September 19, 2011

Back in the Day

Being a kid today is so much different than it was when I was a kid!

I was born in 1974.  I grew up in the 80s, graduating high school in 1992.

Oh the 80's!  But that's an entirely other subject....

What I'm talking about today are things I wish my kids could do nowadays that I did when I was a kid.

I'd like to say that I wish they didn't have to sit in car seats or wear bike helmets, because I manged to survive without them, but honestly, those things keep kids safe and that's a good thing.

1. I drank whole milk.  Today, pediatricians tell us to stop that by the time our kids are 2, to switch to 2% or even 1% or - gag - fat free.  I think "fat free milk" is an oxymoron.  Nevermind the fact that I no longer like the taste of milk.  That's not the point.  I'm talking about my kids!

2.  I climbed trees.  I can't for the life of me find a decent climbing tree anywhere!  My cousins had a great one right in their backyard and we climbed it every chance we got.

3.  We had lots of family get-togethers.  It seems like having parties with kids now can only be for a kid's birthday party.  We don't get together, just families, and have fun together much.  The adults in my life felt fine with having their fun right along side us kids having our fun.  Seems like everyone wants more separation nowadays.

4.  I could run around town.  Even though there really isn't any more danger to kids these days than there was years ago, we are now afraid to let our kids out of our sight.  I guess this is because of the media?  I don't know, but we are so worried they will be kidnapped or worse.

5.  I could stay out until the street lights came on.  My parents knew about where I'd be, but not always specifically.  I had more freedom than my kids do.

6.  I could go to the bus stop by myself even in Kindergarten.  I have to be at the bus stop with AJ when he gets on in the morning, and the driver won't let him off after school if I'm not standing right there.

7.  I ate Twinkies.  I don't think I've ever given one of my children a Twinkie.  I wasn't even sure if they still existed until I found this picture!

8.  I was a latch-key kid.  I had my own house key and was at home alone after school all the time.  Even as early as age 7.  No parent does that now.  But I was fine.  No boogieman ever got me and I never burned the house down.

9.  I hardly ever needed help with my homework.  Why do my kids always need help?  Well actually, just Camryn since AJ hasn't had any homework yet.  Is it just that she's got ADD?  Is it actually harder?  I think some things are harder, but some stuff isn't being taught anymore at all.

10.  MTV was brand new and pretty much only videos.  I'm not an old fuddy-duddy who doesn't like new music.  On the contrary, I like a lot of what comes out.  But I won't watch MTV anymore because it's hardly about music.  And I don't really want my kids watching it because they're just going to see a whole bunch of crap.

What would you add to the list?


  1. This is a great list Jen!

    So much to say about some many of these points. I am hoping that I am less of a helicopter parent and let my kids be out on their own . . . when they are a bit older. I happily still give them whole milk and I let them climb pretty much whever they would like . . . as there are no trees taht are really climbable in our hood!

    I so hope that I don't cave to the fearmongering and the pressure to over parent my kids . . . they need freedom to make mistakes, to have independence and to just be kids!

  2. having been born in '72, i can agree with absolutely every single one of these. :)

  3. Twinkie reference gets my thumbs up!
    I agree, there was so much more independence for young children in the past. My husband loves to tell the story of him riding public transportation alone as a Kindergartener. That's just how it was then...sigh.

  4. Oh Twinkies exist!
    I've eaten 'em. (-:

  5. Hi! New follower from Bloggy Mom's September blog hop! :-)

    I love it! I was born in '71, so I can totally identify! Ahhh... actual MUSIC videos on MTV... The memories! LOL

    I invite you to come check out my blog at
    And I also invite you & your readers to follow & sign up for my giveaway drawing:

  6. Oh I hear you! Every single one of these I can relate to. So MTV has no more music on?

  7. Kids are getting cell phones at age 10 and those used to be only for business people.

    Nowadays, kids don't interact with parents or siblings. They are constantly on their ipod, ipad, xbox, etc.

  8. It's so strange--my "listicle" this week addresses a lot of the same stuff as yours, and so do a lot of others. How come we can't just let our kids be kids like we were?

  9. Well said! Love the homework comment. Found you via The Lady Bloggers Tea Party. Jealous of your blog name, I tried for it as well, Just Jenn, but it was taken.

  10. From MondayListicles:
    - Mama and the City

    Me too, we used to drink whole milk a lot. Slowly switched to skim milk once I moved to Canada- go figures. But, I do miss the no-care aspect of the not-so-bad for you stuff. I mean, I never abused its consume.

  11. And all this time I thought fat free milk was water. I'm with you, I have started to dislike the taste of milk.

    I remember getting off of the school bus and walking to the river on hot summer days to go swimming with all of the other kids that lived in the small town where I grew up. I imagine that is no longer happening.