yard that for some reason fostered "exotic" animals like llamas for some reason.

Now I have a young one that just turned 3 and live in a city, and even though I remember how much good having that much freedom did for me, and having read all the pro-free-range kids stuff, I'm still scared to let her out of my sight, and I'm not sure how much freedom I'll be able to bring myself to give her at what age.
 
2012-10-01 05:51:23 PM  
My friends and I would run around for hours on end playing "assassination," basically murdering each other with Super Soakers and Nerf guns.

That was only... fifteen years ago? Kids don't seem to do that much anymore.
 
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