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Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Growing up today vs. years ago

I got this post from a friend, Kerri, and had to share it because it amazes me just how much the approach of raising children has changed over the years. My dad jokes about being breastfed while his mom had a vodka drink in one hand and a cigarette in the other, but he was serious! These days, it's unheard of and frowned upon heavily but if we're now say that smoking and drinking causes birth defects, why are all of the people born in the 50's and 60's ok?

Reading the section below, you're sure to pick out things that you did growing up or definitely heard it from parents and friends. Ever take a drink from a hose? Bottled water was hardly around and it was used for going camping! Read the rest and you tell me how the hell our parents survived......


TO ALL THE KIDS WHO SURVIVED the 1930's 40's , 50's, 60's and 70's !!

First, we survived being born to mothers who smoked and/or drank while they were pregnant. They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing, tuna from a can, and didn't get tested for diabetes. Then after that trauma, we were put to sleep on our tummies in baby cribs covered with bright colored lead-based paints. We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors or cabinets and when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets, not to mention, the risks we took hitchhiking.

As infants & children, we would ride in cars with no car seats, booster seats, seat belts or air bags. Riding in the back of a pick up on a warm day was always a special treat. We drank water from the garden hose and NOT from a bottle. We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle and NO ONE actually died from this. We ate cupcakes, white bread and real butter and drank koolade made with sugar, but we weren't overweight because WE WERE ALWAYS OUTSIDE PLAYING !

We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on. No one was able to reach us all day, and we were O.K. We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then ride down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. After running into the bushes a few times, we learned to solve the problem. We did not have Playstations, Nintendo's, X-boxes, no video games at all, no 150 channels on cable, no video movies or DVD's, no surround-sound , CD's or Ipods, no cell phones! , no personal computers , no Internet or chat rooms....... WE HAD FRIENDS and we went outside and found them!

We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and there were no lawsuits from these accidents. We ate worms and mud pies made from dirt, and the worms did not live in us forever. We were given BB guns for our 10th birthdays, made up games with sticks and tennis balls and, although we were told it would happen, we did not put out very many eyes. We rode bikes or walked to a friend's house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just walked in and talked to them! Little League had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn't had to learn to deal with disappointment. Imagine that!! The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law!

These generations have produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers and inventors ever! The past 50 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas. We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned HOW TO DEAL WITH IT ALL!
If YOU are one of them . . CONGRATULATIONS!

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So, did you do any of the things mentioned above? Did you get a BB gun when you were a kid? I had one in 3rd grade, and loved it. I drank from the hose, drank gallons of Kool-Aid, ate peanut butter and marshmallow creme sandwiches, and I turned out pretty damn good!

I think the overall message is that so much stress has gone into protecting our kids, we may be keeping them from having the kind of childhood that we did! When I was a kid, nothing made me happier than riding my bike down the street and swimming in my pool all day. These days, if kids don't have a Playstation and a cell phone, they feel underprivieged!

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