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View Full Version : What happened to childhood?



ishmael
06-18-2009, 11:03 PM
I'm not going to explicate what is going on, but there are social engineering folks afoot. Certain goals at four and five, that if the child isn't meeting them then there is something wrong.

Personally, I think a child should understand differential calculus at five. If they don't, then something is wrong. Tongue in cheek, obviously, but there does seem to be a social engineering that doesn't want to let kids just be kids.

I'm just curious what has happened in the interim between then and now?

2MeterTroll
06-19-2009, 12:56 AM
law suits

Andrew Craig-Bennett
06-19-2009, 01:16 AM
Worry about the child's employment prospects, of course.

LeeG
06-19-2009, 01:24 AM
yep, those look like questions

Nicholas Scheuer
06-19-2009, 05:59 AM
Parents who are ALMOST perfect, merely wanting THEIR kidsto be PERFECT, OR ELSE!

Moby Nick

Chris Coose
06-19-2009, 06:06 AM
We are the product of the worst social engineering from the 50's and early 60's an it was so opressiove we went to Woodstock.

Kids these days ought to be watching out for their active ignoring of the present by way of digital infulences.
That is not social engineering it is false safety and comfort through capitalism. We must have our devices!

Joe (SoCal)
06-19-2009, 06:19 AM
Man am I glad Ish is looking out for my kid, yet again. :rolleyes:

mizzenman
06-19-2009, 06:20 AM
2 working parents.
One college degree minimum required for an interesting career.

The technological level in our society increases the whole time, but we still have the same old Stone Age brains

ishmael
06-19-2009, 06:24 AM
"law suits"

I'm not sure how that fits with my ponderings, but yeah we have become "lawsuit happy."

When I was a wee lad we had a jungle gym in our back yard. My Grand Poppa had built it. It was a ladder at each end connected by a ladder in between, appropriate bracing all around, the middle ladder maybe 7 feet off the ground, the whole thing maybe twelve feet long. He'd made it out of old wooden ladders. All the neighborhood kids played on it. It was great fun! Climb up one end, go hand over hand, then climb down the other.

One day Jerry Lynch fell off it and broke his arm. I can't say for sure what my mother was thinking (Pop was at work) I was just a kid, but I wager the furthest thing from her mind was that the Lynches might sue us. She was thinking, I wager, "This kid is hurt and needs a doc."

People just knew that kids will be kids, and they will get hurt. They weren't about to sue a neighbor over it.

Nowadays you couldn't have that jungle gym in your yard. Bringing lawyer-ese into it, it would be considered an "attractive nuisance." That's really a shame.
That jungle gym was great fun! And it was good for us to clamber around on it!

Andrew,

I'm all for watching, mirroring as a parent. Encourage a kid in their strengths! But there should be some space for just being a goofy kid.

P.S. One other attractive nuisance in the neighborhood. Ann's father had rigged a wire line from high up in a tree down to the ground, with a wheeled arrangement that had a handle. You climbed up the tree, grabbed a hold of the handle, and went for a ride. Fantastic! But you surely couldn't do that these days.

Joe (SoCal)
06-19-2009, 06:38 AM
Ish childhood is alive an well, you just missed out on experiencing it again through the eyes of your own child

http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m320/fosterhere/photo-472.jpg

http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m320/fosterhere/photo-2475.jpg
http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m320/fosterhere/photo-1249.jpg

http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m320/fosterhere/Camp%20Sailing/DSCF0285.jpg

http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m320/fosterhere/Camp%20Sailing/DSCF0295.jpg

http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m320/fosterhere/Camp%20Sailing/DSCF0322.jpg

Joe (SoCal)
06-19-2009, 06:49 AM
They stopped making Chuck Taylors in the U.S.

Second cup of coffee spew this morning :D:D:D:D
You and Ian have got to stop :)

Hwyl
06-19-2009, 06:54 AM
I actually deleted, but you can let your quote stand.

Jack, you had a privileged upbringing, not everyone did. Your parents did a good job insulating you from reality. I think it may be time to break down that illusion your parents created for you

ishmael
06-19-2009, 07:08 AM
Joe,

Perhaps as a sop to us poor sods still on dial-up you could limit the pics to just one in this context? We know you like to sail, and that you care about your daughter.

Gareth,

I certainly did have a good upbringing, one could call it privileged. I grew up with enough to eat, an expectation that I was going to do well, parents who more or less encouraged that. It was by no means a "rich" upbringing, as "privileged" implies, but I can't complain.

I've told my story. What's yours?

Bruce Taylor
06-19-2009, 07:09 AM
You climbed up the tree, grabbed a hold of the handle, and went for a ride. Fantastic! But you surely couldn't do that these days.

Lots of people have zip lines. You can buy them in kits, or make your own, as my neighbour did.

I have all the hardware for one, but haven't gotten around to installing it, yet.

And jungle gyms (including some pretty funky homemade ones) are extremely common, too...not to mention treehouses, skateboard halfpipes (two of those on my road), mountain-bike obstacle courses, snowboard practise runs, etc.

Bruce Taylor
06-19-2009, 07:11 AM
Oh, and trampolines. Seems like every second house has one, around here.

brad9798
06-19-2009, 07:17 AM
I've said it before and I'll say it again-

No a video game system in my house.

Not even an ipod or mp3 player of any kind ...

The kids have NO CELL phone.

We don't let them watch CSI or Law & Order ... I am AMAZED at how many young kids know ALL about those shows! :(

Oldest was borderline on age, so she waited a year to start Kindergarten ... our choice. No rush, as far as we were concerned!

The youngest is so damned bright, we didn't WASTE time with pre-school ... she'll start Kindergarten this fall!

We garden together, boat together, argue together, play together.

I've NEVER mentioned grades to my oldest two ... why? I drove myself nuts on getting straight A's all through college ... and it was the BIGGEST WASTE OF TIME AND STRESS. I would not wish it on anyone.

Never talked about grades to them ... yet neither one has made anything but an A!

In case it's difficult to see, the key is:

We spend time with them EVERYDAY!

In fact, in about an hour, we all leave for Bible Camp ... wife and oldest daughter 'teach' ... this will be my third day this week, and the music alone is worth the three hours!

John Smith
06-19-2009, 07:20 AM
I used to work in a toy store back in the 60's. Parents were always concerned about "educational" toys.

I'd ask them, "What on earth can a 3 year old play with from which he doesn't learn something?"

Seems now that parents are much more "Get the kids into sports" minded. I suspect they're all hoping for sports scholarships down the road.

In college, we had to write a process paper. I wrote on the process of properly bringing up one's parents. Part of that process is to make your mom think you want toy A, so she buys toy B. Then you have a lot of fun pretending you're not having any fun playing with the toy you wanted in the first place.

Popeye
06-19-2009, 07:23 AM
spend time with them



truer words were never spoke

Joe (SoCal)
06-19-2009, 07:24 AM
truer words were never spoke

Kinda hard for Ish

Canoez
06-19-2009, 07:37 AM
Very little, Ish.

The Divine Miss M.

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_MlvfQTkG04Q/SL3m1JaBccI/AAAAAAAAAXw/aAViA9DZ1Mk/s400/missm+sm.jpg

ishmael
06-19-2009, 07:37 AM
"Oh, and trampolines. Seems like every second house has one, around here."

And I'll bet litigation is different where you live.

Bill Huson
06-19-2009, 07:44 AM
Too many rules, too much organization. Kids don't need an abundance of organized activities. They need to learn about stuff they can do alone and with a small collection of friends. Like camping, sailing, etc . . . But the proliferation of "child protection" rules belays much of that activity. In today's world my youth would have been wrecked. I was on the water at age 12, unsupervised, in my outboard boat. Outboard engines didn't have those cute ignition kill tethers back then. Okay, some safety improvements are good, but to ban any young person under age 16 from taking to the briny sea is just plain dumb. If the child can pass a USCG basic boating safety course and demonstrate their ability to operate a boat, turn `em loose!

huisjen
06-19-2009, 07:45 AM
Trampolines are common here in Maine too.

Dan

cs
06-19-2009, 08:07 AM
Been one in my back yard for over 10 years.

Chad

brad9798
06-19-2009, 08:22 AM
I HATE trampolines ... we will NEVER own one!!

:D

Bruce Taylor
06-19-2009, 08:25 AM
Trampolines are common here in Maine too.

Dan

And look what the kids are up to at the Bangor Concrete Disciples skatepark...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WsY4nJkkuYk

Bruce Taylor
06-19-2009, 08:28 AM
Kids today!

http://www.ci.seattle.wa.us/parks/_images/skatepark/boardKid2.jpg

TomF
06-19-2009, 08:32 AM
As it ever was with childhood tasks, the tongue seems to do most of the work.

Bruce Taylor
06-19-2009, 08:32 AM
And if you can't find a bike park...

http://iwantthebestjobintheworld.ca/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/danny-macaskill.jpg

(That's Danny Macaskill, of course...don't try this at home, kids :D ),

TomF
06-19-2009, 08:34 AM
That lad's voice is never going to change.

Bruce Taylor
06-19-2009, 08:38 AM
That lad's voice is never going to change.

Have you seen this guy's videos? His virtuosity is astounding...Paganini on two wheels.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
06-19-2009, 08:45 AM
Jack, seriously, writing as a parent, I think there are quite a few things going on.

First, everyone pays lip service to "spending time with their children" but do I really want to play Lego with our seven year old or would I rather post to the WBF on my computer? Parents are not good at spending time doing what their children want, as opposed to spending time with the children doing what the parents want.

Next, commonly both parents work (and come home tired and grumpy)

Next, as I mentioned, there is fear for the children's future

Next, parental competitiveness. My children do Kumon maths so I am guilty of this one.

Then there is the surrogate career choice - pushing your children to do what you know, with 20/20 hindsight, you should have done.

Interestingly, last week's Economist had an article suggesting that American children work much less hard than others - not just the super-homeworking children of Asia but European children too - shorter school terms, longer holidays, much, much less homework and lower expectations (certainly in the public system).

The article pointed out that Huck Finn is an American icon.

We have Tom Brown.

SchoonerRat
06-19-2009, 09:14 AM
I don't have any kids, so I will instead rely on an old sailing bud of mine to comment for me.

http://www.sailingmagazine.net/component/content/article/590

Andrew Craig-Bennett
06-19-2009, 09:17 AM
Jack, I overlooked the Big One, being a father not a mother.

The dread that ones children may come to harm, if allowed out to play, has certainly affected childhood. the harm feared is not so much breaking their necks as being Interfered With by a pederast. Athough the reason why there should be more pederasts about now than there were before escapes me, and no doubt other fathers, it is an Article of Faith with my wife who just says "This is now, that was then!" and won't listen to a word on the subject.

Popeye
06-19-2009, 09:21 AM
the times have changed andrew , they are opportunists by trade
where children go untethered in public places is where they do lurk

Kaa
06-19-2009, 09:24 AM
Fear is the mind-killer...

Kaa

botebum
06-19-2009, 09:47 AM
All of my kids were/are allowed to have a childhood. Some parents forget their own younger years and rush their kids past it.
Joe, you have ugly feet but an adorable daughter. I love the juxtaposition:D

Doug

ishmael
06-19-2009, 09:51 AM
"The dread that ones children may come to harm, if allowed out to play, has certainly affected childhood. the harm feared is not so much breaking their necks as being Interfered With by a pederast. Athough the reason why there should be more pederasts about now than there were before escapes me, and no doubt other fathers, it is an Article of Faith with my wife who just says "This is now, that was then!" and won't listen to a word on the subject."

Interesting observations, Andrew.

In my experience working with pedophiles, studying it a bit, the numbers seem fairly constant. Though it wouldn't surprise me, given the etiology, if the number has gone up a bit. The so-called "sexual revolution" of the sixties and seventies may have bred a few that weren't there before. Not terribly significant in number, but probably there.

No reason, however, to keep the kids locked in a bell jar.

I hate, as a single man, some of what has become sorta normal in the way parents treat their kids.

I was to the local burger joint last evening. The ice maker was wonky, and I said to the boy who came after me looking for ice, "It's not working." His dad was hovering, and was obviously worried that I'd even spoken to the kid. "Com'on Jason, get away from "that man." He didn't say that, but I could tell it was what he was thinking. In a public place, in broad daylight.

There's something terribly out of balance. A loss of trust, which is largely media driven.

LeeG
06-19-2009, 11:44 AM
children are having it, yours is long over but you're really not old enough to be nostalgic about it.

My dad was raised on a farm by an over protective mother of the puritan pursuasion. He was an under weight premie whose older brother died from some mundane injury and infection as an infant so dad was treated like he was delicate and he didn't participate in sports or expected to engage if hard labor.

as ever Jack your grasp on reality is so self-centered that you can't imagine a multiplicity of childhoods going on any moment. It's always some generalized "we" doing something that wasn't like what happened before to "us"(you). I bet childhood in 1920's is different than 2000's. Probably different in rural Maine over urban Baltimore.

If you feel a loss of trust go create some, anonymous risk free interactions at a burger joint is just another rorschat test.

2MeterTroll
06-19-2009, 12:12 PM
"law suits"

I'm not sure how that fits with my ponderings, but yeah we have become "lawsuit happy."

When I was a wee lad we had a jungle gym in our back yard. My Grand Poppa had built it. It was a ladder at each end connected by a ladder in between, appropriate bracing all around, the middle ladder maybe 7 feet off the ground, the whole thing maybe twelve feet long. He'd made it out of old wooden ladders. All the neighborhood kids played on it. It was great fun! Climb up one end, go hand over hand, then climb down the other.

One day Jerry Lynch fell off it and broke his arm. I can't say for sure what my mother was thinking (Pop was at work) I was just a kid, but I wager the furthest thing from her mind was that the Lynches might sue us. She was thinking, I wager, "This kid is hurt and needs a doc."

People just knew that kids will be kids, and they will get hurt. They weren't about to sue a neighbor over it.

Nowadays you couldn't have that jungle gym in your yard. Bringing lawyer-ese into it, it would be considered an "attractive nuisance." That's really a shame.
That jungle gym was great fun! And it was good for us to clamber around on it!

Andrew,

I'm all for watching, mirroring as a parent. Encourage a kid in their strengths! But there should be some space for just being a goofy kid.

P.S. One other attractive nuisance in the neighborhood. Ann's father had rigged a wire line from high up in a tree down to the ground, with a wheeled arrangement that had a handle. You climbed up the tree, grabbed a hold of the handle, and went for a ride. Fantastic! But you surely couldn't do that these days.


we carry a multimillion dollar policy for the wilderness skills camp i work. we have waivers signed that say nothing will ever happen we have signatures for every activity including those we haven't planned. and we comply with every safety guideline we can find that still allows us to do the job.

Every year we have at least one yuppie try taking us to court cause a kid got a scratch, or ate M&M's ore some other thing. last year it was a kid tried to kill himself on the boat by trying to be cool. I cought it out of the corner of my eye him hitting deep hypothermia cause he refused to participate.,eat or anything else. thank fully i am used to nasty cold so i had all the stuff on hand in the kit to jack his core temp back up. had a little discussion with his counselor about that one. his parent tried to suit and we had documentation from our wfr that he had no food in his system, was dehydrated and sneaking suger. but that was our fault cause i guess we are supposed to force feed them or something

huisjen
06-19-2009, 12:30 PM
I was to the local burger joint last evening. The ice maker was wonky, and I said to the boy who came after me looking for ice, "It's not working." His dad was hovering, and was obviously worried that I'd even spoken to the kid. "Com'on Jason, get away from "that man." He didn't say that, but I could tell it was what he was thinking. In a public place, in broad daylight.

Ahhhhhhhh! Now I grasp the issue. People find Jack creepy, or at least he imagines they do, and he's trying to blame that on the rest of us.

Dan

ishmael
06-19-2009, 12:51 PM
"Ahhhhhhhh! Now I grasp the issue. People find Jack creepy, and he's trying to blame that on the rest of us."

Dan,

You've refused to meet me for lunch, to try to iron out our differences. I've offered more than once. If you met me you'd see I'm just a guy, like most other fellows. Your holding to this image of me is what is creepy.

I've found it's convenient for most people to keep a few bete noirs. It saves them from looking at themselves. Better to have the shadow out there than to look at it in themselves. I'm one of your shadow projections. So be it. The invitation to lunch remains open.

huisjen
06-19-2009, 01:00 PM
I've refused because I find you creepy too.

Dan

John Smith
06-19-2009, 02:22 PM
Too many rules, too much organization. Kids don't need an abundance of organized activities. They need to learn about stuff they can do alone and with a small collection of friends. Like camping, sailing, etc . . . But the proliferation of "child protection" rules belays much of that activity. In today's world my youth would have been wrecked. I was on the water at age 12, unsupervised, in my outboard boat. Outboard engines didn't have those cute ignition kill tethers back then. Okay, some safety improvements are good, but to ban any young person under age 16 from taking to the briny sea is just plain dumb. If the child can pass a USCG basic boating safety course and demonstrate their ability to operate a boat, turn `em loose!
We go to my oldest daughter's home for holidays; 4th July, Mothers' Day, Fathers' day, etc. and have a bbq in the back yard while the kids play or swim in the pool.

In the entire neighborhood, NO ONE else is out in their yards. Eerie.

My middle grandchild can entertain himself flipping cards. He is unique.

Joe (SoCal)
06-19-2009, 02:27 PM
I hate, as a single man, some of what has become sorta normal in the way parents treat their kids.



And we as parents hate single men with no exp giving advice about how we treat our children. Dan's correct you are a bit creepy :rolleyes:

John Smith
06-19-2009, 02:32 PM
And we as parents hate single men with no exp giving advice about how we treat our children. Dan's correct you are a bit creepy :rolleyes:
Most "experts" on raising children don't have any.

It's fun to remind people who used to give me advice, now that they have their own children, that they are not following the advice they gave me.

ishmael
06-19-2009, 03:46 PM
Some of you, I see, don't have good reading comprehension skills. I didn't give any advice on raising a child.

It's amazing to me how, unnecessarily, some people are cruel and stupid. Liars, braggarts, bullies. People whom if you had a choice should never have children to grow up in their shadows. Yet they say, "OO, golly, look at me, I made a baby," like it was Apollo to the moon or sumpthin'.

Talk about creeps.

Thanks for turning an interesting discussion of childhood into a first rate mess.

LeeG
06-19-2009, 04:08 PM
seeking validation while wearing a Kick Me shirt.

John Smith
06-19-2009, 04:24 PM
Some of you, I see, don't have good reading comprehension skills. I didn't give any advice on raising a child.

It's amazing to me how, unnecessarily, some people are cruel and stupid. Liars, braggarts, bullies. People whom if you had a choice should never have children to grow up in their shadows. Yet they say, "OO, golly, look at me, I made a baby," like it was Apollo to the moon or sumpthin'.

Talk about creeps.

Thanks for turning an interesting discussion of childhood into a first rate mess.
Children don't come with an instruction manual. While we need to pass a test to drive a car, no test must be passed to have a child.

Fitz
06-19-2009, 07:17 PM
What happened to childhood? To tell you the truth, I really don't know. I don't think it is the threat of a pervert alone. I also read the book on kids losing nature and the outdoors. I found that to be particularly disturbing.

I think when it comes to strangers, my kids are very much more prepared than I ever was - at least in terms of safety. I was taught to be polite, and not to go in anyone's car. But my life is better as a result of a few "strangers" I came across that proved to be great teachers. My kids have been taught the same thing, but there is more fear involved unfortunately.

I also had a long leash as a kid. I wandered away from the house when I was three years old and found my way home. I toted a gun through town to go hunting after school. That would go over big today, huh? A 3-year old wandering away or a teenager with a gun would be front page news!!

I think part of the problem is that parents and businesses create all of these activities. There is commercial interest in gymnastics, baseball, basketball, swim lessons etc. etc. These are all "good" things, they keep the kids away from the TV, but the resulting costs and schedules are absolutely nuts. We all want to expose our kids to learning and opportunity, but where do you make the cut. One thing leads to another and before you know it your 10 year old has a schedule rivaling a Vice President of a corporation.

I just recently asked Brendan to ride his bike to the store and get some ricotta cheese for me. The store is 1/2 mile away. I thought Brendan was much more than capable. He accomplished the task and gave me back the correct change. Mom found out I sent 10 year old Brendan on an errand and nearly crucified me. Oh well, Brendan and I have been testing limits for years. I hope he grows up to be the person he can be.

The kid has seen more wilderness than the average 10 year old.

http://inlinethumb36.webshots.com/43363/2365731900054321892S600x600Q85.jpg

I guess Times they be a Changing, but as hard as I try, my kids are missing out on something.

Fitz.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
06-20-2009, 02:04 AM
Yes, there has been an explosion in organised activities for children. This I think is related both to parents working and to fear of pederasts (I prefer that word to "paedophile" - "love" does not come into it) .

Children whose associations with others have often taken place in these disciplined surroundings may grow up a little different to their parents.

In particular, I think I detect a lack of initiative - children wait to be organised, rather than starting something themselves.

LeeG
06-20-2009, 02:08 AM
I guess Times they be a Changing, but as hard as I try, my kids are missing out on something.

Fitz.


doesn't sound like it

Andrew Craig-Bennett
06-20-2009, 04:15 AM
This thread of Jack's is bothering me.

I think childhood is just fine. My children's friends all seem perfectly nice.

ishmael
06-20-2009, 04:47 AM
It's meant to be bothersome, Andrew. So good on you, you picked up it.

My childhood was pretty idyllic. I wandered the fields catching interesting bugs, learned to sail and run a power boat. I was also fairly well disciplined in my studies. A bit more direction from my parents would have been in order, but I can't complain. I had good mentors, for which I'm thankful.

What, if you could be specific, is bothersome?

Andrew Craig-Bennett
06-20-2009, 05:14 AM
Well, first of all may I say that I agree with Fitz. Entirely.

I am bothered that we seem to be in an era of "competitive parentling". I am not sure that I qualify for high marks, here.

I have just dragged my 14 year old out of bed to go rowing, because he has a 20 mile row tomorrow and needs the practice, and forced the seven year old to do his Kumon Maths. No doubt both may thank me later but they certainly didn't at the time.

I am tired of them assuming that wet games kit cleans itself, as does the house, and that food will always appear on the table, automatically.

And so on. The Perfect Parent, gifted with Charming Children as a a consequence of perfect parenting, does not have these problems.

But they both seem to be having a fairly normal childhood.

andrewe
06-20-2009, 05:21 AM
The stats in the UK suggest there are about the same no of pederasts since the '50s. Just the media hype every case. To the extent that a mob attacked a pedriatrican (talking about spelling errors...)
I had a very happy childhood,allowed to run free, use boats and engines from an early age (no CG tests in UK) and so learnt to handle the risks of life. My father would be locked up in the current climate, we just thought of it as normal.I was taught by a few pederasts at school, but didn't let it blight my life. Just a little unhappy that they were (knowing) allowed to be in positions of trust. That at least has changed.
A

brad9798
06-20-2009, 07:20 AM
First, everyone pays lip service to "spending time with their children" but do I really want to play Lego with our seven year old or would I rather post to the WBF on my computer? Parents are not good at spending time doing what their children want, as opposed to spending time with the children doing what the parents want.

I am not picking on ACB, but his quote was EXCELLENT!

This is the point! Our kids are not here for US- WE are here for them!

TOO many parents are TOO selfish ...

"I'm tired ... had a long day ... we'll do it later." Then later is gone ... and they wonder what the hell happened.

I must be a freak ... or MAYBE still a kid myself. Granted, I probably have more time than most dads, but still, it takes effort to sit down and pick out Barbie shoes and a skirt! :D

Not a week goes by that I don't play Barbies, American Girl, Thomas the Tank Engine, Hot Wheels, go fishing, tend the garden, attend Church, etc., etc.-- ALL with the kids ... and EVERY week with all three of them.

Of course, I want to claw out my eyes sometimes ... but that precious few moments puts glow on their faces ... and mine!

Not lip service from this family!

:)