Interesting article re: "Free Range Kids"

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by eekysign, Jul 1, 2009.

  1. eekysign

    eekysign New Member

    Agree, disagree - I dunno. My generation was the last to "go out and play" - literally, as my little sister didn't have that, growing up. I think sometimes that the big cultural shift between my generation (mid-twenties and older) and the younger one (teens, college kids) has a lot to do with this. It's not the advent of technology, not 100% at least - I had a computer, instant messaging, etc. Sometimes I wonder if it's the fact that those kids never got set loose on a neighborhood.

    So yeah, no rights or wrongs here, just thinking material. :)
  2. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    I wish I could trust the difficult children to be out all day.

    We live in a really safe neighborhood, know the neighbors, etc. I walk in and out of the neighbors' homes and they mine, as long as it's a decent hour, without waiting for them to open the door (I do knock - it's ingrained). But when difficult child 1 goes somewhere, the cops call... And difficult child 2 is too young socially and emotionally. I get paranoid when he takes too long in the men's room. He likes to play in the sink...
  3. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Well I know I was "free range" and Tony was completely unsupervised. My boys were probably half and half. Obviously when we lived in North Myrtle they were very young...not even 4 and of course they couldnt just go play wherever. They did play in the yard.

    When we moved here as they aged they got more freedom. Depending on where we lived, that kinda determined the length of the tether. We lived for about one year in a small trailer park right that backed onto a huge park with a lake. I loved it there. I could just open the door and say go play! There were swings, playground equipment, basketball hoops, tennis courts, fishing, and swimming in the summer. It was great. Then we moved back here in the country. We have fishing, hunting, fort building, bike riding, parachuting trees, and swimming in the river in the summer.
  4. muttmeister

    muttmeister Well-Known Member

    Well, I was definitely a free-range kid and, because I live in rural Nebraska in a town with less than 200 people and my kids are related to at least half of them, they were able to be pretty much free-range kids too. I think it is a good thing but I know that, realistically, in the world where we live, a lot of kids don't have that luxury.

    I do think that we have become over-protective and over-paranoid to the point where kids don't get to do a lot of things. Yes, there is some danger involved in some of them but life is a terminal disease. Things do happen and no matter how careful you are, things still happen. I don't believe in being stupid (we use car seats, seat belts, bike helmets, etc.) but I do believe that you can't protect against everything and that life is to be enjoyed so we also roller skate, play football, swim, play at the lake, ride bikes, swing, go down the slide, use the teeter totters, etc. There has to be a happy medium someplace between the people who don't look after their kids at all and those who want to wrap them in some kind of a cocoon so they never encounter a germ and never get a scratch or a bump.
  5. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Oh exactly Mutt! Kids have to get dirty and play.

    I dont think I will ever forget this little boy who showed up to play soccer with Jamie at this 4 year old soccer team. Picture all these little kids -girls and boys- in little shorts and tee shirts with tiny little sneakers on. It was practice so they werent in uniforms yet. Here comes this one mom with her precious germaphobe son.

    He was dressed in a navy blue polo shirt, sparkling white shorts and sparkling white leather sneakers. He was tiptoeing around in the grass while holding his hands out like he was afraid dirt was going to jump out and attack him!

    The other moms and I just looked at each other. White shorts...grass! Is she kidding herself? Did she not know that kids run after a ball, kick it and fall down in the grass and dirt? Well not her precious. He just stood there and screamed everytime someone got near him...LOL. I dont think they came back.
  6. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    Luckily, I grew up in a small town where we were allowed to be kids. We played from sunup to sundown coming home when my grandmother stepped out the backdoor to whistle that a meal was ready. We rode our bikes a mile down the "highway" to the pool. Later, we ran through the teen years with summer at Ocean Lakes in Myrtle Beach, SC, swimming in the ocean, riding bikes and driving golf carts. We drove at 15. And my kids have had the same experience. Bad things happen all the time. When difficult child was 10 a young friend of his died in a canal where the boys went fishing all the time. Did I stop difficult child from going to the canal? No. He knew the dangers. They ran through the woods and built forts. They broke bones and got hurt. But, the had a childhood. I pray my grandchildren have the same experience.
  7. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    EW...I think kids in the 80s and 90s still did that in at least NMB. I cant say for sure about the city of Myrtle. I know when we visited my mom which was a very frequent occurrence we would set the kids loose on their bikes in Little River Neck and they would go and play. It was nothing for them to ride up to Boulineau's and get snacks and a drink then go play in the ocean or up on the pier. Or maybe they would cross the waterway and go fish under the bridge.

    My younger two learned to walk on the old Tilman Pier. It was one of the back drops in the movie The Shag. Actually, Tony and one of the boys is seen on the pier in that
  8. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    Janet, my mom worked at a little diner during that time up in Little River. I can't remember the name but the owner was an old woman named "Boots." My mom's husband at that time worked for the city of NMB as building inpspector. Mom was a waitress. If you ever ate at Boots place, I bet she waited on you. You'd remember her---she talks more than anyone you have ever met in your life.
  9. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Until I was about 6, we lived in a neighborhood where most everyone had large families where the kids all went to our school and our church and there was always someone to play with. Except the Malloy kids, whom no one was to play with, if you know what I mean...

    Then we moved to a neighborhood where there were very few kids, and although I probably would have been free to play with other kids, there weren't any. There are a lot of kids on our block now. About half of them hang out together as they wish.
  10. eekysign

    eekysign New Member

    I think we grown-ups deserve some equivalent to going out and seeing who's around to play with. I'm looking back longingly on just heading out the front door, on my bike, looking for something to do. I want a pick-up game of hide 'n' go seek. :)
  11. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Right after "freeze tag". Then we can play "stop and go dancing", "red rover", and finish up with "sardines".

  12. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member talking about The Biscuit Shack? Right there on Sea Mtn Hwy? We ate at it hundreds of My mom lived right down the road from it.

    How you remember a little old small family run motel run by Miss Hughes in NMB? Remember when she got murdered? That is one of the first places Tony stayed when he moved to the beach. He loved that woman like a mother.
  13. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I am gonna bring a picture of where my mom lived and the first apt Tony and I lived in when I moved to I wish I had pics of that old carnival that used to be in what is now the Krogers parking lot on the corner of 17 and Main St. We used to live on 1st Ave N. between Crazy Zachs and OD Pub. Fat Harolds was right around the corner. We used to sit outside and people watch at the Gallion.
  14. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    Believe it or not, my family ran the amusement park up there in NMB. They also ran the one at PirateLand Campground when it was Magic Harbor. Oh, those were the days. When I was married to pcson's father, we lived at 29th Ave. N, and worked at The Beach Wagon.
  15. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    Oh, my mom lived right down the road from it also in a trailer park back off of Sea Mtn. Highway.
  16. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    EW...then I think it was your family that is responsible for me meeting

    The owner/manager saw me at the Scotchman on the corner there at 17 and Main one evening and told me I could come to the carnival one evening for free to ride the rides. I went the next night and met Tony and the rest is
  17. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    I was a free range kid. We went outside at the crack of dawn and often didn't come back except to eat and go to bed well after dark. Drinks came from hoses.

    My kids were also outside from dawn until dark on any day over 45 degrees.....unless it was cold and raining or storming outside. If it snowed, they were outside making snow forts, snow men, snow ball fights, sleding.

    My kids weren't free frange though. Although I gave them as much freedom as a large city allowed when they were young. Once we moved here to the small then it was habit for them and for me. lol But they did get much more freedom as long as they checked in and I knew where they were. It's alot easier when everyone knows everyone else.:D