Skip to comments.Where Are All The Kids?
Posted on 08/05/2013 4:40:05 AM PDT by Kaslin
You can drive through residential neighborhoods and never see a single child out playing. We should worry about what this means for the future.
There are still kids in those neighborhoods to be sure; you can see them at the schools getting dropped off by their moms. Few kids seem to walk to school anymore. My old elementary school got rid of the bike racks and turned the enclosure into a garden.
Maybe its the phenomena of helicopter parenting. Its not the cool helicoptering of Wagner and Ride of the Valkyries but the lame kind of Barney and songs about feelings.
These kids do nothing without their parents hovering over them in fact, you hear of college kids referring to their parents as their best friends. Gag me.
I went back to my hometown on the San Francisco Peninsula over the Fourth of July. When I grew up there in the Seventies, before Silicon Valley, it was solidly middle class. We werent poor, but we werent rich. It was a big deal when my parents got a second car; everyone had a station wagon, invariably American made.
Kids were everywhere. We played games on the street baseball, tag, army. We left in the morning and came home for dinner. There was a big woods behind our house and wed disappear into it all day, returning with cuts, scrapes and the occasional gopher snake.
But today, nothing. The neighborhood has changed the Fords and Dodges are now BMWs and Mercedes-Benzes, and minivans replaced the wagons. I know there are kids there, but you never see them. Where are they? Lurking inside the million dollar houses? Doing what?
I went walking in those woods again. There was no sign anyone else does. A wonderland is just outside these kids backdoors and they never visit.
My own kids come to me and talk about playdates, as if childhood is supposed to be a set of pre-planned enrichment experiences instead of improvised entertainment. Cant they just go over to their friends house and see if Kayden or Ashleigh or whoever can come out and play?
No, Im told, its too dangerous in our affluent neighborhood. And if you look at the Meghans Law site for any neighborhood youll believe it. All these little flags pop up, each some form of registered sex offender. So, instead of driving these degenerates away, we conform and constrict our lives to accommodate their presence.
I asked a cop friend I served with in the Army if this was just paranoia. He said he wouldnt let his kids play on the front yard unless he was out there with his Remington 870. That answered that.
So kids cluster in their houses, playing video games, watching the tube, waiting for mom to walk them to the park or go on some pre-planned activity. And they do homework little kids come home weighed down with more homework than I ever had as a high schooler.
The school seems good it honored our warriors and I havent detected much lefty propaganda. However, the school did send home a supply list that I am not kidding included Multicultural Crayons. I guess you need that in case your art project requires just the right shade of White Hispanic.
All the parents think their kids are special, and if they cant be special through achievement, I notice many are special because of some alleged issue or problem. It seems to me that a lot of the problems boys get labeled with relate to them acting like rowdy, rambunctious boys. Drugging out an exuberant lad can be a lot easier than dealing with him.
The kids experiences are so limited, though thats certainly a function of us parents being busier than our parents ever were. We used to take two-three week family vacations, camping across the country. But thats just not in the cards for most families today.
By age six I was shooting guns; I now have to find someplace probably 50 miles away to train my kids on the basic firearms skills all American citizens must know. Oh, and today parents will ask, Do you have guns in the house? as if that would even be a question. None have ever asked me that I guess they just assume it but if they did Id look at them funny and say, Of course. Im an American.
My kids have a Nerf arsenal that would make Charlton Heston proud. Some parents dont let their kid play with war toys, meaning the burden of defending wimpy special snowflakes like their brats will eventually fall to the next generation of Schlichters, as it has for the last few generations.
Thats my real worry will Americans of the future be able to compete, both in the boardroom and on the battlefield? I think at least some of them will.
Since 9/11, Ive had a chance to serve with many young people. Call them Millennials or whatever, but they have faced every challenge and earned the right to be mentioned in the same breath as the heroes of World War II, Korea and Vietnam.
Maybe I see the cream of the crop military standards are so high that only about a quarter of young people can qualify physically, morally and academically to enlist. And maybe these young warriors self-select as those who arent satisfied to stay safe in a tight, comfortable, smothering cocoon.
But its a hard world, full of hard people and hard realities. Are we doing our kids a favor by protecting them instead of letting them learn that on their own? I dont know the answer. Regardless, these kids are still missing something that many of us older folks had. Even correcting for the inevitable nostalgia that clouds our vision back into the past childhood wasnt perfect for anyone it makes me sad. Id just like to see kids playing outside again.
A shout out for this guy!!!
A shout out for this guy!!!
At the moment, the federal and state govt’s have made the outside environment too dangerous for kids to be left alone...with what is allowed to transpire in schools - what crack-pots are allowed to run free - the lack of pro-active police work - and a host of other things that, if they did exist 30 yrs ago don’t now, make going outside and playing a nightmare....
Case in point, my wife dropped my son off at her parents - she was saying good-bye and two 8 yr girls thought it was okay to stand there and mock her in a high pitch voice...yeap - I’m sure those girls speak to their parents like they are best buds instead of knowing their place - but if they do stupid childish stuff like that - what else are they capable of doing - be cause they were NEVER taught the right thing to do apparently.
Bullying seems to be increasing in schools - there’s a lack of respect taught at home - and schools wanting every dime a child is worth - won’t bar or kick the bullies out!
This is just one more indicator of children being pulled back in by parents too afraid to allow their children out of the home - or children too lazy due to technology - or a combination of both - or one leads to another in a cycle that will only increase bad social behavior in the near future...the kids going to college have much less discipline that those 20 yrs ago...and I wonder what they next 20 will bring...and we all wonder why Obama was elected...
When I was growing up in the 80s and early 90s, we would play until the street lights came on. Neighbors had pools for the summer, and there were plenty of wooded areas around us during the winter. More subdivisions popped up around us, and we would go climbing through the structures, conquering large mounds of dirt and “surfing” down them on plywood sheets.
After about 1988 or so, something happened. The Atari gave way to the Nintendo. If you were popular, you had one. Then Sega Genesis. We no longer had to walk the mile to get to the arcade. We could play at home and didn’t have to plink in our allowance to play. By the mid-90s, we had a computer in the house with Internet access to AOL. There was Instant Messaging and email and chat rooms. I could talk to kids around the country. Some of them I would call (much to the chagrin of my mom’s pocketbook when the phone bill came in), others I would write.
Next thing I know, here we are. With all of the digital gadgets, who needs outside anymore, right? I spent the weekend under the hood of my brother’s truck, sweating my butt off, and I noticed kids outside. They’re riding bikes and scooters, putzing around the neighborhood. I hear kids splashing in pools. They’re out there, but undoubtedly there are phones in the pockets of those kids with mom eager to dial them if they want them home.
We’re prisoners in our own homes anymore. Violent crime, sex offenders, THE GOVERNMENT... we do our best to avoid them by staying home. We make our homes our castles, monuments to our materialism and internally-facing lives. Communities aren’t what they used to be. Sure you get the occasional block party, but they’re usually booze-fueled bitch sessions about neighbor A’s crappy grass or neighbor B’s broken down pickup in the driveway.
What are we doing to ourselves as a nation, guys?
They’re whining that it’s too hot to go outside. If you lock them out, they go to other people’s houses asking to be let in, and the other people call the Sheriff.
To be sure, the enticement of indoor entertainment technology is one reason. The fear of parents is another.
But truthfully, with both parents working nowadays, the kids aren’t even home during the day. They are at day care or at Grandma’s.
In the evenings and on weekends, they’re herded into one organized activity after another.
Go check Tumblr, YouTube, and Facebook, and you will find most of them there.
I think you’re on to something. In the 70s and early 80s kids still ran around our neighborhood playing outside until late on summer nights. I think that really started to change with the coming of cable TV and video games. It doesn’t help that the woods and fields we used for play decades ago are now endless rows of homes either.
Ive noticed the lack of children in my apartment neighborhood. Until a few years ago they were all over the place, bicycles, scooters, skateboards and just running around. Now in summer it looks like no kids are here but come September the school bus stops are crowded with kids.
I worked in a school district, I know what goes on in buses (even the kindergarteners swear like truckers). I wouldn’t allow my 6 year old daughter to walk 3 miles to school on her own across highways and such either.
Go ahead and call it helicopter parenting if you wish, but I’d like my child to arrive at school. I’d also like her to get there unmolested... Besides that, we get more time with her this way, and we’d have to stay home darned near as long to get her onto the bus as we do to drop her off.
Some people do this for legitimate reasons, other people not so much. To lump everyone into the helicopter parenting crowd is more than a little bit myopic.
These are as bad for kids as the video games, AFAIC. My best memories from childhood are from unscheduled time. Playing games. Playing hide and seek until dark. Making forts. Riding bikes "uptown" to get a pack of baseball cards.
Cub scouts? Not so much.
I was just discussing this yesterday with a friend. Contrasting my childhood, my children’s childhoods with the childhood of my grand kids. My grandkids don’t play outside in the yard, can’t go anywhere ‘alone’.....
My grandkids are missing the best of America in more ways than one. I don’t think we will ever get that back.
The internet is fueling sex crimes. Parents are afraid.
I noticed this 25 years ago. We lived right next to an elementary school that had a playground and a baseball field, we moved in in 1988. It sat empty all the time except who organized softball was played, and kids never used the playground equipment except during recess. When I was a kid in the 60s and 70s there would have been a ball game going on every day while the sunlight allowed, and football would have been played in the fall. I actually drove by our old house a few months ago, they have built on the old ball field, now just more classrooms, was sad to see it....
They are inside on their computers or cell phones being braInwashed and told what and how to think by the MSM and their government sponsors all hours of the day except when they are asleep. Other than that they are being indoctrinated and brainwashed at school.
Kids ride on bikes in our neighborhood... it’s not an unusual sight
Though I’m not in favor of “helicopter parenting,” it’s certainly understandable for parents wanting to shield their kids from the scum that lurks out there. The last thing any parent wants is to be in that situation of saying “if only...”
Sex offender? Guy gets drunk in bar, puts hand on girl’s bottom. Fifty years ago, the girl would have slapped him and he would have mumbled an apology. Now he gets hauled off to the pokey and takes a plea.
Agreed...there’s a documentary on Netflix - Bullying - and I wonder why those parents keep sending their kid into that environment?
The kids bullying one boy all talk about anal rape and what not - which, to me, points out that these bully boys have or are being raped and have rage issues and are lashing out on the weaker kids...but the school goes merrily along about its business...
There are school administrators - principals - that have no business in a school setting because they are unfamiliar with and don’t have the guts to stand up to parents that are inflicting harm on their own children - then send them to school to inflict harm onto other children - they are too worried about funding! and your reasoning is our reasoning as well....there was a time a little girl could go off walking to school with a group of older boys and the parents knew the boys would be gentlemen and make sure she got there unharmed - and if one of the boys did something inappropriate- either the other boys would take care of it - or the boys father would take care of it in the wood shed!
There seems to be a lacking skill of what it means to be a gentlemen - boys are getting their feedback from an XBox and don’t even know how to approach a girl and ask her politely to the school dance anymore...it’s a shame...and it’s going to get worst! Oh - and young girls as young as 10 wearing make-up - shorts that are so tight and hug the bottom of their butt wearing skin tight shirts...??? We don’t buy stuff like that for out daughter - we aren’t out trying to sell her to older men! Our little 8 yr old looks like an 8 yr old!
Ah. No one, including the writer, finds it worth mentioning that the parents are killing the kids?
Fifty five million reported surgical abortions in the US since 1973. Estimates triple that of chemically induced abortions
CDC has these statistics.
I hate that stupid phrase ever since obama used it
In 1973 the APA delisted homsoexuality as a mental disease, and life changed.
Now instead of being shunned and chased out of neighborhoods the faggots were accepted and celebrated. And with the faggots come child molestors (as every faggot is, or must be considered as, a child molestor. Cross perversion boundary and the others get crossed far more easily)
So now we have neighborhoods where perverts are accepted and our children are no longer safe. Of course we’re not going to let them out of our sight.
Then we have to add to that the rash of kidnappings and rapes. Another plague of perversion that was enabled by that 1973 decision. If we cross one perversion boundary, it’s much easier to cross teh next one. We’ve had two college girls in the last 4 years disappear from a town near here. They finally found one’s body and they are still looking for the other one. My girl is smaller than either of them. If they were snagged off the street than what’s to prevent my girl from being snagged?
If we had suitable penalties for sex criminals (death or castration come to mind) then we’d have fewer sex criminals. It used to be that child molestation was an instant 20 years. Now it’s not so sure. If the molestor is a faggot it’s likely they’ll get off with a hand slap as they are “born that way” accoridng to the rest of the faggots that have infested our courts.
This country has got to return to God and the values and ideals of our Founding Fathers else we are hopeless
My forked stick that replicated an M-1 Garand and Murial Air-Tip cigar butt from when we used to play “Army” are still around here somewhere.
What scares me about this “vanishing children” phenomenon is what it’s doing to kids’ imaginations. We had a treehouse when we were kids (nowadays you’d have to get an EPA Impact Analysis done and the Sierra Club would burn your house down if you drove a nail into a tree), and that treehouse was Fort Apache, a bombed-out store in Bastogne, a pioneering settlement on Alpha Centauri (and the spaceship that got us intrepid explorers there), the fast attack submarine Sea Lion or a swift three-masted corsair. We defended it with picket-fence swords, tree-branch cannons, and laser ray-guns shaped oddly like mom’s broom handles and with sound effects that left us so hoarse we could hardly ask for the mashed potatoes that night at mess call. Our imaginations soared and sometimes our games would last for days.
With all that mindpower replaced by 3-D flashing images and Dolby Surround-Sound and Mattel Scratch-n-Sniff, a machine does all the mental heavy lifting for you. And it directs you where IT wants you to go, not where the random flight of your imagination would take you.
Maybe I’m just a geezer but I’ll take my treehouse.
Know what you are sayin, A friend of mine had to stop and relieved himself in the woods on a uninhabited section of town [I think most of us have had to do that at one time or another]. He was arrested by a passing cop and is now an official sex offender. He says his mistake was admitting that he took a pee , he should have said he stopped to look at a bird..
55 million and counting
"But there's no one to play with!" I'd protest.
"Play with yourself!" she'd say.
- Big gov’t that practically requires both parents to work to pay the bills = parent no longer home after school to look out for brood
- Big gov’t no longer keeping the danger/crazy at bay, releasing same upon the street w/ no accountability when the SHTF w/ their ‘feel-good’ Liberal policies
- The hoard of lawyers that have stripped communities of play areas, play grounds, community pools, etc.
- Advent of the portable electronics.
Now, as to the last point, even I, as product of this age, don’t account it for much. My parents WOULD kick my @ss out to go play and there’s only so much tweeting/Facebook/surfing/playing before it gets old, tiring or the batteries runs out.
IMHO, the most harm has been the ‘befriending’ by ‘parents’ instead of being a parent. Kids expecting chauffeuring, $$, and generally not knowing how to behave (and parents not doing SH!T about that bad behavior).
I grew up in a very rural area. Tons of orange groves and undeveloped land. Every tract of that land is residential now. Coupled with the Internet and cable TV, there’s really little need for kids to go outside, and the parents can remain watchful sentinels.
I saw first hand this weekend how our generation was affected. While I was outside covered to my elbows with grease, soaked in sweat, my brother, three years my junior, was all too quick to dismiss himself inside when the clouds broke. Couldn’t stand the heat.
What are we doing as a nation? Unbecoming a nation. The single most basic thing I sense going on is a complete loss of any hope for a better future. People feel trapped in an alien environment over which they have little control. All they can do is go through the daily routine. In the back of their minds, they’re waiting for the next shoe to drop. Everyone’s afraid of everyone else and especially afraid of the “other”, whether the “other” be a person of a different race, religion or national origin. And, considering the Leftists jack up of certain racial and religious groups, its smart to be wary. White kids in particular have a target on their backs, “This is for Trayvon”. The nation is dividing up along tribal lines and will soon divide up along regional lines. North Colorado seeking to secede from South Colorado is a perfect example. The ultimate break-up of this thing will be contentious and possibly bloody.
I take my kids to the playground (they're not old enough to walk there alone, yet). Contrary to this article, I see plenty of kids running around, going full tilt.
It's the *adults* that I see, sitting on benches, twiddling with those stupid Iphones, checking their email or facebook status for the 20th time that hour. I'm right in the middle of everything, pushing swings, flying kites, refereeing games of tag, whatever. It's fun.
As an aside, I never cease to be amazed, and saddened, at the number of kids - who aren't mine - who ask to play with me. "Will you push me?", "How does this kite work?", "Hey mister, Watch This!!", etc etc etc. They just want some attention, is all. Their parent is sitting right there, in plain sight, and can't be bothered to get off their (usually large) butt, put down the smart phone for five minutes, and give their spawn that five minutes of attention....
I grew up in Flint Michigan before it went all to hell. I would often get on my bike after loading up my pockets with some snacks and ride all day without informing my mom where I was going.
When I moved to Texas and had kids, I bought a house on a cul de sac, and my kids had free reign of our one block. I thought it was sad that they could not have the freedom I had as a kid but to give them more knowing the increased dangers in the world I would have been a negligent parent to do otherwise.
Let us all thank the libs for all their policies which have made our world a much more dangerous place in which to bring up kids.
Yep, that's the issue I have with these "helpful" sex offender websites. No differentiation between guys who got caught unzipped and watering a bush one time on the way home from a local pub.... and degenerates that you really need to look out for.
Another point, in the past we had to get out of the house to get away from siblings, usually at least three of them. We didn’t have our own room, so that didn’t get us away from the. Today, most families don’t have more than 3 kids. Fewer kids both inside and out.
And if you put baseball cards in the spokes of your
bike, you had a motorcycle,and you and the guys would ride
around “terrorizing” the neighborhood.
Funny thing is....when I got older and got a real motorcycle,
it wasn’t quite the same....
I wonder if anyone would even think that was fun today.
Writer described my childhood perfectly.
Well, he did leave out the “red dirt” bike track at the edge of the woods...pedal bike that is...banked turns & pit stops even...we spent hours...circling, racing, tangling up, falling, getting up, back to circling, round and round and round...sweat/blood/red dust made a fine salve. Mom’s standard response after coming home...”Don’t stop...straight to the tub. And the tub had better be clean when you’re finished.”.
A nearby town is closing their pool because no one goes to it anymore. It’s a small town with very little to do as it is and now there will be even less. If Moo wants to blame something for kids being fat and unhealthy, she needs to blame the parents for allowing their kids to become couch potatoes with their video games and cell phones.
I walk for exercise in a suburban neighborhood and find the same thing, seeing a child outdoors anytime is rare. Even when the weather is perfect.
In my upper middle class neighborhood, just over the Philadelphia line, kids play outside all the time. Big kids are seen playing basketball and/or walking to the park to play. Little kids are in their yards running around or playing on their swing sets. The kids walk down to the Wawa, the pizza place, and the new "fro-yo".
One other change is homework. My kids barely had any growing up. Today's kids have a couple of hours, so you're just not going to see the kids outside as much during the school year.
I have driven past a beautiful public pool in a distressed neighborhood a couple times this summer on my way to court and no kids are in it
but poor people don’t teach their kids to swim
In my neighborhood you actually find kids outside during school vacations or on the weekend all the time. Most of them are riding their bikes on the street
Good for them, perhaps there is hope somewhere....
they've been replaced by dogs. My street has countless DINK (double-income no kids) couples. both go off early in the AM to work in their BMW's, and their nice, 4-bedroom home is occupied by the dogs. So in sum, I see Americans work hard to provide a nice home and future for their dogs.
As a kid in the 60s and early 70s, I’d leave the house on bike at 8 AM and ride around rounding up a group of guys for baseball, football, creek swimming,fort building, bike riding, etc. My mom generally had no idea where I was until dinnertime. I’d wolf down dinner to go back out for a few more hours til it got dark. We made bike ramps, tree forts, rope swings, bows and arrows, slingshots, and a host of other things that would horrify parents today. In nice weather, my buddies and I rode bikes 2 miles to school, without helmets and body armor. We left early to play kickball (unsupervised) on the playground before school, and would race to beat the bus home. Kids today don’t know what they missed. Our neighbor has a portable basketball hoop in his driveway for his 10 year old son and his buddies. The hoa told him to move it, and he refuses to. I love seeing the kids outside playing ball.
Heck, my parents kicked me out of the house during the day on the weekends, and basically told us to come back for lunch and dinner, and they didn’t want to see us until then.
And besides, who wanted to stick around the house and get stuck doing chores, anyway?
The times to and from school were when my kids were most communicative about what was going on. No cell phones at that time, so our time in the car was uninterrupted.