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How Did We Survive Childhood Before
the ’90s Safety Nannies Came Along?

PJ Media, by Paula Bolyard

Original Article

Posted By:MissMolly, 4/27/2014 4:31:36 AM

When our first son was born in 1991 we were told to lay him on his tummy at naptime — never, ever on his back because it would increase his risk of choking and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). By the time our second child came along in 1994 the experts had decided that parents should never, ever let their children sleep on their stomachs because it increased the risk of choking and SIDS. A month after he was born the experts told us that we needed to buy a wedge that forced our son to sleep on his side.


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Reply 1 - Posted by: strike3, 4/27/2014 5:09:12 AM     (No. 9826302)

Excellent summary of the world created by Dr. Spock and his unquestioning, all-knowing followers in academia. Naturally, you can´t let your children roam at will in many neighborhoods due to the growth and relative civil acceptance of sexual predators, kidnappers, etc. but it sure was fun being a kid without strings attached. Funny how we found ways of taking care of ourselves when the nannies weren´t around.

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Reply 2 - Posted by: franq, 4/27/2014 7:33:08 AM     (No. 9826380)

Follow the money. The car seat manufacturers are making out like bandits. And the greenies who only want 1.3 kids per family are happy too, since it is almost prohibitively expensive to have children. Glad we missed it while raising five.

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Reply 3 - Posted by: Sergeant Major, 4/27/2014 7:43:19 AM     (No. 9826392)

I am 75 years old and grew up in North Dakota. In the summer it didn´t get dark until 9pm and that is when we came in, if called, sometimes later. Once two friends of mine and I, all 15 at the time, stayed out till 5am. My father made sure that never happened again. I will never forget that conversation. As he looked at my still made up bed he asked "are you just getting up or just coming home?" Truth was still paramount in my life and he showed be that corporal punishment was still valid at 15 years of age. I still maintain that he was right in what he did, today that wouldn´t be the case with families. Sad state of affairs.

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Reply 4 - Posted by: uno, 4/27/2014 7:46:58 AM     (No. 9826397)

We had BB guns, cap guns, toy guns, bow & arrows (with suction cups) bazzookas, swords, rubber Bowie knives, flour bombs, toys made out of metal (oh the horror!), rockets and so on. We played Cops & Robbers, Cowboy & Indians, War games, Kickball, Play forts, tree houses, buckeye wars and we played OUTSIDE until the street lights came on. Nobody really got hurt, certainly not maliciously, and we just had fun. We also learned to fight our own battles. Today Political Correctness has taken most of that away and has left us with kids having kids and kids killing kids! Thanks to the Nanny State is manufacturing the next generation into a dumbed-down, wussified, attention deficit riddled, Adderall addicted, functionally illiterate bunch of collective Kia Hamsters and teachers are becoming little more than Common Core vending machines... because it´s safer??? Not hardly.

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Reply 5 - Posted by: F15 Gork, 4/27/2014 7:56:35 AM     (No. 9826403)

And the fireworks during the 4th of July. The Cherry Bombs, TNT Bombs and M-80´s were the Holy Grail of explosives back in the ´50s. If you survived the 4th without some type of powder burn or loss of hearing, you just weren´t trying hard enough!

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Reply 6 - Posted by: StormCnter, 4/27/2014 8:01:15 AM     (No. 9826406)

My dad made slingshots for us and we had chinaberry wars. A green chinaberry, properly aimed, leaves a gratifying red welt. My brothers had BB guns as soon as they were old enough to carry one. They shot squirrels and rabbits and tried to shoot the armadillos, but always failed. We slid down barn roofs, camped down at the creek, swam in the surface tank, hid in the hay barn. Remember playing Red Rover? The objective was to try to break an arm, or so we pretended. It could HURT. We had skinned knees, stubbed toes, ant bites, run-ins with stinging nettles and scorpions. We roamed the caprocks, looked for arrowheads, built fires for roasting weinies and marshmallows.

We survived and had a whale of a time doing it.

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Reply 7 - Posted by: jinx, 4/27/2014 8:14:21 AM     (No. 9826424)

I might add that when I was growing up, we walked two blocks to the movie theater to watch cowboy movies every Sat. morning. When we got home, we all played cowboys and Indians. We skated, played tennis, played ping pong, rode bicycles, and swam in the neighborhood park. Our parents didn´t worry because they knew where we were. They didn´t have to go with us. Today´s kids can´t even go outside without their parents. It is too dangerous. How sad. It is no wonder many are overweight. They sit at home watching TV, or playing video games or texting. They don´t read or exercise. How sad that they do not know joys of growing up.

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Reply 8 - Posted by: bugboy, 4/27/2014 10:08:36 AM     (No. 9826573)

What an article!

Describes exactly how I was raised. I learned by experience and threw a lot of dirt clods (well where I grew up it was mostly hard green pine cones).

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Reply 9 - Posted by: LC Chihuahua, 4/27/2014 10:58:12 AM     (No. 9826625)

I remember my friends and I in Boy Scouts getting run over by trains. Great fun. We did it repeatedly. We would climb up a 20 ft high tressel (sp?), and get within a few feet below the railroad track. Scream bloody murder as the train went by overhead. Quite deafening. I think the scout master even joined us once. He then told us to get down.

I considered riding my gocart of the second floor roof of my home but thought better of it. Pushed the cart off the roof instead. Quite impressive. Nobody ever knew.

Somehow we survived.

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Reply 10 - Posted by: shamrock, 4/27/2014 11:25:08 AM     (No. 9826651)

Ditto all above posters. And the stuff we ate would kill the modern day kids. White bread with margarine and sugar, fizzies, straws full of sugar and food coloring, gallons of kool-aid, more sugar and food coloring, cotton candy squashed down to the size of golf balls, piles of mike and ikes, good and plentys, lemonheads. Somehow, we all survived the velveeta sandwiches and potato chips. Because we were on the go from daylight until after dark. We didn´t have a tv but my grandparents did so it was a treat to watch a show, not a lifestyle.

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Reply 11 - Posted by: Daisymay, 4/27/2014 11:38:18 AM     (No. 9826669)

I´m 72, so I truly have enjoyed the above posts with memories of the fun days of childhood way back when. We rode bikes (no helmets), sometimes with a passenger on the Handlebars! We went to local baseball games, walking home at 90 on a summer night without getting mugged. We had rope swings from tree branches that we pushed to the highest limits. We went to the local grocery stores for Grape Soda or Orange Skyrockets (Pushups) that cost 5 cents. If we fell and scraped our knees, or worse, we didn´t go to the ER, we had a dose of Iodine poured on the scrape and we survived. We ate tomatoes out in the garden, always taking the salt shaker with us. We drank from the Garden Hose on a hot summer day! Can´t believe I´m still here after all that!!

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Reply 12 - Posted by: tomanderson61, 4/27/2014 12:34:34 PM     (No. 9826744)

I think another big reason we see change is the wimpification of men, and the women who have encouraged it. Think about it. Men used to gather around and talk about the horsepower of their new muscle car, get impassioned about Ford vs. Chevy, the best rifles, and who built the nicest rec room. Now "men" get impassioned about their "rights" to get pot and their non-wives abortions, and instead of laughing at a good, well made, non-scatalogical comedy, they enjoy fart jokes and making fun of God. I look at these guys and think, thank God my dad was who he was--imagine having a dad whose biggest recreational desire was smoking dope, or even a GRANDPARENT, like we read about the other day, having pot brownies that the kids snacked on. (Aren´t you glad you had real grandparents instead of that kind of trash?)

Great men, setting great examples, vs. men today, and look at the results of the kids.

Young men that cannot change a tire, wire an electrical socket, build a fence, build a toolshed, survive outside for a day, remodel a kitchen, sod their own lawn, install a sprinkler system, build a workbench, figure out how much exactly of expensive tile you need to redo your bathroom and then redo it, dig a trench, put out a fire, or fix a car or a bicycle or a garbage disposal.

I have done all that, and more, because my dad did, and my kids will do it as well. But today´s men for the most part? They´re playing xbox in their 30s and their big kid commitment is screaming at them during their soccer game.

Ladies, you wanted "sensitive" men who "share your interests" and the whole macho thing is degenerate? You got it. Enjoy.

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Reply 13 - Posted by: Aubreyesque, 4/27/2014 8:46:44 PM     (No. 9827146)

Id like to point out some geographical issues here that I dont think anyone is taking into account. A good number of you are recalling the days when you could reach various public domains of entertainment and enjoymen with the relative ease of walking. That was when most neighborhoods were built around a central part of town...with one block spelling the difference between downtown and the houses where all your friends lived. In small town America, everything and everyone was located in one area.

Now? I have three words that I think pretty much explains this lack of mobility among children: master planned communities. Theaters and churches are at best on the outskirts of these places - perhaps there is a swimming pool, and maybe some parks, but for the most part its nothing but houses upon houses, and to get anywhere for entertainment one has to leave the subdivision. And if youre lucky, youre in a subdivision where there are lots of kids your child´s age. Now the problem MY family had when we moved into the BRAND NEW subdivision where we built our house was during this housing boom when any and all were given house loans, regardless of whether or not they could afford it. This meant, for our neighborhood, that even the drug-infested family from the wrong side of the tracks could get a loan...and they did...and their gangleader of a son made short work of any sense of safety in the neighborhood by harrassing any women who were jogging, and threatening the girls who attended school with him with violence if they did not join the gang....when low life like this show up in the neighborhood, do you REALLY think Im going to let my innocent girl child go anywhere without telling me or that I will ever trust my neighbors again?

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