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  •  Well, that's the question raised by episodes such (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elwior

    as this.

    Their real God is money-- Jesus just drives the armored car, and his hat is made in China. © 2009 All Rights Reserved

    by oblomov on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 01:24:42 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  So current parenting norms (13+ / 0-)

      are probably imposed by meddling spinsters?  Please.

      "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

      by lgmcp on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 01:26:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes they are. (22+ / 0-)

        My wife and I were kids in the 50's and rather feral, being let loose in the woods in our respective neighborhoods by age 7.  We survived.  We did the same with our kids in our woods in the 80's and they survived.  But they both now live in less rural areas, and are liable to prosecution if their kids are allowed to roam.  It is very sad.

        At age 8, I used to walk the mile home from school, taking a shortcut through the woods, or on Saturdays walk home 4 miles from swim or shop lessons at the downtown Y. Who would hassle a kid, anyway?

        Real plastic here; none of that new synthetic stuff made from chicken feathers. By the morning of 9/12/2001 the people of NYC had won the War on Terror.

        by triplepoint on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 04:18:44 PM PDT

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        •  So Atticus Finch would be charged by CPS... (20+ / 0-)

          for letting Scout and Jem play outside alone while he is at work--or for letting them sneak out at night! CPS would probably consider Scout being rolled down the street inside a tire to be a dangerous activity leading to Atticus being considered a bad and negligent parent. Heaven help us all--Harper Lee would be swearing up a storm. At least Atticus Finch knows an excellent and compassionate attorney--namely himself.

          I am proud to be able to say that I got the chance to vote for Ann Richards for Governor of Texas, twice!

          by dewtx on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 04:38:42 PM PDT

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        •  Excuse me? (4+ / 0-)

          Your point is about allowing kids more independence than is currently in fashion, and I agree with that.  But the sub-thread that you attached to is more on the question of how the current restrictive fashion came to be.

           Oblamov seems to suggest that family-unfriendly rules were imposed by childless bureaucrats whose lack of offspring blinded them to the reality of parenting.  I think that's bogus.   Bureaucracies may sometimes have family-unfriendly effects -- that I do not deny.  But that the child-rearing status of their employees is a significant factor, strikes me as implausible.

          "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

          by lgmcp on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 04:42:45 PM PDT

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        •  We walked over a mile to school at age 6 (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          IndyDemGirl, aratinga, francap

          First day of first grade, moms walked with us to show us the way.  

          After that, we walked every day back and forth by ourselves, in small groups of 3-6, picking up other kids along the way as we passed their homes.  

          On weekends we rode our bikes all over the place - a mile or two or three away (no grown ups with us), down toward the commercial section of town to go to the little drug store, or 5 & Dime or nearby toy store.  Frequently went on missions to buy milk or cigarettes for our parents and turned in our glass bottles to get the deposit back and spent the change on candy and gum.  We played in public parks and went swimming in the lake and only went home when the street lights came on.  

          That was in 1963.  

          Same neighborhood, 1986, I had to drive my 6 year old son to school because while we were living out of state, they 3 laned the main road, tore up the sidewalks, closed all of the little stores, had the McDuffie riots, drive by shootings and armed robbery were common occurrences (and the playground was covered with portable classrooms to accommodate the influx of people from the Mariel boatlift and the park was torn down to put up the frequently- robbed-at-gunpoint McDonald's) - the same places I walked and played no longer offered  safe passage for little kids walking alone.  

          "Focusing your life solely on making a buck shows a certain poverty of ambition. It asks too little of yourself. Because it's only when you hitch your wagon to something larger than yourself that you realize your true potential." - Barack Obama

          by Ricochet67 on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 06:25:32 PM PDT

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        •  TSRH. My childhood in the 60's was similar, eve... (0+ / 0-)

          TSRH. My childhood in the 60's was similar, even in urban Houston. I had a few issues when I got older, but for the most part I survived as well.

          My kids were more closely watched, but even then they walked home from school, and stayed home <GASP!!> BY THEMSELVES!! Out of necessity, because we both worked, and they weren't allowed to leave the house until one of us got home. And they survived, too.

        •  Me too (0+ / 0-)

          Me, my younger brother and two sisters walked 2 miles to school and back in the fifties. We did it for years. We dawdled, we clowned around, we often got home late. Big deal. My parents never panicked. If it rained or snowed they would come  meet us part way. That was their only concession. I had a bike and my best friend lived a mile away. I rode there almost every day (after my chores, of course). This demand on parents to be watching over their child constantly is just another symptom of the fear that Americans have come to indulge in. I divorced my first wife because she was constantly afraid of the world. I couldn't stand it. We couldn't pick up hitchhikers, invite strangers home for coffee or a glass of wine, host foreign students. I have left America and live in Europe, married to a European for 35 years, and am happy and relaxed.

      •  They are imposed by... (12+ / 0-)

        Somebody who is off their rocker(s). When I was 11, hell 8 and I'm serious about 8, during summer vacation, I could leave the house with my bat and glove by 9 in the morning and walk 1/4 mile to a vacant lot and play baseball all morning. Then go home for lunch at noon or 1, it didn't seem to matter, I don't remember being on the clock (but I did need to show up), then after lunch back for an afternoon of baseball. Or, since it was a seaside town, off to the beach to meet the other kids, about 1/4 mile in the other direction. Or, about 1/2 mile to my best friends house. I had to say where I was going, and knew I had to be back early enough to avoid a lot of drama. Other than that, I was pretty much free to ride bikes around town, play baseball, go to the beach, whatever, but it was ok to be gone 4 or 5 hours at a time as long as I checked in for lunch and was home by dinner.

        The amazing thing about that vs. today was it was not unusual at all. It was the same thing all the other kids were doing, and nobody was out arresting or firing their parents. And oh, yeah, a couple 9 or 10 year old boys could get in a fistfight, bloody noses and black eyes and nobody ever brought the police in. Never.

        •  Yes, we all had a lot more freedom (7+ / 0-)

          back in the day.  

          But I don't think blaming restrictiveness on the family status of social-service employees, makes a lot of sense.

          It is a much broader phenomenon that cuts across many elements of contemporary culture.

          "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

          by lgmcp on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 05:02:37 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm not blaming it on family status (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            lgmcp, kbman, aratinga, francap

            Just saying they are off their effing rockers

          •  "Back in the day"?? I did the same sort of thin... (4+ / 0-)

            "Back in the day"??

            I did the same sort of thing as recently as *1988*. Do NOT give me that "back in the day" horseshit. This is RECENT.

            Hell- my younger sister's friends had the exact same level of freedom as recently as the mid 1990s. This shit we're talking about JUST STARTED.

            •  Thank you! (5+ / 0-)

              I graduated high school in 1992 and there were never problems leaving the house and coming home whenever we felt like it. All summer long, throughout the 80s.

              Thank goodness, because otherwise we would have been just stuck at home watching TV. We were a single-mother household with three kids.

              This is a new thing, my generation as parents are creating this norm. It's very sad and I don't know what to do about it.

            •  Since I was a child in the 60s (0+ / 0-)

              and have not parented, it's hard for me to know just when it started.   And of course, not all neighborhoods would change at the same time, or ever.    But I think it's probably fair to say that the restrictiveness and paranoia has mushroomed over the last 20 years.

              "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

              by lgmcp on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 10:21:41 AM PDT

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            •  Not so far Back in the Day (0+ / 0-)

              In 1985 we moved into a suburban shore town in New Jersey.  I told my 9-year-old son, "You can ride your bike anywhere in town you want to go.  If you have a problem, just go knock on the nearest front door, and the folks you meet will help you out!"  It was that kind of town, and that kind of community.  Not so much anymore.  Not sure why.  Partly 9/11, but it started before that.  I'm afraid it is mostly the "I've got mine, Screw you." attitude of the yuppie generation.  Sad.

              I think I am, therefore I am, I think.

              by MrSkeptic on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 07:05:32 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  Exactly (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JuliathePoet, Quabbin

          Kids are not stupid.   Parents used to have the kids go outside and play.  We walked to school, then played some more after school.   It is no more dangerous now than it was then.   except for busy highways and freeways, it is mostly safe.    You can't live with fear all the time that something might happen, then you stifle your child.   Kids have been taken out of their own homes.   It is rare for a stranger kidnapping.   I hope they don't charge that poor woman, or hurt the child.

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