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Old 09-04-2019, 11:16 AM
bump is offline
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 18,671
Originally Posted by Treppenwitz View Post
But here's the biggie for me - and the why-it-is. It just about fits the timeframe because it's a generational effect. Sports participation for kids is way down (in the UK at least - US also?). I see a real big drop off in the last 10 years, but I think the start of the phenomenon was the 80's and into the 90's. And the reason is this: this is the first generation of adolescents who, rather than getting involved in sports, sit in their bedrooms gaming - where their parents don't think this is unusual/unhealthy/unacceptable because it's exactly what they did as well.
I don't see that as the reason at all. What I do remember is that there was a moral panic of sorts in the early-mid 1980s with the abduction of Adam Walsh and other children, and this meant that parents got paranoid. Not so much the ones of children my age (born 1972) or older- they realized that this was more of a moral panic. But the parents whose first children were born from 1977 more or less onward came into parenthood with this moral panic in the forefront and were much less likely to let their children range freely.

Combine that with those of us who were a little older growing up with that moral panic info as a sort of fact of life, and 20+ years down the line, you have a couple of generations of parents whose conception of the world their children are growing up in is VERY different than that of their parents. I mean, when I was a kid in the suburbs, the expectation was that everyone was on the up-and-up and could be trusted. Not so anymore. I recall my parents just saying "Find us in about 20 minutes" and turning me loose at K-Mart or Target to go play the video game demos or look at the toys and sporting goods. Who would turn their 8 year old loose in a big box store these days? Nobody, that's who.

What I've noticed though, as a father of a couple of boys, is that parental involvement in stuff seems to be WAY down. I don't know if it's part of the general downturn in volunteerism, but it's frustrating to constantly end up doing stuff because nobody else is willing to step up, or when they do, to take it seriously and do a good job. Sports, Cub Scouts, PTA Dad's Club, you name it... people just sort of magically expect shit to get done without their involvement nowadays. Even lame stuff like getting the Cub Scout uniform stuff sewn or ironed on seems to be beyond the level of most people these days. Same for having their kids show up to sports practice on time or at all.