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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 64
    More: Asinine, wander, The San Diego Union  
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20847 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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Archived thread
2012-10-01 02:49:06 PM  
8 votes:
Ladies and gentlemen, this is the reason we have a nation of fatass little kids. As opposed to Fark, which is the reason we have a fatass big-ol' me.

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

/used to wander all over the place collecting beer cans for my collection.
2012-10-01 02:47:52 PM  
7 votes:
I'm fighting the good fight.

Be home by dark is the rule in my household.
2012-10-01 02:41:27 PM  
6 votes:
I can't imagine not being able to wander the neighboorhood with my friends as a kid. Video games were fun, but so was getting lost in the woods.
2012-10-01 06:02:10 PM  
5 votes:
When our family first moved into our house, our quiet suburban street resembled a ghost town. Besides going from their cars to their front doors and back, we rarely saw anyone come out of their houses or let their kids play outside, despite having several families with young children nearby. We started letting our boys play up and down the street and lo and behold, when the neighbor kids saw them playing outside they cajoled their parents into letting them go out, too. Slowly, more and more kids were allowed to come out and play in the street and in neighbors' yards, and I met more and more parents as they would come out to check on their kids and check me out to make sure I was "safe". Now, there is a big troop of kids that play together up and down the street any chance they get, riding bicycles, running races, and never slowing down until the sun goes down and they're called home. Everyone is happier, even the elderly neighbors who say they love the sound of the happy children playing. They tell me it reminds them of when they were kids.

All it takes to break this silly paranoia is for one parent in the neighborhood to start letting their kid out to play. Plus, the more kids are out playing, the more parents and friendly neighbors are out keeping an eye on their neighborhood, and the safer the neighborhood becomes.
2012-10-01 05:23:53 PM  
5 votes:

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

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

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


This needs to be restated more than people realize.

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

Now, if you're a parent whose child was one of the 90 kids kidnapped that year and raped and murdered--that is of course one child too many. But people have to consider that their kids are way way way more likely to be molested by their babysitter or the coach or the nice next-door neighbor while they're sitting at home or on a play date, than they ever are to be snatched off the street by some weirdo.
2012-10-01 02:26:31 PM  
5 votes:
Your kids getting taken isn't such a bad idea, as long as you have a very particular set of skills.
2012-10-01 02:58:14 PM  
4 votes:

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


Would that have happened if you grew up in Manhattan, even back then? TFA would be a lot more interesting if it compared average population density over time as it relates to childhood. They're jumping straight to the conclusion of blaming society and parental fears while in the meantime a hell of a lot more kids are growing up in densely populated areas. That's the issue that needs to be articulated and addressed (if there even is a problem). Journalists are lazy when they pin this solely on get-off-my-lawn nostalgia and they do society a disservice.
2012-10-01 02:53:50 PM  
4 votes:
If I had kids, road traffic would be the thing that worried me the most. You can't go a mile from my house in any direction without crossing a major highway. I get the impression that traffic wasn't quite that gnarly in the 1950s.
2012-10-01 05:46:14 PM  
3 votes:
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 05:30:31 PM  
3 votes:
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 05:19:37 PM  
3 votes:
The monsters have always been out there, they just get more coverage now.
2012-10-01 03:38:26 PM  
3 votes:

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


Back in the 50s, cars had 4 drum breaks. And rear wheel drive. And people barely knew how to drive.
2012-10-01 02:47:42 PM  
3 votes:
I always wondered how much of a link there was between stranger danger and childhood obesity

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

I also encounter what I like to call the Lifetime effect, similar to the CSI effect were end users (I do IT) are scared of online stalkers and people coming after their family from watching one too many Lifetime Original Movies. I tell them chances are they are too boring for anyone to care about.
2012-10-02 12:31:31 AM  
2 votes:
"Every generation imagines itself to be more intelligent than the one that went before it, and wiser than the one that comes after it."
-George Orwell

us13.memecdn.com
2012-10-01 06:57:33 PM  
2 votes:
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 05:46:53 PM  
2 votes:

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 05:22:17 PM  
2 votes:
As a new parent the thimg that most worries me is traffic. My street is pretty quaint and peaceful but to get more than 2 blocks in any direction you have to cross pretty busy streets (4 lanes plus turning lane). I know I can teach my kids to cross but seen plenty of close calls in my time it still worries me a bit.
2012-10-01 04:45:37 PM  
2 votes:
thefeministgriote.com

encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com

More dangerous than

encrypted-tbn1.gstatic.com 

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

Now stay off my lawn unless you are one of my cousins' kids, and you are playing with your friends.
2012-10-01 03:09:01 PM  
2 votes:

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


Having grown up in NYC, yes, kids were allowed to roam around by themselves even back in the *gasp* 1970's and 1980's. We'd just pack up. By age 12, most kids I knew were taking the subway by themselves too.
2012-10-01 03:00:56 PM  
2 votes:
encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com

Children are more likely to be kidnapped or abused by family or people they know than by strangers.
2012-10-02 02:33:10 AM  
1 votes:
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.


Because people, in general, trust authority figures. They also have a basic tendency to believe what is written -- since ages ago, only scholars and wise men wrote books. Plus, writers are getting better at lying. There's a whole advertising field just for 'Social Psychiatry', where psychiatrists study whole groups of people and determine where their weak spots are so ads can be custom designed to hit them hard.

Just watch a days worth of assorted booze ads for confirmation of that.

Plus, a lot of folks are trapped in low education areas, where stupid is prized as street smarts. The living location tends to play a major influence on how folks think and react.

Others are just too worn out from the conflicting information overflow to bother to reason through things.
Like, this is an election year and the candidates are happily confusing the public by slandering each other, exaggerating the facts and skillfully distorting the truths.

Factor in the explosive population growth since the 60's and people are living nearly in each others laps. Science has shown time and time again that living too close together is not a good thing for the human psych.

Then bad news makes big bucks, so the media is full of it and folks just get tired of it.

When I was growing up, the USA was the HERO of the world. By the time I was a young man, the USA was starting to be called a warmonger. In my 30's, the USA was a meddler and by my 40's, hated universally through most of the globe.

So said the media.

I was actually surprised to find the media wrong. The Internet allowed us to talk to average folks in other nations and I discovered that the media was mostly lying.

So, folks get exhausted trying to reason through every claim and statement pushed at them from hundreds of informational sources.
2012-10-02 01:05:48 AM  
1 votes:

bigbaddoc: I'm one of those parents who doesn't let the kids out of sight.

I'm 41 now... when I was 10, a friend and I were walking home from playing at another friend's house when two men in a trans am/camaro/firebird tried to forcibly abduct us. It was 5pm on the main thoroughfare in town-- a relatively busy 4 lane city street. We had the presence of mind to run in the opposite direction of traffic, and the street was far too busy for them to turn around. When they turned the corner, we ran into an open garage and hid under a car. They circled the block a few times, then gave up. We ran the three blocks back to our street and told our parents who obviously called the police.

I can still see the car, picture their faces, and remember every word of the conversation with the cop like it was yesterday. I am thoroughly convinced that they would have abducted, raped, and possibly killed us if they had managed to get us into the car.

Yeah, I'm a little overprotective with my kids, but I have good reason.

/100% true. Outside of the family, I've never told any of this to anyone other than my wife, and I can feel the waves of anxiety rise up in me as I type this.


Didn't happen to me, but I still keep an eye out on my kids.

I'm 37, grew up in a fairly rural area where corn fields are being overrun by half-empty subdivisions, mostly populated with people who want to retire from urban areas but not leave the state (no idea why, it's Illinois) and/or people who want to move to "the country" to get their kids away from bad influence (yeah, I want my kids to play with your kids, right.) The closest town is a college town, and like most the local towns, the local drug supply chain tends to be dominated by people from East St. Louis. Crime per capita makes Carbondale, IL one of the top 100 most dangerous cities in America, and of course budget cutbacks mean people are getting back on the streets earlier. It's weird, too, because it seems like such a nice town. When people found out we got our kid out of the Carbondale school system, so many people said, "oh, good." Wha...?

Anyway...

When I was a kid, some of my cousins lived in a little town that, at the time, was sort of a cross between Leave it to Beaver and The Simpsons. There were times when parents literally wouldn't know where their kids were for days at a time. One of my cousins went missing for an entire day, and it turned out he'd fallen asleep behind the couch. True story.

Then, one day, a little girl named Amy Schulz got into a car with a stranger, who raped her and left her corpse on my grandpa's property.

I'd played with this girl.

Some lessons cannot be learned the hard way.

Besides, where I live, well, I have a 7 year old and 3.5 year old. There aren't any neighbors within walking distance for these kids. They go to other peoples' houses when we take them, they'll play unsupervised in the context of being in their house/yard/whatever, but they're not tearing up and down the road, no. As other people said in this thread, it's a different world now. It'd be great to let the little shiats run free, but people don't watch for kids, don't care about the kids, some of these college kids have an attitude about the crotchfruit, and whereas on country roads people used to have the good sense to drive sensibly, people will haul ass down our road 55-75mph when they have no business going any faster than 45, tops, especially during harvest (we're on the boundary between developments and corn, and we have to share the roads, especially at harvest.)

Cities? Or, at least, suburbs? Forget it. I went to a birthday party for another cousin's son, and it's cul-de-sac hell. There's no decent sidewalks, no decent way to get from point A to point B, nobody wants the crotchfruit running through their yards, nobody watches out for the kids, nobody makes sure the creeps are staying away from the neighborhood kids. This all happened when you were kids and "nobody" watched you, you know; yes, even you. rubi_con_man hit on something else, too, which is that you traveled in packs. People seem to have this idyllic memory of childhood where they were tearing ass around all over the place, nobody gave a shiat, and it's not like that now. No, it's not. We built a society where socialization is discouraged. Don't blame current parents, blame the people who wanted the nice house on the cul-de-sac in a nice school district and wanted to be left alone.

Well, that's the reality for the middle class, at least. Don't get me started on Farkers generalizing this on everyone, based on their perceptions from waddling out to get in the car to go get some more Krispy-Kreme and Mtn Dew. My wife's first teaching job was at the second-poorest school district in the state. Talk about parents who really didn't give a shiat if their kids lived or died...God, parents would biatch about how ballgames and other extra-curricular activities got in the way of "my stories" and, at the most, would drop their kids off at school and leave to go watch TV. Farking assholes, nuke the town from orbit.
2012-10-01 11:52:36 PM  
1 votes:

Gulper Eel: 30 minutes music practice every single day. Why the fark did my daughter have to pick the clarinet? Have you ever heard a kid just learning to play the clarinet? HONK HONK HONK as they're learning their embouchure or whatever the fark it is. It's like living with a goose with Asperger's. I hope my son picks something nice and sedate to play like a drum set or maybe the gong.


You poor person, I picked up clarinet back in middle school, and a couple of years later, my sister took up the saxophone. Looking back, I'm pretty sure that this is why my parents kept a fully-stocked liquor cabinet. :P

/clarinet is quite easy to learn
//getting it to sound good takes years
2012-10-01 11:13:25 PM  
1 votes:

Galileo's Daughter: Growing up in Florida, Adam Walsh's disappearance and subsequent murder had a big influence on my mom going from "just be home in time for dinner" to "where are you going, why are you going there and who are you going with?" I'm surprised she didn't implant a chip in my neck.


That reminds me.

You know who's not here right now?

Jimmy Rice.
2012-10-01 09:24:22 PM  
1 votes:

spidermilk: 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.


AKA How to create an asthmatic.

We are evolved with immune systems designed to cope with bug bites, half-rotten food, and the first year of your life crawling around on the ground among the worms and dog crap. Prevent the immune system with something to do, like a bored malcontent, it will stir up trouble.
2012-10-01 08:54:52 PM  
1 votes:
I'm one of those parents who doesn't let the kids out of sight.

I'm 41 now... when I was 10, a friend and I were walking home from playing at another friend's house when two men in a trans am/camaro/firebird tried to forcibly abduct us. It was 5pm on the main thoroughfare in town-- a relatively busy 4 lane city street. We had the presence of mind to run in the opposite direction of traffic, and the street was far too busy for them to turn around. When they turned the corner, we ran into an open garage and hid under a car. They circled the block a few times, then gave up. We ran the three blocks back to our street and told our parents who obviously called the police.

I can still see the car, picture their faces, and remember every word of the conversation with the cop like it was yesterday. I am thoroughly convinced that they would have abducted, raped, and possibly killed us if they had managed to get us into the car.

Yeah, I'm a little overprotective with my kids, but I have good reason.

/100% true. Outside of the family, I've never told any of this to anyone other than my wife, and I can feel the waves of anxiety rise up in me as I type this.
2012-10-01 08:24:44 PM  
1 votes:

Ravengirl: 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.


I want to try promoting 'take your kid the the park and leave them there day' (or whatever the hell it is called) with the local schools. Se if it can trigger a revival of kids who go outside to play without parents. I would love to see more kids out and about on their bikes, climbing trees, puffing on stolen cigarettes, umm wait.
It is ok, it is harder for the little bastards to steal a pack these days as not so many folk are smokers. But, whatever. I know the boy will find trouble, that is why you let them out there, they find trouble and DEAL WITH IT. Means that they develop some skills and resilience rather than becoming dumber than a bag of hammers.
2012-10-01 08:18:14 PM  
1 votes:

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 08:04:42 PM  
1 votes:

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 07:55:06 PM  
1 votes:
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 07:47:34 PM  
1 votes:

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 07:33:29 PM  
1 votes:
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 07:27:32 PM  
1 votes:
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 07:25:46 PM  
1 votes:
Live afraid?
2012-10-01 07:21:11 PM  
1 votes:

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 07:20:47 PM  
1 votes:
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 07:20:40 PM  
1 votes:
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 07:12:07 PM  
1 votes:
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 07:05:04 PM  
1 votes:
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 06:39:32 PM  
1 votes:

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 06:36:38 PM  
1 votes:

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 06:27:11 PM  
1 votes:

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.


Welcome to Fark, where the userbase can't waddle away from the computer long enough to procreate, but can tell you how to raise your kids.
2012-10-01 06:26:00 PM  
1 votes:
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.
2012-10-01 06:13:22 PM  
1 votes:

pnome: Tax Boy: [happybabysolutions.com image 480x480]

Dang, three toddlers to keep track of.... I can't blame her.


Its possible to keep 3 or even 5 kids from wandering off and farking with shiat. First step is that you have to be ready to tell them no. Alot of parents have a hard time getting passed the first step. Second step is of course "I SAID NO GOD DAMMIT, NOW WE GO HOME and YOU GET PUNISHED". Some parents substitute just beating the snot out of them right there in the store like bay-bay's kids but I find that to be overkill.
2012-10-01 06:06:31 PM  
1 votes:

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.


As a parent, that is what I'm most concerned about.

When I was a kid every other driver wasn't talking on a phone while driving, staring at their GPS, or otherwise not paying attention to what the hell they're doing. I was hit by a car, in a crosswalk, in a grade school parking lot because Mrs Soccermom forgot that after dropping her little princess that she was still in a school parking lot and went into "rush to work" mode.

A couple years ago while walking my daughter to school, I had to pick up my kid and throw her into someone's yard in case the onrushing SUV that had jumped the curb and taken out two mailboxes because Mr I'msoimportant felt was on his phone and wasn't paying attention to traffic and though that driving up onto the sidewalk where kids were going to school was preferable to slamming into the back of a line of cars that had actually stopped at a crosswalk.

This morning at about 7:45 I watched another minivan going about 40 blow through the grade school crosswalk five feet from a kid crossing the street.

Seriously, is getting to the farking office two minutes faster that farking important?
2012-10-01 06:03:34 PM  
1 votes:
Kids these days don't need to search the woods for dirty magazines, that's why.
2012-10-01 06:02:45 PM  
1 votes:
I think there is another factor people are missing: smaller families.

Now, I'm in Utah so our numbers are probably out a whack with the rest of a the country by a generation or two, but my in my mother's generation, 4-5 kids was a smallish family. When I grew up, that was about average, only a couple of families had more than that. And now? Even among the big family Mormons I know, most couples are declaring "done" at right around 4. Others are stopping at one or two.

There is a lot more invested in those fewer kids, so they get watched closer.

Another thing is, now that there are less of them, who do they go out to play with?
2012-10-01 06:01:51 PM  
1 votes:

Rik01: I was a Free Range Kid. I've watched, with increasing concern, the steady decline of my type over the decades...


Agreed. Toss in the fact that kids grow up under a psychological microscope where any and every behavior is examined for elements of aberration, including failure to perform.

Being a kid now is a lot like being in prison.
2012-10-01 05:55:08 PM  
1 votes:

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.
2012-10-01 05:44:03 PM  
1 votes:

basemetal: [bubblewrap]

OMG! THAT KID IS GOING TO SUFFOCATE!
2012-10-01 05:41:35 PM  
1 votes:
happybabysolutions.com
2012-10-01 05:41:00 PM  
1 votes:
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 05:40:08 PM  
1 votes:

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 05:38:18 PM  
1 votes:
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 05:37:33 PM  
1 votes:

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 05:35:02 PM  
1 votes:

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 05:32:05 PM  
1 votes:

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 05:29:56 PM  
1 votes:

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 05:25:17 PM  
1 votes:
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 05:23:18 PM  
1 votes:
there are valid points on both sides. I have already seen me be more protective with my daughter than I ever expected. it is interesting to say the least.

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

it's a toughie
2012-10-01 03:06:13 PM  
1 votes:

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


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

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

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


Period (auto)biographies seem to indicate that regardless of where you lived, you just kinda got left to do your own thing until dinner time, rural or urban.
2012-10-01 02:42:35 PM  
1 votes:
Thanks TV! When communication is sped up and people are racing for ratings, they'll try to scare anyone with anything. Up next, how the grass in your front yard may be killing your child.
2012-10-01 02:42:17 PM  
1 votes:
We would...as this article says get the boot out of the house right after breakfast and be home for dinner and supper. If one of us got grounded the rest of us would show up and hang around until we got run off....with our grounded compadre!
 
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