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Old 05-31-2007, 01:54 PM
 
743 posts, read 2,038,280 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deerislesmile View Post
I think people today are a lot more rigid about property lines, too. When I was little, I swear I owned the whole coast of Maine- I never thought twice about (gently) walking through someone else's property to get to the shore or a friends house. Now, I don't think I would dare try it. I'm sure some of that comes from fear of accidents and lawsuits, but a lot of it is "This is mine. All Mine. You may not walk on it. I paid a lot for this land, and you did not.". I just wait until September when all of the ocean-front property owners go back to where ever it is that they live, and then enjoy the nature they paid a million for. What does it hurt, you know?

A lot of people I know had only one rule- come home when the streetlights come on.

So funny....in Pennsylvania we had the "come home when the streelights are on", too
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Old 05-31-2007, 02:04 PM
 
743 posts, read 2,038,280 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deerislesmile View Post
I think people today are a lot more rigid about property lines, too. When I was little, I swear I owned the whole coast of Maine- I never thought twice about (gently) walking through someone else's property to get to the shore or a friends house. Now, I don't think I would dare try it. I'm sure some of that comes from fear of accidents and lawsuits, but a lot of it is "This is mine. All Mine. You may not walk on it. I paid a lot for this land, and you did not.". I just wait until September when all of the ocean-front property owners go back to where ever it is that they live, and then enjoy the nature they paid a million for. What does it hurt, you know?

A lot of people I know had only one rule- come home when the streetlights come on.
In my neighborhood growing up, we didn't have large lots....the houses were built fairly close together, so we played so much in the street, it was like the kids "owned" the street. Riding bikes, kickball, dodgeball, etc...All the neighbors moved at a snail's pace while driving, knowing there were always kids around. Now-a-days, I think the cars blow past and all the parents hope the kids won't get sideswiped.

I even had one older neighbor tell me it was "against the law" for kids to play in the cul-de-sac! I think she forgot that she raised 5 kids in that home 30 years ago
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Old 05-31-2007, 02:27 PM
 
Location: Penobscot Bay, the best place in Maine!
1,891 posts, read 5,146,844 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beth ann View Post
In my neighborhood growing up, we didn't have large lots....the houses were built fairly close together, so we played so much in the street, it was like the kids "owned" the street. Riding bikes, kickball, dodgeball, etc...All the neighbors moved at a snail's pace while driving, knowing there were always kids around. Now-a-days, I think the cars blow past and all the parents hope the kids won't get sideswiped.

I even had one older neighbor tell me it was "against the law" for kids to play in the cul-de-sac! I think she forgot that she raised 5 kids in that home 30 years ago
I actually grew up in a small fishing village where there were a LOT of families in a small area. I bet my parents lot is not quite an acre, but I felt entitled (no, not the word I want....) to use other people's property as long as I wasn't being destructive or a nuisance, so my "turf" was much larger than the land we own. The gangs of children would roam around town (not in a bad way, though!) and find stuff to do. The school, the stores, the docks, the shore, the woods- all within walking distance- were where we spend most of our time. At one point, the bus stop where I was picked up had 22 children waiting (and we could see 2 other groups waiting from where we were, though not as large). Now, when the big yellow thing comes around twice a day, it is to drop off/pick up one of the THREE elementary kids that live in the same village. That's it. Three kids, down from likely a hundred 30 years ago. Most of the properties have been snapped up by retirees or "summer people", and then they turn around and sell them for profit to other retirees/dreamers. Fishing/working families have been priced right out of the village.

Sorry- tangent there. Can't afford to live in my own darn town.
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Old 05-31-2007, 02:37 PM
 
Location: Debary, Florida
2,267 posts, read 2,375,648 times
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My daughter plays outside, she takes her scouter and plays in the neighborhood with the children. She of course has a cell phone so I can call her or she can call me when she needs to or I want her to come home.

There are a couple culdesacs around the neighborhood they play in as well as some of her friends that I know, she goes in their houses to play.

I have made sure to talk to her about staying away from the retention ponds, it wouldn't be a shock to anyone should an alligator be in one of them. I have also unfortunately had to tell her about men (sexual predators) coming back in their car, trying to talk kids into getting in the car with them.

We had that happen a couple times in Volusia county so people are even more aware then ever and usually a parent sits outside and watches them play for this very reason.
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Old 05-31-2007, 02:55 PM
 
Location: Pikeville, Ky.
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I was raised in the late 40's and 50's. My dad was a tenent farmer most of the time. We ( I have 2 brothers and 2 sisters)stayed outside winter and summer. We knew every bit of the woods for probably a mile or so around, and where the best grapevine swings were, and the best streams for getting crawdads were. In the winter the barn was a great place to spend time in after hours in the snow building forts. When my own four children came along we were living in a good sized town in Ohio. I wanted my children out of the town and in the country where they would be free to play outside all day and be safe to use their imaginations to make up their own games, as we did as children. We came to Eastr Ky when they were all in grade school. They were like wild colts turned out for the first time. They were free to explore the woods and mountains , hunt for turtles, play Indians, and use their imaginations. I called them in by ringing an old dinner bell that someone had placed in the yard years ago. Sadly, my grandchildren are a part of the tech age and would just as soon stay on the computer or at the entertainment center, even though the great outdoors is just through the door
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Old 05-31-2007, 03:00 PM
 
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I let my kids play outside all the time. They are probably the only kids in the area that play outside. In the winter I figure they have to be inside, so once it hits 40-50 degrees, I dont want them inside. They play baseball, on their trampoline, search the woods behind for whatever they can find.

We grew up in Ireland and we were outside from early morning, came home for lunch, went back outside until dinner, and back outside again until around 9pm. We went hunting for toads, walking out in the country.

Oh yes, we also camp a lot and our boys are outside there from 9am until 9pm.
Dorothy
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Old 05-31-2007, 03:09 PM
 
Location: Mississippi
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Wow, this brings back memories. I am an only child, so summertime was a bit lonesome for me, but I played outside all the time. I climbed trees, went walking in the wooded area behind my house or played basketball. When I was a small child and my mom would go to her moms to help with garden suff, I played with my cousins, and the rule was, do not come in the house unless you are dying. So, we spent lots of time coming up with imaginative things to do.

As I grew older, these cousins would come to my house and we would play basketball or badmitten, or go swimming if an adult was home.

We live in the same little town that I grew up in, my home is just down the road from my childhood home. My son stays outdoors all the time. He has a lot of baseball practice stuff he does, a pool, basketball or his dirt bike. He even goes out a lot in winter simply because our winters have been very mild the past few years. He also goes fishing with buddies or walks to the store which is not far from my home.

Ours is a very quaint neighborhood, with everyone knowing everyone else, and neighbors are just apt to discipline my child as they are their own, which I am grateful for. I do not fear strangers simply because there are so many older town folk sitting on their porches or going to and fro from the store.

I wish the town would stay the same, but it is growing and before many years pass, all this will be just faint memories.
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Old 05-31-2007, 04:31 PM
 
Location: Sacramento
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I grew up in north central Philadelphia in the 1950's and 60's and played outside all weekend in the spring through fall. We played a lot of city games like stickball, halfball, bottlecaps, stepball and *****. These were games that could be played in driveways and alleyways, which is what we had in Philly, they generally kept the large playground area chain locked (hey, it's Philly!!!).

My kids didn't play outside much growing up in the 1980's though mid 1990's. They were into video games, computer activity and school activities. The major thing I noticed different in the era was the high degree of organized activities, which I did not see growing up. Though there are positives and negatives about this, my kids only participated in limited ways.

Overall, life changed.
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Old 05-31-2007, 05:11 PM
 
Location: Johns Island, SC
797 posts, read 2,695,491 times
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I played outside from dawn until dusk, checking in for meals only. We were hardly ever supervised and I mostly grew up in apartments. Between bike riding, tag, hide and seek, general exploring, lemonade stands, climbing trees, building forts, running through the sprinkler, we never slowed down and could always come up with some hair brain idea to do. It's a totally different situation today.....

I do put my kids to play outside as often as possible. We do not have a large property and we live in a development that is cram packed with houses. Unfortunately the only place to play is in the garage, on the sidewalk, the driveway, and some of us have some lawn to hang out on. Our back yard is also small and we have so many birds that nest in the trees that everything (and everyone) gets covered in birdy **** daily. The kids do ride they're bikes up and down the street but it goes nowhere so they get bored quickly. Exploring is nonexistant and even if they did we have too many rattlesnakes and weird bugs to watch out for. Although they do not use the computer, have never played any video games, and seldom watch tv they get bored so fast, I am really struggling to keep them busy outside. They come inside every 10 minutes, looking for a drink or to use the bathroom or to complain about being bored and with 4 of them its driving me NUTS!
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Old 05-31-2007, 06:18 PM
 
Location: Princeton-area, New Jersey
113 posts, read 693,890 times
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Being an overprotective parent, I do understand how this can play a huge role in my son not playing outside as much. I think living in an urban neighborhood had a lot to do with it, too... I've gotten way too many phone calls of emergencies because my son hurt himself in the all-concrete schoolyard. Once, I had to pick up my son all bloody from a busted eye which needed over 15 stitches (I was counting and nearly fainted after the 15th stitch)! He wouldn't admit if it was a fight and he stuck to his story of slipping on ice... so as you can see, my fears are warranted.

His routine in New York is to call me every hour after school and he is to be home by 5pm. He can also only walk from school to a playground along the way, then straight home. This regimen has worked well for my son as he still gets to hang out with his friends for a couple of hours each day.

We are moving to New Jersey this month to a more suburban area (we live in residential neighborhood and are surrounded by farmland), so I hope I will feel more confident about my son exploring after school beginning in September. He is 15 now and more responsible anyway. My daughter is 4 and she will hopefully get to experience the same childhood I had... playing hide & seek with all the neighborhood kids and coming home anytime before dark, and checking in for a drink or a snack.

Also, I just want to add something about the statistics... could the rate of crime against children be lower because there are no more children out on the streets?
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