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Old 03-29-2014, 11:23 PM
 
Location: Valdosta (Atlanta Native)
3,444 posts, read 2,822,260 times
Reputation: 2148

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If you really want to know, I'll tell you right now. I'm a teenager myself and there are multiple reasons why you don't find as many kids outside. But the most important reason would be where we live. The kids that walk to my school and always outside, mostly because they have somewhere to go. They can walk to the library and the park. But walk on my street and nobody's out. Because there's nowhere to go. I try to convince my mom to let me walk, but somehow I'll be in danger. This could also be the reason why we play video games a lot. We can connect with our friends no matter where they live. The fact is that because of this sprawl kids just live further away from each other. So some communities will have active children, some won't.

 
Old 03-30-2014, 04:19 AM
 
Location: Central CT, sometimes NH.
3,256 posts, read 4,911,760 times
Reputation: 3024
Quote:
Originally Posted by demonta4 View Post
If you really want to know, I'll tell you right now. I'm a teenager myself and there are multiple reasons why you don't find as many kids outside. But the most important reason would be where we live. The kids that walk to my school and always outside, mostly because they have somewhere to go. They can walk to the library and the park. But walk on my street and nobody's out. Because there's nowhere to go. I try to convince my mom to let me walk, but somehow I'll be in danger. This could also be the reason why we play video games a lot. We can connect with our friends no matter where they live. The fact is that because of this sprawl kids just live further away from each other. So some communities will have active children, some won't.
I don't know where you live but here in Connecticut many of the neighborhoods haven't changed that much in the past 30 years. There are relatively the same number of kids living in the neighborhoods that lived there 30 years ago. However, they are not outside in anywhere near the same numbers. Not as safe? Not true. Traffic in the those neighborhoods is similar to 30 years ago and the speed limits are 25 mph. There is not a greater chance of being abducted or assaulted today as research shows it happened more 30 years ago. Maybe parents are overprotective but that cannot account for all the missing kids.

One noticeably missing element are bicycles. Kids of all ages commonly rode bicycles up through the turn of this century. This decline is a major difference and has been documented by a rapid drop in bicycle sales among kids. http://www.gluskintownleygroup.com/d...w%20Report.pdf We rode our bicycles to see our friends who lived farther from our homes and the distance that kids were allowed to ride was based on their parents' confidence in how much responsibility their children were ready for after gradually increasing and monitoring their growth toward maturity and independence.

Unfortunately many kids don't even know nor are interested in learning how to ride a bicycle instead preferring to be driven or wait until they can drive themselves where they want to go. Perhaps it's somewhat self-fulfilling since if one's friends don't ride a bike and/or think that it is not cool then that person will be less likely to ride one as well.

Last edited by Lincolnian; 03-30-2014 at 04:35 AM..
 
Old 03-30-2014, 10:10 AM
 
Location: Tonawanda NY
398 posts, read 437,257 times
Reputation: 695
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lincolnian View Post
Why don't kids play anymore? Drive through many neighborhoods even on the weekends and it's not uncommon to see few if any kids playing outside. 30 years ago the streets were filled with bicycles, kids were climbing trees, building forts, playing wiffle ball, Frisbee, touch football, street hockey in the streets.
One of the main reasons is children are home a lot less than previous generations. Lots of people I know that have children, have after school schedules that don't get the kids in the house until well after 7 most nights, then they have homework. Weekends are spent out shopping, traveling to games and parents have their social activities. The thing I find though is the less income the children have, they tend to play more with other children within their neighborhood. Our rentals that are located in a high poverty area always has children from various buildings outside playing when the weather is nice.
 
Old 03-31-2014, 06:43 AM
 
Location: Florida
4,103 posts, read 4,015,973 times
Reputation: 9985
I think the topic has been answered well but Ill chime in. Growing up my parents had no problem with me being out and about the entire day Saturday, then coming back for lunch and dinner. Now I wouldnt dream of letting my (future) kids out of my sight all day. Until we take every child predator and ship them to Guantanamo, theyll be staying in my line of sight. And seeing as how both parents are working these days its easy to understand why the kids arent in the streets.
 
Old 04-02-2014, 06:20 AM
 
Location: Texas or Cascais, Portugal
3,060 posts, read 2,889,244 times
Reputation: 7315
I think a lot of the change from kids playing outside is due to the obsession with competitive sports and other "organized" activities for kids. When I was young, I didn't know any kid who played on soccer teams, football teams etc. In my neighborhood, it was always impromptu, someone came outside with a football and a game was created. Our parents were not actively involved in structuring our free time. We went fishing, hung out in the woods, built stuff, anything to keep us occupied. I don't recall anyone having structured activities on the weekends or evenings after school. I have watched my neighbors kids grow up. They have basketball nets in their driveways but I never see kids outside of their house, unless they are going to or from the car. All activities are structured; team sports, other groups. I'm so glad I didn't grow up in that environment. My happiest childhood memories were with my friends outside of any adult supervision, making our own adventures, getting into and out of trouble, learning lessons that cannot be learned on the competitive field. Not that I am against organized sports, I'm against structuring a child's entire life.
 
Old 04-03-2014, 09:53 AM
 
Location: Spokane, WA
1,991 posts, read 2,059,559 times
Reputation: 2363
Quote:
Originally Posted by nurider2002 View Post
I think a lot of the change from kids playing outside is due to the obsession with competitive sports and other "organized" activities for kids. When I was young, I didn't know any kid who played on soccer teams, football teams etc. In my neighborhood, it was always impromptu, someone came outside with a football and a game was created. Our parents were not actively involved in structuring our free time. We went fishing, hung out in the woods, built stuff, anything to keep us occupied. I don't recall anyone having structured activities on the weekends or evenings after school. I have watched my neighbors kids grow up. They have basketball nets in their driveways but I never see kids outside of their house, unless they are going to or from the car. All activities are structured; team sports, other groups. I'm so glad I didn't grow up in that environment. My happiest childhood memories were with my friends outside of any adult supervision, making our own adventures, getting into and out of trouble, learning lessons that cannot be learned on the competitive field. Not that I am against organized sports, I'm against structuring a child's entire life.
Agreed. Now the elephant in the room and the million dollar question. Why has a nation of children like us, raised in this manner as noted above, such crappy parents? What happened to us? Why do we structure our kids free time? Why do we let them have too many electronics? Why do we let them spend countless hours in video game conquests, but no real hours in real life conquest?

Why are we messing it up so badly?
 
Old 04-03-2014, 12:56 PM
 
231 posts, read 276,435 times
Reputation: 350
I remember when I was a kid, my mom or somebody was always home. These days, both parents work. Kids are stuck at school all day, then go to an after school program or sitter. When parents get home after a long day they need to cook dinner and have other errands to get done. Feed the kids, make sure home work is done and get them ready for bed. Doesn't make for a lot of time to let kids go out and play.

On weekends it's a different story. I know at least my kids and the kids on my block are out playing and I have tons of chores to do, but one of my things is to make sure my kids always have time to go outside and play. My oldest is also in baseball but still has time to play. I don't know how often I have to tell him to get out of the trees. They have scrapped knees and bruises, dirty faces and hands. Me and the other days hang out watching the kids play.

For other families and the kids not getting outside, I have to think that a big reason is, a lot of neighbors keep to themselves these days. So the kids don't get to go out and play with one another because the parents don't want to co-mingle while the kids play.. Parents are tired after a long work week, chores and errands add up too.
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