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Thread: Is childhood truly terrifying or just a culture of fear?

  1. #11
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    Oh I just don't know anymore. Being 10 in 1971(me) was far different than 10 in 1995(son) and I am sure 10 in 2017 is very different.

    When my son took drivers ed I had never seen him cross a road the city , ride a bike to a friend's as we lived country. I remember feeling how wrong this had been to isolate him from those learning experiences and now he was behind the wheel.

  2. #12
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    I totally agree with Tybee. As a social worker in 1988 it was illegal for a kid to be left home alone until age 12. What I disagree with now is parents being told they can't let their kids play outside in front of their own home without an adult. That is stupid.

  3. #13
    Senior Member dmc's Avatar
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    I guess I'm getting old. Like most my age, I'm 60, we were turned loose on the neighborhood at a early age. Before the age of 10 we were expected to get out of the house and play. That generally meant playing baseball in a field, or running around the woods with our BB guns. We also all carried pocket knives and had bows and arrows. Nobody lost an eye, there were some cuts and bruises, and a accational broken bone. Nobody died or was taken.

    When my boys were young, the main thing we made sure of was that they were good swimmers. We lived on the water and I knew there was no way you were going to keep young boys from getting in. The houses were a little closer than when I grew up and I did buy a window or two from a missed catch, but they did fine.

    The neglect I see is when kids spend hours a day in front of a tv, Xbox, or phone. They sit around and get fat and out of shape.

  4. #14
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    When I was 7 I was riding my bike two miles alone to my friend's house. When my older Dd was 14, she was riding her bike with a friend 5 miles to swim in a local lake. His bike broke down, so she rode half a mile to the fire station, borrowed some tools, and fixed it. At 15, she was riding her bike, alone, 9 miles to volunteer at the food bank.

    my younger Dd has anxiety issues. When she was 14, she rode to school in the car with me and since I worked there, checked in at lunch. Her big adventure that year was walking two blocks with a friend at lunch time, buying an ice cream cone, and walking back.

  5. #15
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    I read in today's paper that adolescents now are much less likely to be interested in driving or dating as previous generations were. Many, especially in upper middle class families, are content to stay home with their families or in their rooms on their devices. It is so weird to me since as a teen, we couldn't wait to get out of the house. Rights of passage which in retrospect were probably dangerous but gave us some grit. I note that my next door neighbors two teen girls always do things with their parents and don't seem to have other friends. My SIL is still babying her 27yo son and I feel for him as he has very serious anxiety issues. I was determined to raise DD to be independent as I didn't like the way DH's family cloistered all their kids even into adulthood. She left the house at 18 and became a responsible adult without a hitch.

  6. #16
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    Pinktoe, Sometimes those serious anxiety issues are really an issue I have a 32 year old that anxiety is just one of the issues he masters as well as he can every day. He will over come it with the wonderful doctors her has. This did not happen till 2 years ago when he had a break down, 6 years ago he attempted suicide. My loved SIL did not know. She asked the other day why he was not doing something. I broke down and told her, she cried also.

  7. #17
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    That was sort of my point, sometimes the chicken comes before the egg, sometimes not. Two girls, same parents, same opportunities, completely different outcomes.

  8. #18
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    I wandered all over the farm by myself, but it was a farm - nobody was around. My 10-year-old grandson lives a mile from me - but we’re in downtown Phoenix. Just this fall he started riding his bike here by himself. It still makes me a little nervous, with all the homeless people wandering throughout our city lately. I certainly wouldn’t want him taking buses and light rail all over the city without us. He has to call his parents as soon as he arrives here to let them know he’s OK.

  9. #19
    Senior Member jp1's Avatar
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    It sounds like the BC parent did the right thing to prepare his kids. Seems very similar to what my parents did when I was young (I'll be 50 next month). I can remember being 4 years old or so and my dad taking me across the street from our house after dinner several times to "surprise Mom with a phone call!" from the pay phone. To me at the time it was just great fun. In hindsight it was obviously him teaching me how to use a pay phone in case I ever needed to call home for some reason. When I got into kindergarten I would walk to school with my older sister, but since kindergarten was only a half day I had to walk the four blocks home on my own. The first couple of blocks was a whole bunch of other kids, but the last two blocks I was on my own because I turned off from everyone else. I was also allowed to walk to friends' houses on my own at that age, but only under the strict parameters of my parents knowing exactly when I was leaving and where I was going, and that I had to call before leaving my friend's house to walk home so they'd know exactly when to expect me or be worried if I didn't arrive home safely. Yes, something could have happened, but it had been drilled into my head how to deal with strangers. By the time I was 10 or 11 I had friends all over my neighborhood and had permission to go wherever, as long as I was home by dinnertime and by dark. But I was usually with a hoard of kids so nothing bad was likely to happen. And if it did then someone's parents were surely nearby and would have been summoned by the other kids.

    My concern today if I had children would be that it isn't the norm now for parents to let their kids out into the wild so my kids wouldn't likely have that "hoard of kids" out there with them that I had. My inclination would be to teach them early on how to take care of themselves in the world, but I probably wouldn't let them have free reign until junior high school age. By that point they should know how to handle things even by themselves.

  10. #20
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    I am sorry, Biking Lady. I had horrific anxiety attacks as a young person but finally got beyond them. I know how crippling they can be. Maybe people have always had them but it was unspoken. I know my nephew has to take medication and avoid certain situations that stress him out. I don't think his overprotective Mom has helped the situation though.

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