Skip to comments.Suburbia's fortress mentality
Posted on 06/03/2007 2:38:07 AM PDT by Lorianne
Parents' fears are robbing children of their childhood. ___ My three boys sprawl on the couch, fingering their Game Boys. I wish I could shoo them outside until dusk. I wish they could tromp to the marsh to search for polliwogs. I wish we didn't have to live in a fortress.
But we don't let our children play in the front yard, because a sex offender lives two doors down. Instead, like other families in this neighborhood, we've built private playgrounds in the back.
From my kitchen window, I see two wooden play structures, three trampolines, and four basketball hoops, including our own. The kids on our street don't play unsupervised on common ground. They have play dates now, arranged by protective parents.
Carefree childhood of the '70s
The unsupervised outings of my 1970s childhood are over. When Mom told us, "Be back before dark," we'd check in sooner only if our stomachs insisted.
My family lived in a subdivision full of cul-de-sacs with small ramblers and split-level homes. I wandered freely. My sister and I traipsed past construction sites to undeveloped land beyond. We'd romp in waist-high grasses, trampling down areas we'd pretend were houses. We wandered in the woods.
We explored the creek, trying to keep the mud from sucking our sneakers right off our feet. I used to ride my banana-seat bike (without a helmet) down the busy road to buy candy at the gas station.
That would never happen today. Two-thirds of Americans say it's likely that a convicted child molester lives in their neighborhood, according to a 2005 Gallup Poll. Yet the constant supervising seems to be taking its toll.
(Excerpt) Read more at csmonitor.com ...
Uh, if this person grew up in the 70’s, it was already way too late for running around unsupervised.
“My family lived in a subdivision full of cul-de-sacs...”
Faceless suburbs, not much of an upbringing...
Disagree...no supervision from dawn to dark, then very little after dark...kids just weren’t afraid of the ‘boogie-man’...
I thought of you when I read this.
We’d go visit the aunt who had a whole forest and river in her backyard and the parents would turn us loose.
I inherited this place and a friend was over with her kids. I inadvertently encouraged her/them to go outside and play in the woods.
The kids, both boys, were raring to go! Mom insisted we tag along to supervise...you never know who might be hiding in the woods....?! Or if one got hurt what level of ‘neglect’ would be leveled against her.
There is a book out called, “Last Child in the Woods.” Sure it is about another one of the phony maladies of our times...Nature Deficit Disorder. In a lot of ways though it is true. Our kids learn about their world from behind closed doors, multimedia, etc. Ask them if they know what lives in the creek behind their house and they wouldn’t know...they are not allowed to play there. They know about conservation from what someone else teaches them, not from their own observations of the natural order of things.
There in lies a special type of problem with that. Without time in the woods exploring, like we did when we were kids...they’ll believe any Albore that comes along....
No, were not afraid of the boogeyman, poison ivy, or scraped knees. We were told not to talk to strangers and held some of the responsibility for our own protection.
There have always been child molesters. That was one of the facts of life and children packed around in groups in our neighborhood. If someone was funny with one of the children, they were driven out of town. We grew up not so far from the old days of tar and feathers.
Exactly. I was a fifties kid; it really, really, was a different better world.
Thank you. I was waiting for someone to remember the huge difference. Those who grew up in the 70’s may think they had freedom, but they don’t have a frame of reference.
I grew up in Kemp Mill, a suburb that was a bedroom community for Washington, DC. We kids ran around a lot by ourselves - to the Nature Center, to Pine Lake, to the skating rink, up and down the street, in the woods - pretty much anywhere we wanted to go. We had to be home before dinner, but that was about it. With bikes and skates, we could cover a fair distance.
Then in the mid-70s, the Lyons sisters disappeared. It was huge news - all anyone talked about for weeks. They had gone to Wheaton Plaza together, and they never came home. I’m sure anyone my age who grew up in or near the DC area still remembers hearing so much about them.
For me and for many of my friends, that was the end of unsupervised rambles at will.
They never did find out what happened to those poor girls.
I guess it depends on where you grew up... I was born in 1962, so for me it was the later 60s and early 70s. And my mother was never worried about my leaving the house on a weekend morning, and not getting back until dark. Looking back on it now, maybe it wasn't the smartest thing to do, and if I were a parent, there's no way I'd allow that today.
"say it's likely that"? What this means: absolutely nothing.
In general, I think people are overprotective.
Liberal policies are responsible for this. Liberal policies that let criminals go free and try to take away our right to defend our lives, family and property.
I grew up in DETROIT in the fifties. Can you imagine Detroit today? Kids could go anywhere using public transporation. The rule was if you got lost stop any adult and ask directions.
All the men were tied and hatted; the women in business suits and high heels. What a great, great, country this used to be.
Cops used to walk beats until the late fifties. They knew everyone in the neighborhood. People sat out on their front porches all summer. You could hear the Tigers’ game on every radio through the opened screened front doors of homes.
At least we have nostalgia. If only it could be effectively communicated.
Growing up myself in the "stay out until the streetlights are on" era, there were certain houses we were told to stay around from because of "funny old men." Of course we took this as an open invitation to throw rocks, snowballs and eggs at these houses at every opportunity.
The big difference between then and now is that there is simply so much to do indoors. When I was a kid, there was very little TV (only about six channels and three of them you had to keep messing around with the rabbit ears to receive) and so us kids got underfoot. SO naturally our parents told us to get outdoors and stay out until dinnertime. It was today's equivalent of sending the kids to the rec room to play Nintendo or upstairs to surf the web until dinnertime.
Of course parents want to deflect their neglect of their children so they invent these silly reasons as "the pervert living down the street" as an excuse for having their kids play video games all day and watching hours and hours of endless, mindless television.
You can bet that if we didn't have all these entertainment that today's parents would kick their kids outdoors just like their parents did with them.
Yes but now they feel entitled to molest kids. The easier access to porn has led them to believe that sex with kids is "normal". Catching them has become easy because they are so brazen now.
Yes, we have our memories. To this day I hate the sixties; the world changed forever in that decade. As I said, I grew up in Detroit and got caught in the sixty-seven riot. The city largely lost its business districts and it never came back.
I knew the world had changed when the tv commentators began telling the people that the riot was justified. From that point, crime and welfare became ok.
Look at the mess the liberals created.
Try this link for sexual offenders in your area.