I grew up in a small town where everone knew everyone else's business.
I was held accountable by EVERY adult in town. If I did anything wrong, my parents knew about it before I got home.
I behaved, because I would never want to shame my parents. I couldn't wait to move away from there,....now I'd give anything to have it all back.
Boy, wasn't that the truth! I'm laughing (now) at the memories.
I grew up in a small town here in CT just like that and have moved back as an adult. It was about 3500 souls when I started school and now is up to ~15,000. Can’t get it back.
And this was in the 70s, but my bros and I would get up in the morning, go run around the woods with our wrist-rockets or bb guns, and come back in time for dinner (dirty). Our parents never worried because of what you state—everyone knew everyone else.
We’d spend all day long in the winter skating or sledding or building snow forts and having snow ball fights. And yet we still have all our fingers and toes (no frost bite). Kids now seem to need kevlar vests, Michelin man outfits and hovering parents to stay safe just walking 2 doors down the street.