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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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20839 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 06:36:17 PM
nobody wants your annoying ugly-ass kids anyway. let them have fun.
 
2012-10-01 06:36:38 PM

DaCaptain19: Kids today cannot play - period....and it's the media's fault.

If they're not engrossed in some screen-based entertainment, they are doing "organized play" - your organized soccer, baseball, etc.

Kids can't just go out and build "forts" in the woods and explore - they're explicitly taught to fear anyplace but their home...but oh NO! Parents and relatives can't be trusted either...BAD TOUCH! Kids today have no imagination and therefore no idea how to be "creative". And of course unending fear of the world - don't forget to teach THAT valuable lesson!

Soooo...you're not safe in your home and you're not safe out of the home.

SOLUTION? GIVE UP ALL FREEDOM FOR SAFETY. Which has been the national policy since forever...and nailed down since 9/11 - perfect opportunity for the gov't to take away freedom in support of "safety".

/Never mind that 99% of all "kidnappings" are by non-custodial relatives., NOT strangers.


I'd invite you to my neighborhood, but you'd have to drive extra careful and dodge all the kids playing outside in 4 different front yards.

The worst I typically have to do is say "Stop chasing the kid that said stop chasing me and isn't enjoying you running after him with a plank of wood".

//That happened just last night actually. All we need is a Rolf and we'd be a Cartoon Network TV show made real.
 
2012-10-01 06:37:45 PM

PsiChick: /He thinks there's multiple sex offenders in our neighborhood


Have you checked the Sex Offender Registry? He may not be quite as paranoid as you think.
 
2012-10-01 06:39:04 PM
My mom forgot me at school one day, so I played basketball until everybody left. I didn't even think to walk home until about 8 pm, because I was a coddled idiot. I was probably 14 at the time, I walked home from school every day after that, and I had a better time and greater appreciation for my neighborhood for it.
 
2012-10-01 06:39:32 PM

zedster: 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.


And then you point that fact out to my Mother and she says well just on the street a block away a little girl was just abducted and raped.

And I inform her that was 5 years ago. Can you name a time before that or since? And how many people live in this city? So like at that rate it is going to be over100 years before it happens again.

Kids were raped, beat, killed, molested etc even before TV was invented. The only major thing that has changed is humans abilities to share their fears over a wider audience. As this ability grew so too did the roaming range shrink. Do I think there is a direct correlation, no i do not. But I do think it is part of the puzzle.
 
2012-10-01 06:39:53 PM

leevis: 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.


And we did all that WITHOUT a cell phone OR a GPS system. Wanna drive across Kansas or Montana sans phone and GPS? People today would shait their pants at the mere thought.

The Gordie Howe Hat Trick: I'm truly more concerned about traffic than anything. I can't explain, but most people drive like complete assholes. It also seems like there are more cars per person and each person makes more trips per day.

I'd like to live in the sticks away from population but it isn't possible right now.


Just wanted to say god I miss NHL hockey.
 
2012-10-01 06:42:30 PM

FlippityFlap: That's impossible now.


I NEVER hopped a train. I grew up 75' from a track. But our older neighbor hopped one, got popped. $500 fine and a conviction record. Turned me right off the idea.
 
2012-10-01 06:42:35 PM

vernonFL: [encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com image 275x183]

Children are more likely to be kidnapped or abused by family or people they know than by strangers.


sharetv.org
 
2012-10-01 06:44:24 PM

Edward Rooney Dean of Students: The Muthaship: I'd try to sell them.

And who would by them? They're gingers, not people.


Poor people who cannot afford their own redheaded stepchildren to beat
 
2012-10-01 06:44:51 PM

Kazrath: And I inform her that was 5 years ago. Can you name a time before that or since? And how many people live in this city? So like at that rate it is going to be over100 years before it happens again.


whenever people say stuff like this, I use a correlary to my airplane crash argument. well, that just makes it all the less likely to happen again
 
2012-10-01 06:45:20 PM

leevis: 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.


Hell yeah! Me and my bros used to trick-treat...in pitch black...rain or shine (most times rain)...and we even got invited into a neighbor's house or two - I remember one time it was an oriental family (too young to notice differences) and they had us come in and gave us (?country?) currency - which was cheap for them but us kids loved it.

He still writes...
 
2012-10-01 06:47:01 PM
It's amazing (and sad) how much things change in just a generation or so.

I've had many conversations with friends about all the freedom we enjoyed as kids and yet they won't allow their children out of their sight for a minute. Guess it's not too much of an issue anymore, as the little porkers all seem to prefer playing video games to going outside. (I on the other hand, wasn't allowed to watch TV or play Nintendo during the day, it was "go outside and play" or "hey, the garage needs cleaning.")
 
2012-10-01 06:49:25 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. :)


Early '60s James Connaly AFB (Waco, TX) for me. We'd perfected the ability to escape under the wire, so to speak, and go wandering off base. Then one day I cut my leg on the barbed wire - pretty big cut & blood everywhere. Rode my bike home. The neighbor mom across the street (she and my mom were both AF nurses) got me all fixed up - but not without making it very clear just HOW MUCH TROUBLE YOU'RE IN! WHAT WERE YOU THINKING! (etc...) Then my mom got to me. Then dad got home.

Good times...
 
2012-10-01 06:50:15 PM
When I was 12, I had a job and transportation to said job (motorcycle). I paid for my gas and clothes and was generally allowed to be out until 10pm on school nights and midnight on weekends. I never got into any trouble at all. No cell phones, pagers, GPS, etc.

I wouldn't let my 13 year old son do any of that shiat these days. Of course, the population here is now 10 times what it was then. And a 13 year old on a motorcycle carrying a 22 would cause a police mobilization like nobody's business.

/I was Opie Taylor, but I still have hair
 
2012-10-01 06:50:55 PM
I did my childhood roaming in the early 90s in a rural neighborhood - one little area that for some reason was like a suburb development, but in the middle of nowhere. Lots of neighbors but very safe.

Reading this article and thread made me think today's kids have it so bad, I must have been roaming for miles. But then I went and looked at Google Maps. Everything I did was within half a mile to a mile of our house. All my friends and all the places we went weren't far. There was plenty to do within that radius - woods, creeks, trails, a lake. I guess I never felt tied down by anything more than "Where are you going?" "Biking." and there were no street lights to tell us when to be home. Biking to the store that was 3 miles away was a Notify situation. So we did have it pretty good, especially if leaving the yard is a marker now, but I guess my world was actually quite a bit smaller than I always imagined.
 
2012-10-01 06:51:16 PM
My mother let me go where ever. Now to be fair, I lived in a remote area, but still. What she did was rather ingenious. She told me that I was never allowed to go with a strange adult anywhere unless they had a certain phrase that she would let them know (to this day we still keep the phrase a secret between us) or were wearing a Police uniform (not just a badge).

You have to give your kid the space to live, learn and make mistakes. Sadly, some of the time those mistakes are tragic, but that is life. I remember a lot of the children in the town would go jumping off a certain bridge on the edge of town. One year a younger kid jumped when the water level was low and crippled himself. All of us learned to check that sort of thing from then on.
 
2012-10-01 06:52:29 PM
I don't buy the video games argument. I'm 33. I played video games every farking night. But I was also outside playing and smashing shiat during the day like a kid is supposed to do. In fact, I barely had any toys as a kid; my parents just bought me football/hockey stuff and video games. It was all I wanted.
 
2012-10-01 06:53:36 PM

DaCaptain19: Wanna drive across Kansas or Montana sans phone and GPS? People today would shait their pants at the mere thought.


Kansas you'd be fine, but Montana in certain parts of the year you need to have some way of summoning help if you get avalanched, stuck in five feet of mud, iced over, stranded without gas 100 miles from the nearest station, etc.

Also worth nothing that the GPS has mostly just displaced the folding map/road atlas. It's not like there was some magical heyday where everyone could figure out where they were and where to go by sheer force of uncorruptable pure youthfulness, the last time people drove through the great plains at random without a decent set of charts was the early 1800s and something like 3/4 of them died.
 
2012-10-01 06:54:57 PM
Oh, and the most amusing thing is when you live in a "safe" place - you know, where all the rich people go because it is safe - and they STILL won't let their kids run around. I THOUGHT IT WAS SAFE!
 
2012-10-01 06:56:38 PM
My mom always let me go out and play so long as I was with some of the neighborhood kids or school friends. I always lived in pretty shiatty neighborhoods, but most of them weren't necessarily dangerous ones. Some were, and then the rules got a bit more strict. Always be with another kid, and stay within yelling distance.

Then when I was old enough for a cell phone she let me go wherever so long as I called her and let her know where I was and when/if I was coming home. I abused the privilege, lied to her and went all over getting into shiat. She caught on, cried a lot and talked some sense into me. We were both working on a sense of mutual trust afterwards- she didn't want me hurt, and I didn't want to hurt her. Worked out pretty well, and I gained some much-needed independence and maturity.

/thanks for everything, mom :)
 
2012-10-01 06:57:33 PM
Say what you want about people being afraid of their own shadow etc, but the fact is we ARE living in a vastly different world. It isnt about the statistics of children being taken, its about the death of community. When I was a kid, I did wander and had to be back when the streetlights came on. We also knew every single person in the neighborhood, and easily recognized when someone was there whom didnt belong. That isnt the case anymore... now everyone is their own island, and you are just as likely to avoid your neighbor as you are to say hello.

This of course is the direct result of people being mobile now. Nobody grows up in the same neighborhood... you move all the time depending on work etc, it isnt the same people around you your entire life.

We're just a bunch of selfish individuals who happen to be coexisting in the same place.
 
2012-10-01 06:57:34 PM
Maybe one of the advantages of growing up on a base. Don't leave the base, was pretty much it.

/Probably shouldn't have been playing in that field full of shrapnel though.
 
2012-10-01 06:59:09 PM
My curfew was the crack of dawn. As long as I got home before my parents got up they didn't care.

AND I was an only child.
 
2012-10-01 06:59:57 PM
pussies
 
2012-10-01 07:00:11 PM

vernonFL: [encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com image 275x183]

Children are more likely to be kidnapped or abused by family or people they know than by strangers.


Not my children.
 
2012-10-01 07:01:29 PM
It's tough raising kids these days and not thinking about the crap you hear about on the news. I had free reign as a kid, but my two kids (9 and 6) have some restrictions on roaming the neighborhood. My 9 year old has pretty much a long leash but needs to have a phone with her and check in. My 6 year old unfortunately needs to stick by the house. There's still traffic zooming around too fast and he's not steady enough on the bike to avoid those a-hole drivers. So... that means he's with his sister, or at home with me and playing inside or in the backyard. I know some of the crazy crap I did as a kid and I'd rather not have my kids repeat all of it. Plus, as someone else mentioned...I don't need to get reported to the child police for neglecting my kids based on how things seem to be these days.
 
2012-10-01 07:05:04 PM
Not all parents fall into this category, sorry. My 8 year old rides her bike to and from school on her own most days. My wife and I LOATHE the helicopter parents, but more because the way in which they project the attitude that we're bad parents because have chosen to let her out of our sight before college graduation. The fear-based parenting is less annoying the the self-righteous attitude that they convey: they simply MUST care more about their children because they smother them. It's not because they suck at math and love to consume shiatty news media. Nope, that's crazy talk and those of us who disagree are roughly equivalent to meth addicted homeless parent who do bong hits with their kids until they're old enough to sell to the highest bidder.
 
2012-10-01 07:05:12 PM
I had way more free range than the grandparent did in that article. At 9 riding my bike 3 miles to the McDonald's. At 12 pretty much allowed out until 11pm on weekends and summers. I'm more concerned about my neighbors talking shiat about me for letting my kids run free than I am about the kids running free.

It's like how I still don't wear a bike helmet and people give me weird looks. The new normal is always safer than the old. Why is our societal risk tolerance shrinking?
 
2012-10-01 07:07:10 PM

Lumpmoose: 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.


Fistbump. Sheridan, WY here, same time period. Spent a lot of time in Billings growing up. Dad took me to every Big Sky International Air Show he could afford. Trips to Billings were always awesome.
 
2012-10-01 07:07:45 PM
I was the 5th of 6 kids and my parents were of the "leave the house when the sun comes up and be home when the lights come on" mind set.
 
2012-10-01 07:08:09 PM
I grew up out in the country. Our house was surrounded on three sides by my grandparent's farm land. Big car-eating ditch a minute's walk from our front door. A half mile down the field was 40 acres of forest that belonged to Grandpa as well. You're damned skippy we played outside.

Of course, "playing" meant that on occasion I'd be strapping Dad's machete to my hip, slinging my sawed-off BB gun over one shoulder, Dad's water skin over the other, and tromping off into the corn field as the sun was coming up.

I miss those days.

This is why I don't freak out all that much when my 12 year old daughter takes off for a walk around the neighborhood with her friend, and they don't come back for an hour. I wouldn't worry at all if she could carry around a machete, though :)
 
2012-10-01 07:09:07 PM
My daughter's school just sent out a warning about some perv guy who has been lurking, approaching girls and asking them rather personal questions. Is this where I say I'm getting a kick out of this thread? I'm not, really. There are some times when you need to at least try to protect your kids, and they won't necessarily turn out bad because you didn't let them wander the streets.

No, she's not fat. Yes, she gets exercise. She also hates TV and would rather read a book, do archery, ride horses, swim or go body surfing. If you call her a snowflake, she'd probably deck you.
 
2012-10-01 07:11:56 PM

Krieghund: vernonFL: [encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com image 275x183]

Children are more likely to be kidnapped or abused by family or people they know than by strangers.

Not my children.


Why do you leave your children with strangers?
 
2012-10-01 07:12:07 PM
One thing that's better is I was a kid during the 80s Satansim craze where it was assumed that Satanists were engaging in all manner of skullduggery on the fringes of every small town. There was a house in my neighborhood that my parents said "Satanists" lived in and to avoid it.

This panic seemed to disappear sometime in the 90s. What was that all about?
 
2012-10-01 07:13:39 PM

Rapmaster2000: One thing that's better is I was a kid during the 80s Satansim craze where it was assumed that Satanists were engaging in all manner of skullduggery on the fringes of every small town. There was a house in my neighborhood that my parents said "Satanists" lived in and to avoid it.

This panic seemed to disappear sometime in the 90s. What was that all about?


Moral Panic.

See also: Rainbow Parties; Jenkem; Bath Salts.
 
2012-10-01 07:15:16 PM
I suppose they'll get rid of daydreaming, reading comic books, getting stomped on by the local bully (who went on to become a copper), and making papier maché penises to scare the girls.
 
2012-10-01 07:15:32 PM
it was a great time to be a 10 year old kid when this guy was kidnapping, raping, and playing 'tic-tac-toe' with knives on the corpses of kids my age.

yes, it was a wonderful time.

pysih.com

johnny gosch, where's my newspaper!?!?!
 
2012-10-01 07:16:20 PM

Rapmaster2000: One thing that's better is I was a kid during the 80s Satansim craze where it was assumed that Satanists were engaging in all manner of skullduggery on the fringes of every small town. There was a house in my neighborhood that my parents said "Satanists" lived in and to avoid it.

This panic seemed to disappear sometime in the 90s. What was that all about?


Those kinds of hysteria breeding rumors always end up inevitably causing some major harm to innocent people. We have reached a state in our civilization where after we lynch someone, we can ask ourselves "Should I not have done that?"

In this case, I think the tipping point was

Wenatchee Child Abuse Scandal
 
2012-10-01 07:17:19 PM
I remember when i was a young child..so long ago it seems like forever, but was only in the late sixties, and i remember going out on Halloween with my sister, and we had no "time limit". No worries about getting grabbed, no worries about being assaulted. There was so many kids out, it was like a fun parade of costumes. Fantastic times. Now, as an adult, i see very few kids coming to the house to "trick or treat", and those that do are usually with parents walking, or..being driven house to house. So very sad that we have become so afraid of letting our kids out. I have even seen parents write down who gave what treats, "poison? needles?" Sighs. What happened to those fun times?
 
2012-10-01 07:19:06 PM

meat0918: Rapmaster2000: One thing that's better is I was a kid during the 80s Satansim craze where it was assumed that Satanists were engaging in all manner of skullduggery on the fringes of every small town. There was a house in my neighborhood that my parents said "Satanists" lived in and to avoid it.

This panic seemed to disappear sometime in the 90s. What was that all about?

Moral Panic.

See also: Rainbow Parties; Jenkem; Bath Salts.


LOL Rainbow Parties. I remember that horrifying phenomenon being breathlessly reported by USAToday in the early 2000s. People were even arguing that this was all Bill Clinton's fault, as if the teens were taking their sexual cues from old people. That was great.

Speaking of bath salts, do you remember "cheese heroin" and how kids were going to start going wild on Tylenol PM and heroin as opposed to just, you know, doing boring old heroin.
 
2012-10-01 07:20:40 PM
csb

At a soccer game Saturday, saw a woman go frantically looking for her 3 yo. Her first reaction was to sprint to all 4 entrances of a fenced park to look for the car/pedo that had her offspring. I casually walk over to the swings/sand and lead her kid back. What's more likely lady -- an abduction in a crowded park or a kid who wants to play in the sand?

/csb

No surprise, this was the same mom who tried to discipline the above rat's twin who was throwing stuff and kicking and ignoring mom, by explaining to him that he was hurting other kids feelings.
 
2012-10-01 07:20:47 PM
The mom of my youngest is a helicopter parent. I'm not. I've successfully raised two older kids without looking over their shoulders, and I see no need to do it with my third. The little guy is certainly happier being able to play in the creek with friends and bike around the neighborhood without having to check in at home every half hour. When he goes home, his mom directly supervises all of his activities. It's regressive.
 
2012-10-01 07:21:01 PM
I grew up in the 80's in big scary Chicago. I had to tell my parents if I wasn't going to be home for dinner and I had to be home before bedtime. That was pretty much it. I ranged from across the street to way, way out of yelling distance and the worst that ever happened to me and my friends were a few fistfights. I had access to TV, video games, and the internet but I spent plenty of time on the street. Nowadays I see kids coming to and from school and almost never any other time. TI don't really know when that happened but it wasn't three generations ago.
 
2012-10-01 07:21:11 PM

cefm: I flew cross-country to visit grandparents with my brother when we were 9-10. No adult supervision necessary.


Yuh. My ma put me on a plane to 1970s Detroit, alone, at the ripe old age of 6 (and every year thereafter). I do wonder if she'd even consider doing the same in this day and age. Even worse, if she did, the experience is probably way worse. In the '70s flying alone as a six year-old meant the stewardess checked on me every 15 minutes, I regularly got upgraded to first class, you'd get some sweet pin-on captain's wings, and like a deck of playing cards, and they'd mainline Pepsi into your gullet with a hose. Now, I'm not even sure it's possible for a 6 year-old to fly alone, legally, or logistically. "Okay honey, now once the nice man is done touching all of your private places you're going to have to find your way to domestic concourse D, and gate 132B. If you have to go to the bathroom, do not leave your Caillou backpack unattended..."
 
2012-10-01 07:21:39 PM

Rent Party: Rapmaster2000: One thing that's better is I was a kid during the 80s Satansim craze where it was assumed that Satanists were engaging in all manner of skullduggery on the fringes of every small town. There was a house in my neighborhood that my parents said "Satanists" lived in and to avoid it.

This panic seemed to disappear sometime in the 90s. What was that all about?

Those kinds of hysteria breeding rumors always end up inevitably causing some major harm to innocent people. We have reached a state in our civilization where after we lynch someone, we can ask ourselves "Should I not have done that?"

In this case, I think the tipping point was

Wenatchee Child Abuse Scandal


Wow. This part really stuck out: In 1995, after Pastor Robert Roberson criticized the investigation, he was arrested and charged with eleven counts of the sexual abuse of a child. Roberson and his wife were acquitted of all charge

Anyone who doesn't believe in the existence of witches is actually a witch. I can't believe this still exists in our society.
 
2012-10-01 07:22:47 PM
A young person informed me, having grown up with keyboards, her generation types faster. I confused her when I pointed out I knew how to play outside, unsupervised.
 
2012-10-01 07:23:46 PM
Most of the kids in my neighborhood (including my 6-year-old) run around in a pack until sundown. There's one woman, though, who has a 3-4 year old, and she's constantly screaming about all the unsupervised kids outside. She says she'll never let her son outside unsupervised. I'm picturing this kid at 15 with his mom following him around.
 
2012-10-01 07:25:46 PM
Live afraid?
 
2012-10-01 07:27:32 PM
And yet, rates of child sexual abuse, child abduction, fatal accidents and homicides have gone down. It's almost as if being protective of children, I don't know, protects them.
 
2012-10-01 07:30:03 PM
Few vs. many, eh?
 
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