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!
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