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Old 12-07-2008, 11:12 PM
 
2,248 posts, read 6,214,368 times
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Well, I grew up in the 90's (yeah I know, I'm 27) and to me, there isn't a real discernable "shift" in the way kids are living up in their neighborhoods, or at least where I lived. It's moreso the mentality that's changed, such that you decide what's of value to you and your kids. For example, people take sports more seriously now it seems than in the past, and of course you have the video games and whatnot influencing the kids. So it really depend on who's doing what nowadays.
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Old 12-08-2008, 09:20 AM
 
Location: Manhattan
133 posts, read 424,189 times
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I guess what I was saying is that a lot of the older suburban neighborhoods that encouraged closeness between neighbors have had a demographic change. The kids have gorwn up and the people remaining are usually 50+. The younger families are looking for a new house in the exurbs which usually has houses that are farther apart w/o sidewalks or parks. The inner city now tends to be either yuppies or poorer minority communities.

I just wonder if the older suburban communities will someday become attractive to young starter families or if things have changes for good, like music and phones.
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Old 12-08-2008, 11:00 AM
 
1,031 posts, read 2,389,219 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kidyankee764 View Post
20 years ago, it was about discipline. Today it's about giving kids whatever they want so they'll shut up.
You are so right. Kids these days are sooo spoiled.
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Old 12-08-2008, 11:10 AM
 
5,859 posts, read 14,066,992 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jawny08 View Post
I guess what I was saying is that a lot of the older suburban neighborhoods that encouraged closeness between neighbors have had a demographic change. The kids have gorwn up and the people remaining are usually 50+. The younger families are looking for a new house in the exurbs which usually has houses that are farther apart w/o sidewalks or parks. The inner city now tends to be either yuppies or poorer minority communities.

I just wonder if the older suburban communities will someday become attractive to young starter families or if things have changes for good, like music and phones.
I live in an old, city neighborhood of mostly single-family homes. (Not sure what you mean by "inner city"--I know many people in these forums use the term synonymous with the older term "central city", which includes the poorer neighborhhods around the core--inner city--and the rest of the city that is middle or upper class)

In our experience, when we first moved in most of the neighbors had lived here 30+ years. Their kids had grown up long ago, and we were one of the few households with little kids. Gradually, the old timers went to nursing homes, died, etc. The people who bought were largely young couples. Today, our kids are grown and we are the empty nesters, but there are scads of kids all up and down our block. My neighbors and I have consciously chosen the city over the suburbs. We could get much more home for the $ in the burbs, but we like the amenities, charm and convenience of the city.

I think we will see this trend continue as gas prices rise, trafftic congestion increases, transit imporves and crime decreases. That bodes well for the American city.
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Old 12-08-2008, 02:14 PM
 
Location: Sacramento, CA
1,196 posts, read 4,344,142 times
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I grew up in a suburban subdivision outside of Sacramento in the early 2000s and was always outside playing with the neighbors. I really don't think the world is as different as adults think. People go back to their old neighborhoods and are shocked by the lack of activity because neighborhoods go through stages. Neighborhoods that used to have a lot of kids turn into older areas. IMO, the newer suburbs are where the families are.
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Old 12-08-2008, 02:19 PM
 
Location: Texas
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I've always lived in suburbs, and we spent a lot more time playing outside than I see kids doing today. I really do notice, b/c I live in the exact same neighborhood now as I did in high school.
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Old 12-08-2008, 07:43 PM
 
Location: City of Thorns
536 posts, read 1,951,207 times
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I totally remember the freedom in the streets I had growing up.... we used to put hydrants, chase the ding ding man, my street had blocks parties with parades and free watermelon, i used to have concerts in my front yard and lip sync to slow jams not knowing what they mean't.... ahh those were the days.

p.s im 26 and this was in Omaha btw
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Old 12-08-2008, 07:51 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 29 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,038 posts, read 102,742,261 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jawny08 View Post
I guess what I was saying is that a lot of the older suburban neighborhoods that encouraged closeness between neighbors have had a demographic change. The kids have gorwn up and the people remaining are usually 50+. The younger families are looking for a new house in the exurbs which usually has houses that are farther apart w/o sidewalks or parks. The inner city now tends to be either yuppies or poorer minority communities.

I just wonder if the older suburban communities will someday become attractive to young starter families or if things have changes for good, like music and phones.
Most of the suburban neighborhoods in the midwest and west have sidewalks. Lots are small here in metro Denver. All of this varies acaross the country.
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Old 12-08-2008, 09:05 PM
 
5,772 posts, read 13,744,103 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jawny08 View Post
I guess what I was saying is that a lot of the older suburban neighborhoods that encouraged closeness between neighbors have had a demographic change. The kids have gorwn up and the people remaining are usually 50+. The younger families are looking for a new house in the exurbs which usually has houses that are farther apart w/o sidewalks or parks. The inner city now tends to be either yuppies or poorer minority communities.

I just wonder if the older suburban communities will someday become attractive to young starter families or if things have changes for good, like music and phones.

If your analysis of suburban and exurban demographics is correct, this might explain a shift in the suburbs. I'm another who spent a lot of time outside, hanging around the neighborhood with other kids, and I grew up in the suburbs, in one area in early childhood and another from fourth grade on but both suburban, so I concur with those who say that historically the suburban environment has not discouraged this kind of childhood social life.

Anything as broad-reaching as a major social trend is probably too complex to be explained by one factor, but I believe that two-income households may have more to do with this than any other one factor. One reason for the number of organized, scheduled activities for today's kids is that sports, dance classes, and such provide supervision, which takes care of concerns about leaving kids home unsupervised when both parents are at work.

I suspect that the amount of time kids spend playing video games when they are at home also is an offshoot of the situation where no parent is at home in the afternoon. I used to watch my share of television, but at some point my mother would say enough is enough, no more TV for a while, and the most obvious option at that point was to get outside. Some on here have talked about parents' lack of willingness to set rules. This may be a problem, but the problem begins with the parents' not even being present to know how the kids are spending their time.

The latchkey phenomenon can have an effect in surprising ways. It may be true that media sensationalism may have stirred up some paranoia about letting kids roam their neighborhoods unsupervised, lest there be some molester lurking just around the corner, but the reduced presence of parents (mostly mothers, really) has an effect here as well. I never had the sort of direct encounter in my neighborhood which PA2UK related earlier, but I have my own story about a stranger in the neighborhood who aroused suspicion. I had been out roaming the neighborhood, the way all us kids used to do, and stopped back in at the house briefly. When I headed back out, my mother warned me to stay away from a certain street until further notice. Seems there was a man no one knew sitting in his car parked on that street. As I heard it, someone called the police. I never heard whether anyone's suspicions about the stranger were warranted, just that not long after some mom (more likely a bunch of moms) had called the police, the man was no longer there.

Notice that my mother did not keep me in the house until this was over. It was the presence all those mothers all around the neighborhood, very much aware of what was going on around them, that had meant the stranger's presence had been noticed very quickly, and I'm sure my mother was confident that this same network of eyes on the neighborhood would keep me safe. That same ubiquitous presence of mothers keeping watch was why we were generally safe when roaming the streets. Not only were we safe from potential predators, but it kept us from making too much trouble of our own. Anywhere in the neighborhood you were in sight of, or at least within earshot of, some mother or mothers who knew you, or at least had some idea who you were. You weren't going to get into serious trouble under that network of watchful eyes, and parents' knowledge of this led to that freedom to roam.

It's complicated, and a number of factors figure into this change in the experience of growing up, but the two-income household is very much at the center of this major social shift.
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Old 12-09-2008, 08:38 AM
Status: "Summer!" (set 29 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,038 posts, read 102,742,261 times
Reputation: 33084
I think ogre's point is well-taken. When anyone who is up to no good knows there are a lot of people at home, they are less likely to cause trouble.

I also think some people's memories may be clouded a little bit by time. You guys who think you were just let out to roam should talk to your moms. Girls, especially, usually have to account for their whereabouts. I know I did, moreso than my brother. (This was in the 50s and 60s.) We did hang out a bit at the school playground, even when we were older and even when school was out, but that was ony two blocks from home. Our moms didn't let us roam for miles.
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