When We Were Young…

when we were young


The freedom most of us had when we were young is a foreign concept to kids today. We never had the restrictions set upon kids, and maybe it’s a good thing that our own children are growing up in a safer world. Sometimes it’s a wonder that we even made it through childhood at all.

One thing is for sure; today’s children are growing up in a much different world than what we had when we were young.

when we were young

When We Were young…

1. We used to disappear early in the morning and not return until the sun was down and the street lights were on. There was no report to the police about a missing child in the neighborhood.
2. When we were young, kids carried BB guns, pellet guns or even fashioned their own brand of weapon out of sticks and anything else they could find.
3. Even before they could see over the steering wheel kids would steer the car all around the parking lot while on mom or dad’s lap. If parents were really daring, it would happen on the road.
4. Remember when we used to ride in the back of a pickup truck? The days of getting bugs in your eyes and dirt in your mouth are long gone.
5. Riding anywhere in a moving vehicle is no longer an option. Forget about riding on the floorboard, beneath the window or doing acrobats on the seats because kids can no longer ride without a seatbelt no matter what.
6. I remember waiting in the car for my parents to finish their errands. When a child is left unattended in the car nowadays, the police are called to ensure they are in safe hands.
7. There’s no more borrowing dad’s hatchet to go build a fort in the forest and forget about using anything like a saw to help.
8. There were days when we were forced to go door to door to sell raffle tickets or girl guide cookies but it’s rare to see anything like that now. Unless, of course, you actually know the kid, their name, their parents or are related to them.
9. When we were young we used to go to an actual arcade that wasn’t a Chuck E. Cheese.
10. And of course, riding a bike without a helmet.

Have we become a society that coddles our children too much? We don’t see kids running off into the woods with some tools like we did when we were young or hanging out at the corner store digging into all the candy they just bought with their allowance. Most of the time we just see them with their smartphones. Things just aren’t the same.

That is true. Things are just not the same. But are things worse? I think we have all learned that some of those things we did as a kid weren’t exactly safe. There were probably many times when we barely escaped the clutches of serious injury because we didn’t have an adult supervising or because we really shouldn’t have been using a machete to clear away some grass. We miss some things because life seemed to be easier when we were young, but we have to admit that our kids are much safer now.

What do you think about safety nowdays and before? Do you miss ‘good old times’?


  1. I was nodding my head to a lot of these! On the weekend we were away and at a beach you can drive on (very slowly of course)…so we let my 3 year old out of her seat and stand in the back of the car….she was shreaking with excitement. Then she….sat on my knee with the window wound down and her head half poked out….shock horrors! Technically it was still ‘normal road rules’, but boy did it feel good to break them just for a few minutes 🙂

    Thanks for linking up to Marvelous Monday on Smart Party Planning.

  2. OH MY GOODNESS! This is so true. My kids have no idea what it’s like to play outside without a chain (not literally, of course). Arcades. Oh boy. A thing of the past. Chuck E Cheese is sort of like a parental hell. I concur with you wholeheartedly on EVER SINGLE POINT. Well done. Thanks for the share. It got me reminiscing. 🙂

  3. When I was little I went by the street lights as the indicator for me to go home. My husband and I talk about this all the time – how our boys don’t have that “freedom” that we did when we were younger. It’s kind of sad 🙁

  4. Things certainly are different now. But I imagine our grandparents were saying the same things about us when we were little.
    Stuff like not building your own forts gets me sad but things such as not riding in the back of pick-ups is probably just a good idea!

  5. When I was young I did most of those things. Now I won’t even let my kids walk to school alone. It sucks and I may be overprotective but things are definitely different than they were when I was coming up.

  6. Some of these changes are good, like wearing seat belts in the car and wearing a helmet when riding a bike. But I feel like we are robbing our kids of the chance to develop their independence in a lot of ways. Leaving your child in the car while you run into the store for 5 minutes, allowing them to play outside without us hovering over them, and letting them walk to and from school just don’t seem like they deserve the “bad rep” they’ve acquired. There definitely needs to be more balance between the “old ways” and the “new”.

    Thank you for sharing with us at #MommyMeetupMondays

  7. Oh my goodness! Now, I feel old. LOL. I remember doing all of those things! Except for the hatchet and saw. Mine were my dads tools (he’s an auto mechanic). I definitely think these things are looked down upon nowadays. But, some are needed because I think some folks have gone mad. LOL It’s hard to trust people around your kids nowadays. Or is it that things have always been that way, but we’re just now noticing it?

  8. Omg so sad and true, I used to go out to play in the morning on hot summer days and be out for hours, there were no mobile phones and no contact, my parents are loving parents but that was the era, I would have great attack if mine did this x

  9. I was just talking about this with my own mum today. We live in Cornwall & she used to live in a village where if they fell over & cut their knee they’d just knock & walk into the nearest house to have a plaster. Everybody knew everybody & everybodies families had lived in the village for generations & generations. I was so jealous when she was telling me about her childhood. She sounded like she was completely free.

    Restrictions were put a little bit around my childhood. We couldn’t ride our bike out of the estate we lived on. We couldn’t wonder too far. We had to be back by a certain time. Nowadays my youngest sister whose not yet an adult, must always have her phone switched on. There is no freedom anymore, just fear. I live in possibly one of the safer areas in the UK & that fear is still down here. My daughter is 1 years old & i’d give anything for her to have a life where, when she’s bit older, she can just go out & play without me worrying about her or putting rules & restrictions down. It’s such a shame how things have changed. x

  10. I think we are overprotective these days because we hear so much more when something does go wrong, it probably doesn’t happen anymore than it used to but the media coverage is so much more now that we all know about it. I try and give my kids freedom to go out and play etc but they’ll never get the fun I did collecting tadpoles from a burn or going out all day to roam the park.

  11. I love this post! I can relate to so many of these and it does sadden me that my little boy will be growing up in a world that to me isn’t as safe as it used to be. xx

  12. I agree, that is what’s sad.. We have to be overprotective because the world just isn’t safe as it was before..

  13. I didn’t think about that and you’re so right.. World probably wasn’t much safer before, but didn’t hear so many bad things happening in the world. Sometimes I wish I don’t know about all those terrible things.

  14. My old neighbourhood was just the way you described your mother’s village. Everybody knew everybody – we were all friends there. Now, I barely know my first door neighbours.

  15. I can’t even imagine how scared our parents must have been all the time.. without any way to contact us when we’re out. And we were out a lot!

  16. Somebody commented earlier – it’s probably because of media. Those bad things were happening before too, but we just didn’t hear about it. I guess that can be reason for seeing the world before as a safer place.

  17. I completely agree. I would never drive my kid without a seat belt, but common, what will happen if I leave her in car for one minute?

  18. I am also overprotective, but we hear about so many bad things happening, that we have to be overprotective, don’t you agree? Sad, but true.

  19. I frequently lament about the loss of freedom have nowadays. :/ My child doesn’t know the joy of riding his bike to his friend’s house or what it feels like to ride in the back of a pick-up truck. It’s sad, really. 🙁 Great post!!

  20. I always wonder if parents were less aware and less worried or more sensible and better at parenting in regard to letting us be more independent and mature and learning. It’s hard to say, but I do miss those days! We used to walk pretty much everywhere, and my mom was extremely overprotective. Sometimes, I think, I should just let them do some of these things, but these days, it would be disastrous for more than one reason. Good post!

  21. I used to go off out all day and no one was bothered where I’d been, that wasn’t even that long ago I’m only 22 but I can’t see it being the same for my girls theres too much in the news its terrifying! thanks for linking up to #kidscorner

  22. There’s probably some room for balance from our childhoods to the over-protective world we’re in now. As a non-worrier, it always puzzles me that people don’t “hedge their bets” a little more. For example, my kids are old enough to know to stay out of the road, so they are free to play anywhere on our block and I’m not necessarily going to be outside with them. I don’t worry about them getting kidnapped from my block anymore than I feel hopeful I’ll win the lottery. Both events are equally unlikely (admittedly, we know everyone in the 35 houses on our block, so that helps my comfort level).

  23. My husband and I were just talking about this. It seems like you never see kids playing outside anymore. It makes me sad!

  24. I was super over-protected, so am all for encouraging adventure and independence with my son. Stinks knowing that there are things like this we wish he could enjoy, but know the world around us won’t allow it (whether safety-wise or never knowing what other parents may think). It’s nice to find a happy medium in a great neighborhood. Thanks for linking up at MeetUp Monday…hope to see you again next week!

  25. The thing for me will be the fact I am not happy letting them walk to school on their own. I was able to do that as a child but I will always make sure I take mine and pick them up each day. Thanks for sharing in #KidsCorner x

  26. I miss those days! Things just aren’t as safe as they used to be. There are too many weirdos out there now. But we do let her sit on our laps when we drive around the neighborhood. 🙂
    Thanks for sharing on the Shine Blog Hop!

  27. You know, I just brought this up to my hubby this morning. We recently moved and I have noticed in our new neighborhood that a lot of kids play at the park without supervision after school. Since we moved to the same neighborhood I grew up in, it has been a huge relief to see that not much has changed. Maybe there is hope after all. – Jules (co-host at #MommyMeetUpMondays)

  28. Some things changed for the better. I work in pediatric PT and am very glad we wear helmets now on bikes. Bad things do happen without helmets, seatbelts and definitely riding in the back of pick-up trucks. My daughter is tired of me telling her a story every time she wants to be adventurous. I’ve just seen too much.

  29. Yes, bad things happen. But reporting parents for every little thing has gotten ridiculous. For instance, the mom who was OUTSIDE WITH her kids, and got arrested anyway. WHAT??? The world has gone insane.
    And, yes, I remember all those things too! 😉

  30. I sometimes talk to my mom about how my children growing up is so different than when I was growing up and relate it to the world we live in. My mom said recently that the world is always changing and so is society. The way she grew up and the way I grew up was also very different. Every era is going to have it’s changes and I’m trying to embrace those changes and go with the flow.

    Thank you for sharing at #SmallVictoriesSundayLinkup !


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.