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Old 12-07-2008, 08:49 AM
 
Location: Manhattan
133 posts, read 423,999 times
Reputation: 86

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I'm only 28 but I've seen a drastic change in my lifetime in kid's experience growing up in their neighborhoods. When I was a kid when school let out the street/the park was filled w/ kids playing basketball, baseball, supersoakers, etc... It seems now more parents are want a new house and are moving to new neighborhoods that discourage closeness between neighbors. Add computers and videogames to the mix and it seems kids almost never go out to play anymore.

I hear people older than me tell stories of how they used to play stickball in the street. I feel that the exurbs may have changed the American childhood experience. WHen I go through suburban neighborhoods on a nice day now I just don't see kids outside anymore. What do you think?
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Old 12-07-2008, 09:06 AM
 
Location: New York City
2,814 posts, read 6,022,202 times
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Today, it's all about scheduling playdates. The thing is, all of the kids have very busy schedules with all of the extracurricular classes and sports and lessons. So... you have to find the time to fit in playdates. It's a sad reality now.
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Old 12-07-2008, 09:47 AM
 
Location: Houston
6,867 posts, read 12,816,947 times
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I don't think it has anything to do with suburbs. When I was a kid I lived in the suburbs and I was always outside playing with my friends. I don't even think video games started the decline because I also used to be hooked to my super nintendo. The difference is that I used to play super nintendo with my friends for a few hours and we would be back outside once we got bored with that. The decline started in the 2000s when kids started playing online games like World of Warcraft and their only friends were online friends that lived across the country or even across the world. These kids sit in their room alone all day without any human contact and the parents just let it happen. My parents never would have let me sit in my house all day, especially on the weekends. But parents just don't care that much anymore about their kids making friends and being active. So you can't blame video games, suburbs, or tv. It's all about the parenting.

rep for you Jawny08 for bring up Supersoakers. That brought back great memories.
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Old 12-07-2008, 10:17 AM
 
460 posts, read 1,023,951 times
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I think it's lots of things that contribute to this. Both parents working, so mom is not home after school. I bet many of us were latch key kids, now they have laws that state how old a child has to be to be left home alone, so those pre-teens that would have been at the park playing are now at an afterschool program. If the child does go home alone then for safety reasons they have to stay inside.

And as others have mentioned the ever present extracurriculars dance, music, sports, etc. That leaves very little time for just playing if parents and kids don't get home until dark.
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Old 12-07-2008, 11:10 AM
Status: "Summer!" (set 23 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,016 posts, read 102,649,686 times
Reputation: 33083
It also depends on the neighborhood. In my neighborhood, there is a fair amount of 'just playing', especially by the younger kids. We may have more stay-at-home moms than average; I don't know. By the time the kids get older, they have friends in different neighborhoods, and are very busy, by middle/high school, with sports, music, jobs, etc.
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Old 12-07-2008, 11:37 AM
 
Location: Scarsdale, NY
2,775 posts, read 10,724,187 times
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Well when I was younger I was outside all day, every day. But since I'm 17 it would be weird for me to be outside playing like I did when I was younger. Now my friends and I get together to play backyard football, baseball, basketball, or street hockey about once a week. And me being 17 means that my friends and I are more mature about "playing" ..... like doing burnouts or donuts in the school parking lot especially when it snows.
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Old 12-07-2008, 11:41 AM
 
468 posts, read 2,135,045 times
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I think a lot of it has to do with parents' neurosis. Playing in the neighborhood used to be okay. Now parents are too afraid of predators to let them roam free. All time must be programmed and supervised. When I was a kid the rule was "be in by dark." Now kids get picked up from school and ferried around to their pre-planned activities because it's suddenly become a big, bad scary world where children aren't fit to tread (in their parents' heads).
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Old 12-07-2008, 11:50 AM
 
Location: Coastal Northeast
16,738 posts, read 23,181,095 times
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20 years ago, it was about discipline. Today it's about giving kids whatever they want so they'll shut up.
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Old 12-07-2008, 11:58 AM
 
7,848 posts, read 18,278,768 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jawny08 View Post
I'm only 28 but I've seen a drastic change in my lifetime in kid's experience growing up in their neighborhoods. When I was a kid when school let out the street/the park was filled w/ kids playing basketball, baseball, supersoakers, etc... It seems now more parents are want a new house and are moving to new neighborhoods that discourage closeness between neighbors. Add computers and videogames to the mix and it seems kids almost never go out to play anymore.

I hear people older than me tell stories of how they used to play stickball in the street. I feel that the exurbs may have changed the American childhood experience. WHen I go through suburban neighborhoods on a nice day now I just don't see kids outside anymore. What do you think?
There was a point in time when one parent, usually the mother, was at home some or all of the time...and when the kids got out of school they could do things like play outside. I don't think it's the kids that have busy schedules or the neighborhoods discouraging interaction - both parents are working full days and are very busy so they have to arrange after school arrangements for the kids. Times have changed, not only with parenting...but look at the choices we have today compared to 20-30 years ago. Not only kids, but adults activities are different too - who would have thought we would spend so much time on the internet a few years ago? The world is constantly changing...as it should...

I grew up in a suburban subdivision...but I don't get all the talk about how suburbs lead to isolation and discourage social interaction. We knew all of our neighbors and I had friends on several streets nearby in the subdivision. I just didn't have the experiences that I keep reading about on these forums.
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Old 12-07-2008, 12:04 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 23 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,016 posts, read 102,649,686 times
Reputation: 33083
Quote:
Originally Posted by DeaconJ View Post
There was a point in time when one parent, usually the mother, was at home some or all of the time...and when the kids got out of school they could do things like play outside. I don't think it's the kids that have busy schedules or the neighborhoods discouraging interaction - both parents are working full days and are very busy so they have to arrange after school arrangements for the kids. Times have changed, not only with parenting...but look at the choices we have today compared to 20-30 years ago. Not only kids, but adults activities are different too - who would have thought we would spend so much time on the internet a few years ago? The world is constantly changing...as it should...

I grew up in a suburban subdivision...but I don't get all the talk about how suburbs lead to isolation and discourage social interaction. We knew all of our neighbors and I had friends on several streets nearby in the subdivision. I just didn't have the experiences that I keep reading about on these forums.
This was my experience, too, both as a parent and a child.
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