Growing Up in the Sixties
How many of you are Baby Boomers?
I've been thinking about what it was like being a kid in the early sixties. Some may say life is better for kids now, while others say a sixties kid had it made. It was a lot easier to stay below the adults' radar, for one thing, because parents were a lot less preoccupied with their children in those days. As long as you didn't call attention to yourself, you were left to your own devices!
The rules were: You had to be home for dinner (and yeah we ate at the dinner table), you had to come in after dinner when it got dark, and you weren't allowed to whine to your mom about being bored. Other than doing unto others, going to school, and doing your homework, that was about it.
Things were pretty predictable around the neighborhood. The dads were at work all day and the moms were in the house but you hardly ever saw them. I don't remember playing inside my friends' houses more than a couple of times! Of course one friend had 3 sisters and a brother and one had five brothers. I'm sure their respective moms were only too happy to send them outside to play. I had (have!) a brother, one friend had a sister, and another friend had a brother who was much older than her (a teenager, someone from a different planet!). We were only too happy to play outside.
So, were kids better off then or now? Maybe it's impossible to say. I'm going to be exploring the subject more in future posts. I think I have just scratched the surface so far... What do you think?
I feel like then was a better time. I was born in 67 so I had the same sort of upbringing. We played outside mostly and friends came and asked, "can you come out and play?" We loved some of the freedoms we had with a single mom working 2 and 3 jobs. It made me grow up a heck of a lot faster than most of my friends but I still enjoyed riding my banana seat bike all over the place, playing catch, swimming, building forts, going to the park, climbing trees, and reading. I was more or less a tomboy. Those were the good old days.ReplyDelete
I remember fondly going out to play with friends. Building forts in the field across from our house. Riding bikes 4 blocks to a friends house when I was 6. The thought of allowing the peanut to do that at age 6 (3 short years from now) makes me hyperventilate.ReplyDelete
Times change, the only thing we are (or should be) expected to do is the best we can at the time.
I have a 10 month old, and I have noticed that people seem overly protective of their children.I am trying not to obsess over little things and let her do what she wants to as long as her needs are met and she cant cause any real damage to herself. As a result, she spends a lot of time crawling and is pretty much walking already. I think letting her play more has made her a healthier baby.ReplyDelete
Thanks for all your comments! Reading comments from you who are raising kids now, makes me think about how my own son grew up (he's 19 now, so be warned: they grow up in a heartbeat. Enjoy the little ones every second!). He tended to want to make his own rules about the freedom he was allowed. Hmmm, I think that's another blog post...ReplyDelete
Oh Magpie, you described my days as a child. What a wonderful time and full of imagination. I see a cowgirl outfit in that photograph. I loved my Dale Evans outfit, complete with guns. Life was full of fantasy too, how wonderful. We had neighborhood plays, much like the Little Rascals. Building stick cabins, go carts, snow forts, and socializing with the entire neighborhood was the norm. There were at least 50 adults & children walking in the snow singing Christmas carols at every home...most of which were empty at the time. (I wonder why)ReplyDelete
Does the world seem colder now?
Jane, I forgot about the neighborhood plays! We had those too! We played in the "woods" a lot, which, looking back, was just a large group of trees between our housing development and the next one! Seemed like a forest to me! We built forts and cabins in there. And there was a small creek that went forever. Our favorite thing was trying to go to the end of the creek. We never got there!ReplyDelete
Definitely something to think about...although I think there are pros and cons to every era.ReplyDelete
I think everyone always feels like their childhood was a better time... Maybe it's an illusion.ReplyDelete
Things have changed rapidly in the recent decades, but not all for the worse. Maybe kids are allowed more freedom to flourish, maybe they're disciplined less? They have more options usually, nowadays, I guess. It comes with the good and the bad, of course.
Ultimately, I think the experience of childhood is quite similar to most people. It's always your own childhood you compare things to, and use as a basis for everything.