I had a conversation with a good friend of mine about how we were able to do so much as kids. I started really thinking about it. We really coddle our kids. I am guilty of it as most parents are. My mom is and was a fabulous mom but growing up back then was definitely different. I don't know that I believe the whole times are different now bologna. Besides all the technology, it isn't that much different. Everything is just broadcast more because of social media. We have become hyper aware of everything. Crimes and murders happened back then. The whole world didn't know about it. We didn't share things like we do now. We had to pick up the phone or write a letter, with a stamp and wait for it to arrive. There was email in my later childhood but not everyone had it. We had to get film developed and if we wanted to email a picture, we had to have a scanner or know someone who did and put it on a floppy disk. When I was a teenager, I spent a lot of time talking on the phone. A home phone with a dial tone. We had to hang up if someone else needed the phone.
Here are some of the things people in my age range did as a kid and survived:
Drank from a hose in the yard with our mouths. We didn't even wipe it off.
We would come home from school and do our homework and disappear until dinner time. We would go from house to house playing.
We would come home from school without an adult there. We didn't have to have a parent waiting for the bus.
The bus driver didn't make sure we got inside. If we forgot our key we were out of luck unless a neighbor would take us in and feed us a snack.
We could bring homemade cupcakes in for our birthdays for school.
We shared lunches and traded food.
We never read the labels on our food.
We could buy candy at lunch or ice cream every day.
If we weren't the best at something, we didn't get a ribbon because we tried.
Our teachers yelled at us if we were bad. We were scared when our teacher called home.
We randomly showed up at friends houses without our parents in tow.
We would walk or ride our bikes a mile each way to the store or fast food place.
We played capture the flag and flashlight tag in to the night.
We would spend the night at each other's houses without a long meeting of the parents.
Adults would smoke in the car with their kids and their friends.
Adults smoked in their homes.
In the summer we ran around the neighborhood and went fishing.
We only came home to eat.
We would play in the creek without an adult.
We went to the pool without an adult. We had the lifeguards watching over us.
We often made our own inventions.
We used our imaginations and went on adventures in the woods.
We ate wild berries without washing them!! (We knew which were safe to eat.)
We made homemade water slides with the hose and the slide from our swing set.
We swung so high that our swing set would bounce.
We went to the movies in 6th grade without an adult present. We would have to wait in line to use the pay phone after the movie to call home.
We would be dropped off at the mall.
We jumped off furniture and used our mattresses as a slide.
We played with our neighbors that were boys alone in the basement or in our bedrooms.
We rode in cars without boosters.
We would double buckle in the car. That's where you and someone else would share a lap seat belt.
We rode in the back of pickup trucks.
We didn't wear bike helmets.
We had kool aid stands in the summer. Unsupervised.
We were spanked hard if we messed up big.
We had to wait a really long time for movies to come out on VHS.
If we missed our show we would have to wait months for the rerun.
We ate non-organic foods.
We ate HFCS laden foods
We all got drinks out of a big cooler with a spout and a cup at school. Most of the time it was orange drink.
We brought foods that should be refrigerated in our lunched without anything to keep it cold and didn't get sick.
We skinned our knees and only got a bandage. Our parents weren't notified.
We took aspirin in elementary school.
Our parents didn't have to show id to come to school.
Volunteers didn't have to do a background check.
Teachers could hug their students.
We called our friends parents and parents friends Mr. And Mrs. And their last name.
Our parents didn't yell at our teachers.
We used computers in the computer lab and played Oregon trail and Math Blasters.
We didn't have padding on the shopping cart seats.
We didn't have wipes for the carts
We were all immunized.
We fell off the swing set. Skinned our knee wiped ourselves up and kept playing.
We called each other weird nicknames.
We would stay for dinner at friends houses.
Adults would drink alcohol with dinner and we didn't tell our parents.
We didn't see drama between adults.
We would randomly show up in the newspaper without a waiver.
If we had a mean teacher we dealt with it and kept our fingers crossed we would get a nice teacher next year.
We shopped at the bookstore for pencils and pens
The best lunch was square pizza and school lunch came with a dessert.
We watched movies in school without a permission slip.
We rode other buses without parental consent.
We played in attics.
We climbed trees and built tree houses.
We played Nintendo with our friends.
We were always engaged with our friends. No one was on their devices.
Now a lot of those things are considered bad. Parents are considered bad parents or the school could be sued for some them. It is so silly because we turned out ok. We didn't get kidnapped or seriously hurt. We didn't have our parents glued to us all the time. We didn't worry about obesity or what we put in our bodies.
Teachers were confidants and support. When I was in high school back in 1998, I had a study hall teacher named Mr. Brown. We were on a block schedule so I had him for study hall every other day. I was 16. Every single day I would walk in his class and hug him and say I love you Mr. Brown and he would say I love you too Sheila. Obviously there was nothing going on with him. He was also like 60 years old. No one gave it a second thought. There was no investigation. The police were never called. We were just being silly. Now days Mr. Brown would have been fired and arrested. I am aware inappropriate behavior goes on like this now.
I wish that our kids were able to experience these some of things.