Were we smarter than children today? Or, just luckier?

 As I read about the many recalls of toys, (Jess) and read about how children can’t have a field day outside because the grass was a bit damp (Yellow), I started to wonder about the mentality adults and parents, today.
Case in point. They have recalled the latest, Easy Bake Oven, because kids were sticking their hands in where it was hot, and…. get this, getting burned!!! I think that goes under a "DUH" heading.
Our teachers had us outside playing everyday, rain, shine, snow, sleet, tornado, hurricane…lol
There was no worry that one of us might slip on the damp grass and sue the school district.
Heaven forbid a child get a few bumps or scrapes.
I have neighbors who have trampolines, and before any child can jump on them, the child must have his or her parent write a note, a legal waver as it were, that if said child gets hurt then you can’t sue them. (It’s getting so you need a lawyer just so neighborhood children can play together)
While I understand them wanting to cover their behinds, but I think it’s ridiculous. If my child gets hurt, as long as someone isn’t purposely hurting them, then it’s my problem, my Dr. bill.
I’m afraid that I’d be bored to death growing up now. Everything is so regulated. Let’s wrap them in bubble wrap and cushion every little fall. I wonder how they will be as adults?
My summers were full of playing, freeze tag, hide and seek, capture the flag, numerous games of different sports, stuffing each other into a metal barrel and rolling down our long steep driveway, riding bikes, swimming in canals, playing red rover, playing ‘Annie, Annie, over (2 teams, one tennis ball) you threw the tennis ball over the house to the other team, they came running around to your side and you tried to catch who had caught the ball, digging huge holes, stuffing each other into the middle of a huge inner tube and rolling each other down the hill, making forts out in the farmer’s fields, daring each other to go all the way through the ‘haunted house,’ using the neighbor’s saw horses and a long 2 by 6, as a see saw… which also meant trying to bump it as hard as you could, thus dislodging the person on the other end, or getting off while you were in the ‘down’ position and they landed with a hard thump on their butt.
We used to all sleep outside on those warm summer nights, and play, "Truth or Dare?" I had my first kiss playing that game… now days I’m afraid a, sexual harassment suit would be filed!
What are some fun things you remember doing as a child?
All of us who did those things are still alive, in one piece and of relative sound mind.
I don’t ever remember an adult or anyone else telling us we couldn’t play this or that because we might be hurt and sue someone. Heck, I’m a little shocked that the houses we played, Annie, Annie, over, weren’t worried that we would break a window. We never did.
So, why have we become sue happy and so fearful of everyday bumps and bruises, and what will become of our children’s imaginations if they aren’t allowed to exercise and utilize those wonderful imaginations? When do kids, just get to be kids?
Just wondering….
On a completely different note. I’m beginning to wonder if my computer is turning into my husband. I just clicked on something and got the response…."Invalid argument"… sheesh!

12 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jade
    Jul 20, 2007 @ 09:03:40

    invalad argument-hahAHA! Iloved see-sawing&bumping! And whatabout skipping school & hanging out in the woods with a teeny transistor radio & just spending the day watching the clouds go by w/your girlfriend ? good post of things I have thought of also…


  2. R U Serious
    Jul 20, 2007 @ 13:26:39

    That was soooo true!!  I think a lot of it comes down to all of the ambulace-chasing lawyers.  People sue because they know that they CAN!!  So the reaction is to avoid any sort of liability at all.  It\’s a vicious circle I tell ya!!  I don\’t I\’d like being a child today!
    LMAO at the Invalid Argument!!!!!
    xoxo, Bob~


  3. Jane
    Jul 20, 2007 @ 13:27:08

    Yep, we did a lot of the same things you did.  We were usually outside if we were not sleeping or in school.  But tv sucked back then and we didn\’t have computers or video games.  Back in the stone age.
    We also had fun toys that were DANGEROUS by today standards.  Back when I would burn my fingers making Fun Flowers, I would learn something and get a bandaid.  I didn\’t tell my mother who called her lawyer who sued the toy company for $10 million per blister.
    We have a trampoline in our back yard.  Sad as those release forms are, they are probably a good idea.  As I understand it MY homeowner\’s insurance can be required to pay if someone is injured on my trampoline.  Like I forced them to jump on it!
    Whatever happened to personal responsibility?


  4. Jock
    Jul 20, 2007 @ 22:15:44

    Before the days when everything had to be environmentally, socially or politically correct,  dangerous toys or playtime was the way we thinned out the herd.


  5. ...
    Jul 21, 2007 @ 00:29:52

     Now you see, you got me all worked up again about this subject. Just when I had calmed down lol. You can see the parents who make their kids like this a mile off. They are the parents who will stand by and let their kids wreck a store and climb all over things in stores and public areas without saying a word to them that its wrong to do so. Yet, they wrap them up in cotton wool at all other times. What the heck is that all about?
    You all know who you are. Yes you do.
    Yikes, I have ranted on someone elses space. Sorry.


  6. CharlotteMae
    Jul 21, 2007 @ 16:41:20

    Yeah, you got that right!! It\’s called being responsible for your own actions and not playing the blame game.  Kids aren\’t allowed to be kids anymore…  have a good weekend.. hugs, mtgal 


  7. Yours Truly
    Jul 21, 2007 @ 17:42:56

    Hi Steph,
    The boys next door are almost never even allowed outside to play.


  8. Greg
    Jul 21, 2007 @ 23:03:25

    Wrapped in bubble wrap??? Hey…That sounds like fun…Teehee!!!
    Is it true you cheated at truth or dare. Rumor has it you dared to make truths???
    I’m just messin’ with you Kitty…Meow!!!
    Hey…We can all still be kids can’t we.
    But then when I do act childish my kids say I’m a dork.
    Stay cool out there in potato land, Greg 


  9. Laoch
    Jul 22, 2007 @ 02:40:13

    The world has changed quite a bit.  Having been a latch key child I had almost no adult supervision during the years that I grew up (60\’s & 70\’s).  This made me quite self reliant.  It will be interesting to see how the coming generation, which was never left unsupervised and had almost all their activities planned, will be like once they come of age and are on their own.


  10. Kat
    Jul 22, 2007 @ 09:45:57

    Yeah, I hear ya! We were all over the place as kids, running wild.  I can\’t imagine letting my child have that same freedom though. Too many scary freaks out there ready to snatch kids off the streets now-a-days. I know, I know…cotton wool and bubble wrap. Maybe its different because my child is special needs and I watch his every move because of it. I dunno. I think its more looking back at the crazy crap we "barely" survived doing as a kid and then looking at my precious kid and seeing so much danger.
    As for sue happy people, I\’m personally SICK of them! Greed is an ugly thing. When my son was smaller, a daycare lady\’s son pushed him on a swing and gave him an "underdog". My son went flying off the swing mid flight and landed on his head. I got the frantic call from daycare lady and zoomed over to her house. MiniWarriors eyes were rolling back into his head and he kept trying to fall asleep. SSSSCARY. I rushed him to the emergency to check for concussion. Not once during that trauma did I think "oh the daycare lady is SO going to PAY for this!" Its part of childhood/life. Kids will get hurt while playing.  
    oh and….I won\’t even BEGIN to tell you what I did during Truth or Dare…HA HA HA HA HA 😀 


  11. BH
    Jul 22, 2007 @ 16:09:01

     Just recently I "loosened the leash" on my boys.  While our world is scary, I have to have some faith it\’s OK to let our boys ride bikes in the front or explore a bit.  I used to disappear for hours in the fields behind our house when I was a boy.  I can\’t imagine that now. 
    The risk we live with now is that by being overprotective of our kids is they won\’t be independent thinkers as adults.  I did plenty of stupid things as a kid and I hope my kids do the same.  (Yes, you read that correctly.)  Without those dumb mistakes I made I wouldn\’t have learned important lessons.  My wife and I try to give our boys the tools to make decisions that won\’t hurt anyone, or themselves.  But, trouble does and will continue to find them.  LOL.  In the end I\’m sure they will be OK.


  12. Faerie
    Jul 24, 2007 @ 07:37:37

    I grew up just as you did…with all the other kids in my neighborhood…we spent out entire days outside. We were left home alone during the summer, we built forts, we ran our bikes and skateboards down total suicide hills without helmets, pads or bubblewrap!  And I did all the other things you said as well (I thought we were the only ones stupid enough to crawl into a metal barrel and roll it down a hill though, thanks for back up on that one!) LOL!
    What seems most sad to me, is that people in our age group (from the mid 60s-late 70s) are the very same people that are raising these kids we are complaining about…so what happened there? OH, not me!!  I am hated where I live, and talked about constantly, as I do not make my children wear helmets with their bikes or skatboards…my son, when learning to do more dangerous tricks on the board, is required to wear gear, but he is glad to do it, as he knows if he gets hurt, he will not be able to skatboard until he heals!
    We have several trampolines in the area, and they have signs posted "jump at your own risk"…and they all have nets around them.  I remember jumping on our nieghbors trampoline (without a net btw) and trying to see who could jump the furthest away from it in one hop!  If you got hurt, you were looked at by whomever was home at the house you were visiting, and then sent home for your own mother to look at it, who would slap you in the head for "being an idiot", a bandaid was applied and you were sent back to play!
    I say its all the electronical (yes that is a word!)  gagets that have made our kids "soft" and therefore in need of special equipment!  Shoot, when we were growing up, we didn\’t have car seats or seat belts!  We piled as many as we could into a car!  We didn\’t have computers, or video games (except Pong!), we only had a couple of channels on the tv, and you had to get up to change them! We didn\’t have portable radios, or headphones or even portable music for crying out loud!  No cell phones…we walked to peoples houses to find out if they could play…no IM, no email, no call waiting, 3 way calling or anything else!  I don\’t think there was anything wrong with that!!
    We monitor our children\’s "Screen time" (Computer, Playstation, Gameboy…all of it) they have half hour or one hour increments – depending on what they have earned. We have mandatory "outside play time" where they have to be outside every day…it is summer after all! In the summer we have a rule, no tv while the sun is out, and the weather is good.  It\’s been working most of the time…but it shouldn\’t be hard to do at all, they are children, they should WANT to be outside!!!   Oh, now I am frustrated as well….sorry for the rambling!
    So long….


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