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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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20844 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 07:33:29 PM  
Modern parents suffer from delusion. They think their kid is a precious snowflake which will wilt and weather away if military grade precision is not used in their care.

The truth is that your kids are probably dumbasses that will never amount to anything anyway, and if they get took out, odds are.. you can replace it by doing something fun.

If you let your kid off the leash, and they survive to adulthood... maybe they'll be able to fend for themselves better in the real world we live in, and not be permanently tethered to your hovering arse.
 
2012-10-01 07:33:44 PM  

thesloppy: 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..."


I'd forgotten about that aspect. My parents put me on a BUS when I was eight to go visit my grandparents 400 miles away. By myself. I set next to an old lady who dipped snuff and made sure I got off/on at the stops. Ain't no way, no how that I'd do that now. (The put the kid on a bus alone thing... I'd totally still sit next to an old snuff dipping lady)
 
2012-10-01 07:34:16 PM  
Glad I grew up in the 60s.
 
2012-10-01 07:34:28 PM  

Stealthdozer: 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.


Maybe with their thumbs on a touch screen. I'd like to see those snowflakes beat this lady. 
rcranger.mysite.syr.edu
 
2012-10-01 07:34:55 PM  

Omahawg: 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 image 250x165]

johnny gosch, where's my newspaper!?!?!


Well, it's Nebraska.. WTF else are you supposed to do there?
 
2012-10-01 07:35:55 PM  

Bit'O'Gristle: 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?


I grew up in the same time and had the same fun. Right up until a guy in Deer Park, TX gave his kids poison in giant Pixie Stix. Happen to remember that? Was in the early 70s, the cops didn't know at first that it was the father who had done it. Every parent in the Houston area freaked out, all candy was thrown in the trash and they were swearing Halloween would never be the same. And it wasn't, even after they found out the father had done it.

My kids all went trick or treating.. the boys are older (in their 20s, probably reading this) and they usually went together with a group of other kids. My daughter is 10-12 years younger and we lived on a fairly busy street, plus, she didn't have many friends in the neighborhood, so didn't want to go alone. The only rule we had was that they had to wait to get home to pig out on the candy. Oh and that it is rude to knock on someone's door when the porch light is off.
 
2012-10-01 07:37:14 PM  

Carn: pussies


www.indymedia.ie
 
2012-10-01 07:39:35 PM  

Rent Party: In this case, I think the tipping point was

Wenatchee Child Abuse Scandal


Not for me, I grew up in Kern County in the 80s. I was in 7th or 8th grade when the satanic child abuse hysteria broke loose. I was old enough that is didn't hit my parents too hard but my younger cousins were kept on a very short leash after that.
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2012-10-01 07:40:11 PM  
I was walking through a park in Missouri. A 6 year old boy came up and started talking to me. Family was hundreds of feet away and not paying attention. Lots of noise. I could have grabbed him and run. There were no screaming sirens and no calls of "stranger! run!" Apparently talking to strangers is allowed there, as is wandering more than a backyard's radius away from daddy. After the coasts are destroyed there may be some worthwhile humanity left in the midsection.

At home in Massachusetts a woman actually said "stranger" to her child when I approached them.  That was child's cue to grab onto mommy and fear the day a decade or two hence when he would be sent alone into a world of rapists and kidnappers.
 
2012-10-01 07:40:39 PM  

Beanlet: I grew up in the same time and had the same fun. Right up until a guy in Deer Park, TX gave his kids poison in giant Pixie Stix. Happen to remember that? Was in the early 70s, the cops didn't know at first that it was the father who had done it. Every parent in the Houston area freaked out, all candy was thrown in the trash and they were swearing Halloween would never be the same. And it wasn't, even after they found out the father had done it.

My kids all went trick or treating.. the boys are older (in their 20s, probably reading this) and they usually went together with a group of other kids. My daughter is 10-12 years younger and we lived on a fairly busy street, plus, she didn't have many friends in the neighborhood, so didn't want to go alone. The only rule we had was that they had to wait to get home to pig out on the candy. Oh and that it is rude to knock on someone's door when the porch light is off.


Halloween being the next fiasco of the year... good point. But it brings to mind another issue...

Thug punks running loose in the area. Kids who have no respect for anyone else. They'll grab all of the candy you have in your hand.. even if it's meant for multiple kids. Then... they carry guns. Your kids are more likely to get jacked up by some little piece of shiat (with asshole parents who should be punished for raising such shiatbags) than you are by Chester the Child Molester.
 
2012-10-01 07:40:58 PM  

Monkeyhouse Zendo: Rent Party: In this case, I think the tipping point was

Wenatchee Child Abuse Scandal

Not for me, I grew up in Kern County in the 80s. I was in 7th or 8th grade when the satanic child abuse hysteria broke loose. I was old enough that is didn't hit my parents too hard but my younger cousins were kept on a very short leash after that.


I remember there were a bunch of them for a while. That one was just close to home and the fallout from it was, too. The google tells me the Kern County one came a bit later, but those two were at the end of the proverbial line.
 
2012-10-01 07:41:01 PM  

HortusMatris: Everyone is happier, even the elderly neighbors who say they love the sound of the happy children playing.


In my neighborhood the sound of happy children playing involves much cursing and is accompanied by petty vandalism.
 
2012-10-01 07:42:12 PM  

PallMall: Beanlet: I grew up in the same time and had the same fun. Right up until a guy in Deer Park, TX gave his kids poison in giant Pixie Stix. Happen to remember that? Was in the early 70s, the cops didn't know at first that it was the father who had done it. Every parent in the Houston area freaked out, all candy was thrown in the trash and they were swearing Halloween would never be the same. And it wasn't, even after they found out the father had done it.

My kids all went trick or treating.. the boys are older (in their 20s, probably reading this) and they usually went together with a group of other kids. My daughter is 10-12 years younger and we lived on a fairly busy street, plus, she didn't have many friends in the neighborhood, so didn't want to go alone. The only rule we had was that they had to wait to get home to pig out on the candy. Oh and that it is rude to knock on someone's door when the porch light is off.

Halloween being the next fiasco of the year... good point. But it brings to mind another issue...

Thug punks running loose in the area. Kids who have no respect for anyone else. They'll grab all of the candy you have in your hand.. even if it's meant for multiple kids. Then... they carry guns. Your kids are more likely to get jacked up by some little piece of shiat (with asshole parents who should be punished for raising such shiatbags) than you are by Chester the Child Molester.


Martial arts, man.

Start 'em young.

You're welcome.
 
2012-10-01 07:43:08 PM  

Indubitably: PallMall: Beanlet: I grew up in the same time and had the same fun. Right up until a guy in Deer Park, TX gave his kids poison in giant Pixie Stix. Happen to remember that? Was in the early 70s, the cops didn't know at first that it was the father who had done it. Every parent in the Houston area freaked out, all candy was thrown in the trash and they were swearing Halloween would never be the same. And it wasn't, even after they found out the father had done it.

My kids all went trick or treating.. the boys are older (in their 20s, probably reading this) and they usually went together with a group of other kids. My daughter is 10-12 years younger and we lived on a fairly busy street, plus, she didn't have many friends in the neighborhood, so didn't want to go alone. The only rule we had was that they had to wait to get home to pig out on the candy. Oh and that it is rude to knock on someone's door when the porch light is off.

Halloween being the next fiasco of the year... good point. But it brings to mind another issue...

Thug punks running loose in the area. Kids who have no respect for anyone else. They'll grab all of the candy you have in your hand.. even if it's meant for multiple kids. Then... they carry guns. Your kids are more likely to get jacked up by some little piece of shiat (with asshole parents who should be punished for raising such shiatbags) than you are by Chester the Child Molester.

Martial arts, man.

Start 'em young.

You're welcome.


P.S. Oh, and teach them to respect everyone too, please. Thank you.
 
2012-10-01 07:44:55 PM  
www.cracked.com

I miss the good old days.
 
2012-10-01 07:45:24 PM  

Alonjar: 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.


Well said.
 
2012-10-01 07:46:37 PM  
worries that bugs and creepy crawly things may become more alien, more "other," if kids stay out of the woods. All over the world, children may not be getting to explore plants and animals in natural settings on their own. That's a loss, he thinks. Will they know what they're missing?

Since I"m a filthy tree-hugger, this bothers me a lot. I don't think it's good for our heads to live in a totally artificial world.

And that's why I live where I live, and why my kid had the run of an entire hick town growing up. And dammit, we went camping. With tents, in the woods.
 
2012-10-01 07:47:34 PM  

meanmutton: 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.


It also causes global warming and a reduction in the number of pirates on the high seas.
 
2012-10-01 07:47:41 PM  

Rent Party: I remember there were a bunch of them for a while. That one was just close to home and the fallout from it was, too. The google tells me the Kern County one came a bit later, but those two were at the end of the proverbial line.


Yeah, the local DA went on a massive witchunt which was very popular with the local, mouthbreathing conservatives. Jagels was a farking dickbag who used conservative christian fears that the devil was out to get their children to launch his career and fueled his rise by ruining the lives of a number of innocent men and women.
 
2012-10-01 07:48:14 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?


I grew up in East Northport.Google Ricky Kasso.He was supposedly a satanist.
But mostly it was the mescaline.He even tagged the playgrounds at the grammer
school...Cept he spelled it Satin.
 
2012-10-01 07:49:21 PM  
society has changed. As a kid, my boundaries living in rural small town iowa were as far as my legs or bike or later moped would take me. I have to pry my kids out of the house on the weekends now. It breaks my heart that they can't have the runabout comradery that I had with other kids in my youth. The problem is, all the other kids are either also at home, in the house, or participating in some type of semi-pro ethic organized sport.
 
2012-10-01 07:52:14 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.


Also, the drivers in the past (even up to the early 80s) would actually slow down or yield to a child in a crosswalk. These days even the cops blow through intersections without a second thought.
 
2012-10-01 07:52:23 PM  
Good thing I don't have kids. If I treated them the way I was raised (1950s), I'd be in for child abuse! My play boundary was most of the town, plus riding my bicycle out to Terry's farm (about 5 miles). I road my bike to drum lessons at the high school, about 4 miles. Total, I probably had a radius of 5 miles. In the summer, I only came home for lunch and dinner.

Last place I lived, people walked or drove their kids to school, which was located in the development! The whole area probably was a half-mile on a side and had very limited access. None the less, you never saw a kid outside by themselves. Either a teacher, parent or grandparent was watching. In 11 years, I don't think there was so much as a bicycle stolen in the neighborhood.
 
2012-10-01 07:53:52 PM  

PallMall: Halloween being the next fiasco of the year... good point. But it brings to mind another issue...

Thug punks running loose in the area. Kids who have no respect for anyone else. They'll grab all of the candy you have in your hand.. even if it's meant for multiple kids. Then... they carry guns. Your kids are more likely to get jacked up by some little piece of shiat (with asshole parents who should be punished for raising such shiatbags) than you are by Chester the Child Molester.


We just moved from the neighborhood I'm about to mention.. there was a family of about 12 people, from Great Grandma all the way to Cute Teeny Baby in Minnie Mouse costume. I'd open the door to find cute little kids and Teeny Baby staring at me, "twick or tweet!" from the little 4 year old would make me smile. The first year, I stuck the candy bucket out for the little ones to take a fist full.. and suddenly, I was assaulted by the whole freaking family. the candy bucket was nearly empty and the little kids were still standing there, begging for more. I really felt assaulted. They were grabbing the bucket, one almost pulled it out of my hand. I turned off the lights and sat in the dark until my husband came back from taking my daughter out. They completely ruined my evening.

They came back every year, same routine. Stick the little kids out front and try to make a grab for the candy from behind. My daughter got the brunt of it the first year she was handing out candy, I think that was the third year they came. After that, it was like a siege.. we'd keep an eye out for them, see them coming and dole out a single piece to the little kids, then tell the adults "no costume, no candy, comprende?" (they didn't wear costumes from about the age of 10+) and close the door..

I sure hope they don't find their way to our new house.. I wouldn't be surprised to see them though.
 
2012-10-01 07:55:06 PM  
OK I live in the edge of some suburbs right next to a park. It is mostly family home owners living on this side of the park. On the other side of the park are lower income people living in duplexes.

There are a few families on the home owners side that have kids playing in the yard. A few. But I heard the neighbor behind me once yell at their kids for "swinging too high" and the chick right behind us made her husband fill the cracks (dry clay soil cracks big time) in her backyard with sand because she was worried her kid would trip.

On the lower income renters side ALL THE KIDS are out in the street, in a single empty lot, and all over the park (which has 3 playgrounds!) playing! They play football, basketball, unidentifiable chase-the-ball games, plus all kinds of other stuff.

It is just insane the difference between the two neighborhoods.
 
2012-10-01 07:56:18 PM  

Beanlet: PallMall: Halloween being the next fiasco of the year... good point. But it brings to mind another issue...

Thug punks running loose in the area. Kids who have no respect for anyone else. They'll grab all of the candy you have in your hand.. even if it's meant for multiple kids. Then... they carry guns. Your kids are more likely to get jacked up by some little piece of shiat (with asshole parents who should be punished for raising such shiatbags) than you are by Chester the Child Molester.

We just moved from the neighborhood I'm about to mention.. there was a family of about 12 people, from Great Grandma all the way to Cute Teeny Baby in Minnie Mouse costume. I'd open the door to find cute little kids and Teeny Baby staring at me, "twick or tweet!" from the little 4 year old would make me smile. The first year, I stuck the candy bucket out for the little ones to take a fist full.. and suddenly, I was assaulted by the whole freaking family. the candy bucket was nearly empty and the little kids were still standing there, begging for more. I really felt assaulted. They were grabbing the bucket, one almost pulled it out of my hand. I turned off the lights and sat in the dark until my husband came back from taking my daughter out. They completely ruined my evening.

They came back every year, same routine. Stick the little kids out front and try to make a grab for the candy from behind. My daughter got the brunt of it the first year she was handing out candy, I think that was the third year they came. After that, it was like a siege.. we'd keep an eye out for them, see them coming and dole out a single piece to the little kids, then tell the adults "no costume, no candy, comprende?" (they didn't wear costumes from about the age of 10+) and close the door..

I sure hope they don't find their way to our new house.. I wouldn't be surprised to see them though.


Candy=status?
 
2012-10-01 07:58:36 PM  
My kids are outside all the time. Always know where they are. Not far from the house. Unlike the other kids around here who wander around & their crackhead parents have no idea where their kids are.
 
2012-10-01 07:59:55 PM  

leevis: We also got to trick-or-treat after dark. Nowadays it seems like they're finishing up just when the sun's going down.


I'm in disbelief that trick-or-treating still goes on!
 
2012-10-01 08:03:27 PM  
My parents had a summer house at the beach from the age of eight or so I was allowed to cross two busy street myself and spend the whole day at the beach if I wanted. I had to be home from the beach by 5:00 p.m. however because that was when the lifeguards went off duty. After dinner if I wanted to go to the beach again I could so long as I was home by dark. When not at the beach we were playing hardball on a vacant lot or hitting the playground. I can't believe the freedom I was given. I gave my sons as much freedom as I could but the sat truth is that if you send your kids out alone these days, nosy neighbors will sic the cops on you.
 
2012-10-01 08:04:42 PM  

Noticeably F.A.T.: 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.

And to be honest, he did say the THREAT has increased. That might be harder to disprove.

Shouldn't it be on him to prove that the threat has increased instead of t'other way around? Especially since his assertion that the threat has gone up is based on the entirely faulty idea that society has become more perverse.


seeing that this is the internet and not a court of law, nobody has to prove anything. This is a discussion, not an inquisition.
 
2012-10-01 08:05:31 PM  

fortheloveofgod: leevis: We also got to trick-or-treat after dark. Nowadays it seems like they're finishing up just when the sun's going down.

I'm in disbelief that trick-or-treating still goes on!


The American love of free shiat overcomes their fear of being mugged.
 
2012-10-01 08:06:52 PM  
It's easy to overestimate the amount of time you spent outside as a kid. Looking back, it seems like I was always outside. Yet when I go in my parents' basement, I always look through the boxes containing dozens of Atari and Nintendo games, hundreds of cassettes, and hundreds upon hundreds of books. I suspect I spent more time indoors than out, but those moments are instantly forgettable unlike, say, that time Jimmy jumped off the harbor pier and tore his nutsack open on a stray nail.
 
2012-10-01 08:07:18 PM  

chuckufarlie: Noticeably F.A.T.: 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.

And to be honest, he did say the THREAT has increased. That might be harder to disprove.

Shouldn't it be on him to prove that the threat has increased instead of t'other way around? Especially since his assertion that the threat has gone up is based on the entirely faulty idea that society has become more perverse.

seeing that this is the internet and not a court of law, nobody has to prove anything. This is a discussion, not an inquisition.


That's deposition.
 
2012-10-01 08:07:51 PM  
Rik01: [OLDMANYELLSATCLOUD.JPEG] 

Seriously though, this thread is one of the very few times I'm mostly in agreement with DIA and the rest of you old farts. You have to let kids run around, go exploring, have adventures, and make their own mistakes sometimes if you want any chance of them growing up to be well-adjusted individuals. In regards to there being too much information, I never quite understood why people just didn't apply some critical thinking to the messages they received and not treat everything that appears on the news or they read online as gospel. But then, people are kind of stupid that way.
 
2012-10-01 08:08:05 PM  
I was pretty much allowed to roam wherever. My parents never did let me go trick or treating with out at least one of them along though.
 
2012-10-01 08:08:25 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.


Back when I was a kid you could count on neighbors to keep an eye out on the neighborhood kids. Today?

The world has changed. People have changed. The underlying pattern might be similar to what has always been. But you can't deny that people have been influenced by technology, changing norms, cynicism, TV, etc.

I wouldn't hesitate to let my hypothetical kids roam around the neighborhoods that I grew up in. But I would be a lot more careful about bike safety, playing in the road, etc. Why? Cellphones.

I miss having fun. :-(
 
2012-10-01 08:09:22 PM  

demidog: Rik01: [OLDMANYELLSATCLOUD.JPEG] 

Seriously though, this thread is one of the very few times I'm mostly in agreement with DIA and the rest of you old farts. You have to let kids run around, go exploring, have adventures, and make their own mistakes sometimes if you want any chance of them growing up to be well-adjusted individuals. In regards to there being too much information, I never quite understood why people just didn't apply some critical thinking to the messages they received and not treat everything that appears on the news or they read online as gospel. But then, people are kind of stupid that way.


Reactionary is the word, methinks.
 
2012-10-01 08:10:02 PM  

thurstonxhowell: 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.


Also when I grew up in the 90s I wandered around in the woods as you described. Our house backed up to a regional park that was all wooded. However, I did all this AND I was a fat little kid. I guess by todays standards I was no

Beanlet: 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.


I think there is a healthy medium. Plus all kids should learn that if someone makes you uncomfortable or if you think they are at all suspicious you should just get out of there and tell someone. As a chick I gotta say, there WILL be a time in your life when someone attempts to approach you and you are suspicious of them. A kid has to learn to say 'No thanks, I'm out of here!' because I think it is a skill you need as an adult when think that you might be in an unsafe situation. That situation might end up being in a car with your drunk friend trying to drive, it might be someone you thought you could trust asking you to do something you don't want to do, might be a stranger trying to approach you. Some people never learn to say no.
 
2012-10-01 08:10:18 PM  
At the moment I have trouble getting my 11 year old out of the house. I want him to be running the streets with a pack of small boys looking for shiny things but when I send him out he comes back a little while later reporting that there are no other kids to be found and if he asks a friend to come along with him he generally ends up being invited in by their parents, sat in front of an xbox with a bowl of food and kept safe by well meaning adults.

He is the youngest, the eldest managed to find a pack of like-minded girls in the town we were in and spent afternoons in the riverbed collecting tadpoles or riding their bikes to town for icecream.

Middle child, mmm. I think we moved too often for her to find a 'pack' but she does ok. She is a scout and is busy preparing for Jamboree so has no shortage of time outdoors and the 'patrol activity' that they have to do every so often is basically a pack of kids roaming the streets, except that they had to do a risk analysis first (seriously, the 13 year old does a risk analysis which she puts on file with the scouts before they have a day at the museum followed by a walk on the beach and a picnic lunch. I'm moan in horror EXCEPT that they still get to do the activity.).
 
2012-10-01 08:11:17 PM  

feffer: I'm picturing this kid at 15 with his mom following him around.


My aunt taught a 15 year old whose mother escorted him to secondary school every day, then waited outside the gates to talk to him at break time and give him his sandwiches at lunch time before escorting him home. That was 30 years ago.
 
2012-10-01 08:12:42 PM  

spidermilk: thurstonxhowell: 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.

Also when I grew up in the 90s I wandered around in the woods as you described. Our house backed up to a regional park that was all wooded. However, I did all this AND I was a fat little kid. I guess by todays standards I was noBeanlet: 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.

I think there is a healthy medium. Plus all kids should learn that if someone makes you uncomfortable or if you think they are at all suspicious you should just get out of there and tell someone. As a chick I gotta say, there WILL be a time in your life when someone attempts to approach you and you are suspicious of them. A kid has to learn to say 'No thanks, I'm out of here!' because I think it is a skill you need as an adult when think that you might be in an unsafe situation. That situation might end up being in a car with your drunk friend trying to drive, it might be someone you thought you could trust asking you to do something you don't want to do, might be a stranger tryi ...


Thank you for your eloquence.

It's not only okay to say no, it is your right.

Say no, bug out, and fight back if necessary.

It's okay; I got your back.

*shield*
 
2012-10-01 08:15:33 PM  
I let my 3 year old play in my front yard unsupervised and she knows not to go into the street. When she is old enough to ride a bike I will incrementally extend how far she can go. My concern is not about stranger danger, but about neighbours reporting me to CPS. Locals laws are just vague enough to get my child taken from me if I am seen to be negligent.
 
Another irony is that my Mother-in-Law allowed her son roam miles around the neighbourhood we currently live in, and is concerned that I said when she was 8 I would let her ride to the -same school- my husband rode to on his bike alone.
 
2012-10-01 08:15:48 PM  
OK I have a helicopter parent story-

I was at a 1 year old's birthday party and I have another friend there with her 1 year old. The party is outside in the nice grassy yard (not muddy). This chick would not let her kid touch the ground. All the other kids were playing in a bouncy house or on tiny slide. Her kid is dying to get down from mom's arms and move around. Her mom said 'she can't run around she'll get dirty' and 'i don't want her in the bouncy house- there are germs in there'. The host even offered to get all the other kids out of the bouncy house so that nobody would crash into my friend's daughter.

wtf? is grass stain on your kid's clothes such a tragedy?
 
2012-10-01 08:16:04 PM  
I wish to HELL my daughter would go out and play, but there are all of 2 kids in the neighborhood, one of whom is much older and doesn't want to play with a younger kid, the other is never outside. Her friends live about 1-2 miles away, and since the parents never let their kids outside, they would never roam that far.

Then you've got morons calling the cops about "abandoned" children because they are in the street in front of the house unsupervised. Soon children will be on their computers in their rooms going to school remotely and people will be scratching their heads as to why they can't function.
 
2012-10-01 08:16:59 PM  

Beanlet:

My kids all went trick or treating.. the boys are older (in their 20s, probably reading this)


You let your kids grow up to be Farkers????


/time for CPS
 
2012-10-01 08:17:00 PM  
Yup, were a sick, sad society for not letting kids be kids and instead over-structuring their inevitable demise to diabetes and heart disease.

It's not going to be Eloi and Morlocks, but sedentary fatbeasts and Morlocks.
 
2012-10-01 08:18:14 PM  

ADHD Librarian: he comes back a little while later reporting that there are no other kids to be found


There are, by my count, 21 children living on my street. Most days my 3 year old is the only one outside, parental supervision or not. Its hard to play outside when no one is there to play with.
 
2012-10-01 08:18:47 PM  

spidermilk: OK I have a helicopter parent story-

I was at a 1 year old's birthday party and I have another friend there with her 1 year old. The party is outside in the nice grassy yard (not muddy). This chick would not let her kid touch the ground. All the other kids were playing in a bouncy house or on tiny slide. Her kid is dying to get down from mom's arms and move around. Her mom said 'she can't run around she'll get dirty' and 'i don't want her in the bouncy house- there are germs in there'. The host even offered to get all the other kids out of the bouncy house so that nobody would crash into my friend's daughter.

wtf? is grass stain on your kid's clothes such a tragedy?


No, it is crucial inter-species-mingling, what with the germs, microbes, and viruses; how the frick do you expect the human body to learn how to live?
 
2012-10-01 08:21:26 PM  

Sticky Hands: I think there is another factor people are missing: smaller families.


I came here to make the same speculation. No one ever says, "I've got four so one's expendable", but there's something inescapable about it. I was raised an only, and my parents fought their helicopter urges as best they could (smallish town helped). Especially because I was an only born when my folks were in their 30s. My cousin who was also an only was pretty much confined to her block. But, the most free-range kids I knew growing up were the ones in a house of eight. Anything to chase them out of the house (presumably so their folks could work on #9).
 
2012-10-01 08:23:32 PM  

redly1: society has changed. As a kid, my boundaries living in rural small town iowa were as far as my legs or bike or later moped would take me. I have to pry my kids out of the house on the weekends now. It breaks my heart that they can't have the runabout comradery that I had with other kids in my youth. The problem is, all the other kids are either also at home, in the house, or participating in some type of semi-pro ethic organized sport.


the teenagers here no longer cruise, no more petty vandalism, no more 'whose brother will buy us beer' to drink on back gravel roads, no more hanging around doing nothing but intimidating old people...they are instead sad and pathetic and constantly glued to their cellular telephones.
 
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