What these kids are missing nowadays

I thought of this while reading the GD thread concerning killing and butchering your own meat. I was wondering what types of activities/experiences do modern technology/ lifestyles/etc insulate us from nowadays, that might enrich our lives.

I think everyone should have to in some way learn about where their food comes from - instead of thinking it just appears shrink wrapped on the shelf.

I think folks are very insulated from death. Some people may go their entire lives without seeing a dead body except for at an open casket wake. For this reason, I think folks should take their kids to wakes and funerals.

Everyone should go through some period (hopefully relatively brief) where they are in financial straits, to better appreciate times of plenty, and the plight of the have-nots.

Everyone should live for some period of time in different places, both within and outside their own country.

Everyone should experience certain types of work including physical labor, working with the general public, working at the pace of a machine, etc.

Those were just off the top of my head. Any other suggestions?

Everyone should have to wait tables…

at least everyone should have to work in a customer service job for a while, to learn what it feels like to be on that side of a transaction.

I agree with the rest of what you’ve said. Except for seeing a dead body. Kids don’t need to see that.

The other day I was outside with TinyTot and I realized that he has never been out to play all by himself. When I was his age (5) my mother would just send us out to play in the neighborhood, and we’d stay out practically all day going from yard to yard, only coming in to eat. Even if I felt okay with letting him go out alone, I couldn’t because I’d probably be arrested. Where we live, a child has to be at least 8 to go out alone for even 10 minutes, and 12 before they can stay outside by themselves for more than say an hour.

While I completely understand why these rules are in place these days, I gotta wonder what TinyTot is missing out on by being so supervised all the time. :frowning:

I agree with pretty much everything else, except the seeing dead bodies part. I think I’m comfortable with death, and I hope when TinyTot is older he will be too, but I find the whole idea of an open casket rather repugnant. Although if somebody close to us died, I’d take him to the deathbed (once he gets bigger and if he was willing) to say goodbye.

It is getting to be hog-killing time isn’t it?

Actually I had to post something. This thread was sitting right above the “Anal Sex” thread on the main board and it was starting to bother me.

Amen, tatertot. I remember as a kid spending an entire day rounding up freinds and riding our bikes all over the city. We’d do the boy things like going to the dump and to construction sites, then we’d go swimming at an old quarry, walk our bikes up into the hills and ride them down the dirt trails back into town. We’d go out to the railroad tracks where there still used to be hobos who would ride in the boxcars around the country. When I got home, do you know what I got in trouble for? I didn’t come home for lunch! I can’t conceive of any kids, let alone mine, being allowed to do those things in almost any American city today. This wasn’t that long ago, either, the day I mentioned happened in the mid 70’s. People say that today’s kids have too much freedom. They don’t know the meaning of the word. Sad.

There’s an awful lot that kids today don’t do. Die in huge numbers from smallpox, diarrhea and measles comes readily to mind. They don’t breathe clean air either.

What I find weird about kids today is they don’t walk anywhere. As tatertot pointed out, kids are not/cannot be left alone for any amount of time. So they don’t even get the joy of walking home from school. (Ah, the wild heady days of my youth, when the 20 unsupervised minutes on the way home was a good part of my day.) How to kids today sneak to the drugstore to buy illicit candybars? Or take the dog for a walk?

It’s disturbing that so many kids are unaware of where food comes from. That vast numbers are not being taught how to cook or do laundry. (No, I don’t think children should be used as labor-bots around the house, but parents, PLEASE be aware that your child is someday going to be somebody’s spouse/roommate. Fer Gawd’s sake, start being nice to your future children-in-law now! Er…ummm…sorry… maybe I’ll start a pit thread on that topic.)

Homemade ice-cream. Eating cookie-dough (fear of raw eggs). Setting off your own fireworks (not legal where I live you have to go and pay to watch a big show). Trick-or-treating. Sitting on your dad’s lap and steering the car while he worked the petals. Ice-blocking on the hills at the park.


Yeah, our ancient ancient pre-historic ancestors roamed the African plains like that all the time, hunting big game, making cooking fires from flint, letting their kids steer while they worked the pedals and set off fireworks. :rolleyes:

Every boy should have a girlfriend that treats him like raw ape puke, so when he meets a real nice girl he’ll truely appreciate her.

On the same note, every kid should meet a large variety of people from different places and cultures. The lesson being that we are NOT all the same.
Older boys should be taught some basic self defense by their fathers.

It wouldn’t hurt a kid to live without cable t.v. for a while. Remember only getting 4 or 5 channels and a neighborhood skyline of antennas on house roofs?

I love technology, but it has really made us soft, especially our kids. My youngest just saw his first rotary dial telephone and commented that it made making a call “too much work”!:rolleyes:

I never see kids getting a bunch of old wood together and building a fort. Or putting cards in their bicycle spokes.
There is a large park where I live. Not once in the last 11 years have I seen any neighborhood kids over there playing baseball. WTF?

I gotta expand a little on the dead body thing.

Death is the one unavoidable consequence of being born. In previous generations, death was a somewhat familiar event. Not only did people die at an earlier age, but in many instances the family assisted in the preparation of the body. Tody I think things can be taken to an extreme, where we insulate ourselves and our children from viewing/participating in illness and death.

At some point I think it is important for a child to realize the finality of death (even if you believe in an afterlife, death certainly ends this existence). I think a realization of that finality can lead a person to value his life more dearly.

IMO it may help a kid keep strong memories of a departed loved one, to realize he was here, and now he is not and never will be again, instead of just saying, “Grandma has gone away. you’ll see her again in heaven.” It also allows the child to say goodbye - provides some closure.

Finally, I think children can play an integral part in the greiving process. I fondly recall taking my eldest to one of my great aunt’s wakes when she was only 1 1/2 years old or so. It really provided a benefit to all of the attendees, to have a cute little friendly child there. Kind of ties it all together. Often, at least in my family, weddings and funerals are the only times the extended family gets to gether.

I guess I’m not expressing myself well.

That’s not only changed, it changed FAST. I’m 28. When I was in Grade 1, six or seven, I walked maybe a third of a mile to school, maybe half a mile - a long way for a six-year-old. I thought absolutely nothing of it.

When I was in Little League I’d walk a mile to one ball diamond, two miles to the other, depending which we were playing at. Again, it was never a big deal. Or I’d ride my bike, of course. It was a ten-minute walk to the corner store to get gum and baseball cards and my buddies and I would do it twice a day.

I walked EVERYWHERE - and remember, this isn’t the 1950s, this is the Reagan administration. Other kids walked too. Until I was in high school I didn’t know a single child who was regularly driven to school.

Is this entirely due to the paranoia about leaving kids alone? Or is there some other economic factor at work here? Reduced public transportation? Laws against riding bikes?

Ooooo! Thanks, tracer! My first flame. Must confess, I was hoping for the lash of Coldfire. But you were a lovely start for me. <embarrassing kissey noises in tracer’s direction>

Children (and adults) not dieing in huge numbers due to communicable diseases and bad water is very new. How long have we had clean, hot, running water ON DEMAND in nearly every house? Since 1800? Kids don’t have to carry water from the well everyday, and believe me, I am not going to complain about that. I have NO desire to take a cold bath once a week or use a trench-style privvy. I think hot showers every morning are one of the pinnacles of civilization.

As for the other stuff, I was having a moment of nostalgia. I miss setting off fireworks. It was the high point of summer (or one of them at any rate) for me.

I think some kids today don’t have enough free time. Homework and organized sports seems to fill many children’s afternoons.

How/when did this change?
I think much changed when the news took a dramatic change for the sensational sometime in the 1980’s. Kidnappings are an eye-catching and newsworthy event, but they are statistically unlikely and the average person would not know this from watching the news. The increase in parental paranoia may have resulted in the cleverer children manipulating their parents into driving them everywhere. (Face it, kids are lazy, just like grown-ups.)
Some of the change might be from the movement to the suburbs. There’s farther to walk and less to walk to. As America becomes even more of a “car culture” fewer adults walk anywhere either. My mom thinks it’s “too far to walk” across one of the really big outlet centers.

Things will change back eventually. Besides, it seems to be the duty of every generation to complain about the laziness of the next and extol the virtues of the previous.

(1) When I was a kid, I saw a slaughtered pig. :eek: It still grosses me out to think about it. Maybe that’s why I avoid pork/bacon/ham.

(2) It seems like there is more opportunity for this nowadays, not less.

Worked for me. :o

On occasion, I think everyone should have to learn about a technology before they use it. I think it would be great for society (I’d elaborate if I had more time), but it seems way too impractical to actually do.

Running free through fields, in the woods, getting lost, climbing trees… my children can’t any of those.

Witness death to value life. Lose money to value money. Be sick to value health. Be supressed to value freedom.

I think in general, with children I’ve known as well as my own, there is little sense of value placed on anything. “If it breaks, daddy will fix it or buy me a new one.”

pkbites wrote:

Yeah, but back in “your day,” you only had to dial 4 digits to make a call. :stuck_out_tongue:

I think a lot of kids these days lead very structured lives and there just isn’t the time for play that there once was. A lot of the younger ones are in day care or after school care, too, so they just aren’t around the neighborhoods anymore. Plus, there is the rising crime rate…I don’t consider myself paranoid, but it is on my mind.

I see children in Germany as young as about 8 walking to and from school alone, so I’m not sure why the American school children living here are bussed just 3 minutes to their school. I can’t help but wonder if all of this fear and distrust is going to make the next generation paranoid and unable to trust anyone.

Wait, wait, wait. Some people COOK ape puke?