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Oh, nostalgia 
14th-Nov-2009 05:15 pm
Sherlock is tired of your bullshit
I was standing outside my front door, watching a bunch of kids get yelled at for being outside without their parents around, and it got me thinking about this again.

Growing up, I was...

Completely free range. If there wasn't school the next day, my parents didn't want to see me.
46(45.5%)
Outside quite a bit, but was never allowed off the property.
28(27.7%)
Inside, because there wasn't a whole lot to do/no kids my age in my area
13(12.9%)
Inside, because I didn't get on well with the kids my age.
6(5.9%)
Inside, watching telly or playing video games.
8(7.9%)

When I see kids (not teenagers) running around outside, I think...

Where the hell are their parents?
26(24.3%)
Isn't there school tomorrow?
2(1.9%)
As long as they're not breaking anything, who cares?
75(70.1%)
Oh, good. I can send the nipper outside and have some peace and quiet.
0(0.0%)
It's too dangerous for kids to be outside on their own. Someone should call social services.
4(3.7%)


And since I can't edit my poll, when did you grow up?
Comments 
15th-Nov-2009 04:54 am (UTC)
I guess I'm not sure what school has to do with kids being outside? When we were kids (the 80's), we were outside every day we could be!

And also, I chose the first answer, but it wasn't that my parents didn't want to see us - they just trusted our neighbors and gave us free range as long as they knew where we were.
15th-Nov-2009 06:07 am (UTC)
I have no idea, but I hear it all the time from my neighbours. I think it's just more having to do with adults not actually knowing when school's in session.
15th-Nov-2009 06:09 am (UTC)
I chose the last one but not the social services part. I do think it's too dangerous but I don't think the parents are so horrible to let it happen that someone should call SS.


I was allowed to run around everywhere as a child and you wouldn't believe the horrible things that happened to me. Repeatedly.

I watch my little one anytime she is outside. I will let her go out without me but I watch her from the window.
15th-Nov-2009 04:35 pm (UTC)
was allowed to run around everywhere as a child and you wouldn't believe the horrible things that happened to me. Repeatedly.

Same here. :(
15th-Nov-2009 07:19 am (UTC)
I was free range as long as I told my mom where I was going (which scared her to death a few times when I forgot to tell her or leave a note...). I would ride my bike a mile away and go see a movie or to get a slurpee, or the other direction to walk around the lagoon on the college campus or to the book store to ogle the pokemon cards. I pretty much went where I pleased, and usually alone. I grew up in the 90's in a small university city about 30 miles west of the Chicago suburbs. I don't give a shit about kids playing around outside as long as they leave me alone and aren't being loud/doing illegal things/breaking things/setting fires/etc.
15th-Nov-2009 07:20 am (UTC)
I answered the second question "Where the hell are their parents?" Because I live in a bad neighborhood and there are always kids outside and they just cause trouble in the neighborhood. If you drive down the street they're on, they don't move out of the way until you're right next to me. And then sometimes they'll give you the finger. Yeah...
15th-Nov-2009 07:20 am (UTC)
*right next to THEM, not me
15th-Nov-2009 10:36 am (UTC)
cant really vite in the first one. often enough I was kicked outside 'to make friends' lol. but I never ventured further than my village until I was 15 ish.
I was a lot in our garden, and I was also often on the (public)
primary schoolground . Many times I was with my best friend at his place and we'd go round the area too . (once we collected the balls of the goldcourse that was in our village and sold them all that we found and from the money we got we bought a big box of sweet at the local Aldi :D

I grew up in the 90s. I was born 1985

oh yea. I always had a time to be back. back then nobody had mobiles :P

so I would get told either - (in autumn or winter) come back when the streetlight switch on. or I was told a specific time like 18:00h or 19:00h.
15th-Nov-2009 10:48 am (UTC)
oh and additionally (sorry dont have paid account anymore :()
my village was a 8000 people village on the outskirts of the City of Hamburg, so it was not completely rural but you had a good connection to the city too, so it only took ten minute sby bike to get to the first quarter of the city (I had speech therapy there and was allowed to go there alone at 10(back then always by bus though)

so I had my bike and I could go pretty much anywhere within 10 or 15 minutes on my bike)
(btw often enough I just went straight to the library when I was kicked out at home, lol and read comics books or parenting magazines xD)
(we had for such a small village a big library)

to videogames. the only sytem we had was a gameboy classic which was sent for christmad by our grand unt, which had two games . (tetrris and super mario) we were only allowed to play it for half an hour or so. and tv we were also only allowed to 1/2 h a day. (didnt mean we didnt undermine it though when we had the chance :P)

additionally, In germany primary school and early secondary finisehs at 12:or 13:00h so we had the whole afternoon free(after we made our homework)
15th-Nov-2009 10:41 am (UTC)
I wasn't out all of the time, but we were allowed to play out on the quiet suburban street where I lived. This was in the early 1980s, in a suburban/semi-rural village in the north of England. It was a good place to live before I was a teenager. Oh gods how I hate the suburbs.

I now live in London, in an inner city estate (Housing Association/'project'). The courtyard that is in the middle of my block is gated, and the kids are allowed to play in there with almost no supervision. The kids who are under 11 or so aren't allowed out into the surrounding quiet streets, but the tweenies and teens can pretty much go where they want.
15th-Nov-2009 11:33 am (UTC)
I was born in 1980 and grew up in a village with around 4000 inhabitants. My friends and I used to run around outside a lot, especially in the summer. I think the coolest thing we ever did was building a raft for the little river that was running through the fields :)

I was about to pick the last answer for the second question, but then I chose the third one. I think it's just our different point of view as an adult that makes us think the world's too dangerous for kids to be on their own. I'm talking about children from the age of about 9 or 10 - younger ones should stay within shouting distance from their parents ;)
15th-Nov-2009 12:43 pm (UTC)
I was born in 1981.

My sister and I grew up in a quiet cul-de-sac that was quite long, with a park attached. As long as we stayed in this area, we could roam freely.

When I see kids roaming around these days they are always much younger than I was when I was allowed to roam around. We're talking barely over the age of toddlers. I do wonder where their parents are.
15th-Nov-2009 03:45 pm (UTC)


I was a kid in the late 70s and in the 80s. My parents did not care if I went outside to play. My parents were not outside constantly watching me but they did check up on me once in a while to see what I was doing and where I was. If I went to a friends' house or outside the yard like going for a bike ride, I would have to tell my parents and get permission. I do the same with my kids.
15th-Nov-2009 04:00 pm (UTC)
The last option in part one is closest to how I was, but not really accurate. I watched telly a lot (there wasn't video, so no video games, lol!) but was a very solitary child and didn't have any friends my own age except at school - and was there little as I was in hospital a lot as a kid. I was 'free range' from my mid teens, but not earlier.

As for kiddies outdoors... it depends where it is. In an inner city, I'd wonder where their parents are, because most kids in UK cities tend to get rather feral (!), but in a rural area, where we are now, I really don't give a shit.

I grew up 1950s/1960s. Can't say I've entirely 'grown up' though...
;)

Edit: sorry about typos. Hopefully have got 'em all now...

Edited at 2009-11-15 04:02 pm (UTC)
15th-Nov-2009 08:00 pm (UTC)
haha I have heard that about feral children. My mind always supplies an image of young, oddly hairy children hobbling around like Gollum, though.
15th-Nov-2009 04:06 pm (UTC)
I grew up in the 90s in South Florida. We were always running around the neighborhood playing tag, riding bikes, or climbing trees.
15th-Nov-2009 11:14 pm (UTC)
I grew up in the 50s and 60s, in NYC and in a small town. I had to tell my parents roughly where I was going and generally had to be home by a certain time (usually dinner time) but I could go out into the building's courtyards where the other kids generally congregated or a nearby dead end street when in the city and to nearby houses when in the country.
16th-Nov-2009 12:27 am (UTC)
I was born in '81. For 10 yrs (88-98) we lived in a street where we played with at least 20 kids (not all at once). And since we knew the area and my Mum felt safe, we were allowed to be pretty much 'free range'.
16th-Nov-2009 02:06 am (UTC)
I was born in 1986 in NYC (the Bronx for the first 4 years and then Queens) but I lived in a bad area so my sister and I weren't really allowed outside. If we went out anywhere, our mom or dad had to be there.

In '97 we moved to a much better place but we were already pretty set in our routine.
16th-Nov-2009 08:46 am (UTC)
I was mostly free-range, though my parents didn't mind if I was inside or not, as long as I didn't keep going back and forth too much. ("Inside or outside, pick one!") I'd often be so far away from home that they'd honk this bicycle horn to call me home (this was before everyone and their dog had a cell phone). Must've driven the neighbors batty. Heh. I remember there were even times I was so far from home that they'd give up on the bike horn after about 20 to 30 minutes and go looking for me in the car. Which got me a mild scolding, but nothing worse than that. To them, it was more of an annoyance than a worry.

Heh. If I'd been born later, and been a child in this cell-phone heavy world, I'm sure my parents would've given me a cell phone and I might've ended up so far from home that I'd have to tell them "Erm, it might take me an hour to walk home. Can you come pick me up?"

The world needs more people like my parents. They didn't teach me to be afraid of strangers. Their version of the stranger talk was "If someone tries to get you into their car, even if they say they were sent by one of us, first demand to know the password. If they don't know it, run away and scream." Even better, they let me choose the password, and barely batted an eye when I chose "naked dancing girls" as the password.
16th-Nov-2009 08:59 am (UTC)
Mobile phones didn't become "the thing" until I was in late high school, and by then, everything had gone full circle for me. I was free range until my parents split up (my dad was raised free range, and believed it was the only way to raise children) when I was about 12 or 13. But that was also the same year we moved from quiet suburbs where the neighbours would phone if you were being a dick out to the middle of nowhere where our front drive was a mile long and the back 20 acres were full of cougars and feral dogs (the coyotes didn't so much scare us; the Alsatians that would wander onto property: fucking scary).

When I started high school a few years later, we moved again back to the quiet suburbs and lived half a block from the high school. By the time I'd finally gotten a mobile phone, probably my 11th year, I was so involved in theatre and the astronomy club that I was at school 14 hours a day sometimes, and was too busy to really go out and cause trouble.

That said, during the summers, it didn't matter how old I was. There was nothing going on so the brother and I would still go round on our bikes find all the places in the area that were the best-suited for blowing up Airfix kits with leftover fire crackers.
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