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Old 07-07-2012, 03:24 PM   #1
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Default Shrinking of child's habitat

From the UK but it is also happening in the US.

I remember riding miles on my bike during the 1970's. I remember leaving home in the morning in the summer and sometimes making it back after dark.

No cell phones then.

Now, I don't even see children in the cul-de-sac without parents.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...#ixzz1ywZBP0EF


http://bigthink.com/strange-maps/571...childhoods-end

571 - The Great Indoors, or Childhood's End?
Frank Jacobs on June 26, 2012, 7:47 PM

Not too many decades ago, being a child in the western world meant having a license to roam: you spent a large chunk of your free time outside, exploring your surroundings, chasing adventure. This is the Huckleberry Finn mould of carefree childhood - even if you weren’t floating down the Mississippi on a raft, you could easily imagine that you were.

That mould has definitely been broken. A British study called One False Move, investigating the mobility of children, found that the average eight-year-old saw its ‘home habitat’ shrink to one-ninth of its size within a single generation. In 1970, 80% of British kids 7 or 8 years of age were allowed to go to school unsupervised; by 1990, this figure had dropped below 10%.

The result of this gradual shrinkage of children’s habitat, is the effective end of the outdoor childhood. This evolution, by and large underreported, is put in stark perspective by this map. Zooming in on parts of Sheffield, in the north of England, it pictures the differences in size of the stomping grounds of four generations of the Thomas family - each snapped at eight years of age:




In 1919, George, the great-grandfather of the family, was allowed to walk six mile by himself to go fishing at Rother Valley.
In 1950, Jack, the grandfather, was allowed to walk one mile by himself to go play in the woods nearby. Like his father, he walked to school.
In 1979, Vicky, the mother, could walk by herself to the swimming pool, half a mile away.
In 2007, Ed, the son, was only able to walk to the end of the street on his own - a mere 300 yards. He was driven to school, and even to a place where he could ride his bike safely.
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Old 07-07-2012, 04:31 PM   #2
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When I was 5,6 & 7 I walked quite a distance not only to and from school but home for lunch as well. I walked in good weather and bad. I did not have a watch but was expected to walk at a certain pace and arrive at my destination quickly. Outside play was only allowed in the fenced in backyard. When I got older than 7 I was allowed to ride my bike about 300 feet of either side of the driveway and only if a parent was able to be in the front yard supervising. There was a person or persons kidnapping and killing kids in my county which left parents terrified. Some backyard play was allowed but it wasn't encouraged because the newly laid sod wasn't established enough.

I let my DS roam but he told me if he was leaving the yard or our street and he called when he arrived and before he left if he was farther than 2 blocks away and alone.
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Old 07-08-2012, 02:19 AM   #3
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As far back as I can remember I went anywhere I wanted...Mom said she tied bells to my shoes as a toddler as I kept wandering off. Apparently I've never outgrown that and have managed to live in 3 countries and 8 different states in the U. S. in my lifetime. My children on the other hand were kept on a MUCH shorter leash..I always knew where they were...the world isn't the same as when I was a kid.
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Old 07-08-2012, 10:45 PM   #4
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We had a bell mounted right outside the backdoor and when Mom wanted me home she rang the bell. I used in for my two until the weather got to it and it fell apart.
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Old 07-08-2012, 10:51 PM   #5
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I was allowed to roam pretty much at will as a child. In the arctic, it was hard to get lost & I was really young. I found plenty to intrigue me within a mile or so of home. Moving south, the townhouse community we lived in was cut by a creek & 'ravine'... hours of fascinating play right there.

I don't think I really limited the boys very much but I don't honestly remember.
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Old 07-08-2012, 10:55 PM   #6
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When we lived in our apartment the boys could go to the park down the hill or to their friends down stairs. When we moved here they were a bit more corraled because of the apartments down the street. The people coming out of there drive way to fast and it just wasn't safe.
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Old 07-09-2012, 12:26 PM   #7
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I did as I chose when I was a kid, no restrictions except get home to change into clean clothes for supper.

We walked, and ranged pretty far without much to stop us from doing whatever we chose to do.

Ditto with my boys. We lived on a vast estate, thousands of acres, and they roamed however they chose for their adventures.

See heliocopter parents all around, with kids kept close. I did my own searching for things to do, and found a lot. Got my own scholerships, and rounded up my amusements with no help from any adults.

I think it was a good thing to be so independent.

I still am.
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Old 07-09-2012, 01:48 PM   #8
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I was told to "Go play outside. It's good for you."

I had to be home before dark.

In between, I explored the woods, and neighborhoods, and checked out every abandoned building in a circle as far as my bike would carry me - and dreamed of the day I would have a car and could go further. I knew every kid, dog and cat within 10 miles - and anything that looked homeless came back to my house with me. I knew where the blueberry bushes, wild cherry trees, pear and apple trees were located. I waded through flood waters. I walked on railroad tracks and climbed tall trees and water towers. I did a lot of things that would likely get me arrested now - like, riding horses that were just standing around doing nothing out in pastures, and taking a sofa with wheels on it that someone left at the curb and pushing it to the top of the hill and piling onto it with a bunch of friends to enjoy the wild ride down - after we set it on fire. I occasionally ran into trouble in the form of perverts who said, "come here little girl". But that sent me screaming away in one direction while they ran in the other. I came home a few times with serious injuries... a board nailed to my foot, my friend Elaine's teeth embedded in my skull, a few gushing cuts, a compound fracture of my leg, ankle and foot. I was lucky enough to live next to our family doctor. "Uncle Ed" could keep a secret - mostly out of concern for my overburdened mother who did not need her only healthy child adding to her problems. I worked off my doctor bills by filing papers and walking his froo froo poodle dog.

My kids had a smaller world. They explored the woods - but the woods adjoined our house. I bought horses, and built a big pool, and swing sets and monkey bars for our back yard, and stocked the house with a steady supply of snacks - and made it clear I wanted my children and their friends to play at OUR house. They did. Our house was the gathering place for dozens of children. They rode their bikes - to the end of our street, or to the school playground just a block away (and I could see them out my bedroom window). When they were in high school I let them ride their bikes all over so long as they called me to let me know where they were, and of course they could go to any school activity that was chaperoned.

My grandkids don't leave their house without an adult present. It's not safe.
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Old 07-09-2012, 01:50 PM   #9
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Quote:
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...after we set it on fire.
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Old 07-09-2012, 02:08 PM   #10
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Pretty much the same kind of childhood as Flourbug. I wouldn't have wanted it any other way. We walked, and walked and walked. We biked and biked and biked. No T.V.. we played and played and played. We used our imaginations, ingenuity and resourcefullness and had scabby knees almost always, Plus in the summer sunburn, when we would peal off the skin in sheets. Healthy in one way,.unhealthy in others. We weren't fat, though we ate a lot, because of all the activity we never gained unhealthy weight. We were healthy kids. We did incredably dangerous things without the least fear. Except we kept our distance from perverts,(no one had to tell us anything, we knew), and there were plenty in those days as well as these days.

What happened?
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Old 07-09-2012, 02:16 PM   #11
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We used our imaginations and had scabby knees almost always, and in the summer sunburn, when we would peal off the skin in sheets.
YES! Scabby knees and elbows were a constant, and it was a real art to peel dead skin off a sunburn in large sheets. When anyone in the neighborhood bought a new refrigerator or television set, we laid claim to the cardboard box. With crayons and a steak knife, it became whatever we wanted it to be... and when it was soft from rain and no longer serviceable as a fort or clubhouse, we rolled around the yard, tumbling one over the other inside of it. We didn't have much in the way of toys... checkers, play doh, silly putty... so my father dug down into the ground and gave us a huge hunk of orange clay. We made hundreds of animals, and clay pots, and carved it into islands and put our little pet turtles in their new home along with grasshoppers, ants, and nice crawly worms from the garden.
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Old 07-09-2012, 02:18 PM   #12
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It looks like weenie waggers infest all generations.

No problem for me but girls cousins would just point at their penis and laugh. It wasn't the reaction they wanted and fled.

They carried bricks in their purses and everyone else got the purse in the testicles and the other wacked them in the head.
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Old 07-09-2012, 03:15 PM   #13
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There always were and always will be perverts. We ignored them.

Gee, remember boxes, big, clubhouse boxes.

And girls didn't always stick with girls. Boys were O.K. in limited doses. Brothers were great. Boyfriends were careful of us, respectful. At least the ones I came into contact with.

Money? what was that? Presents? Who got presents or things.

You were fed, you were clothed, you had a home, you got a certain amount of feeling that you were special. What else did anyone need? I guess we learned self reliance and self respect.

You earned your own spending money. At least I did.

Maybe that is why I always have something that interests me. I learned early that you are responsible for yourself and your own happiness.
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Old 07-09-2012, 05:33 PM   #14
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Oh, I'd forgotten the boxes or rather the ships, airplanes, race cars, etc.

I remember some days I had so much fun that by the time I got out of the tub it was lightly tinged pink from dissolved blood, had a few loose scabs floating & dozens of dead insects that must have come out of my hair.

Skinned knees, scrapes, scratches, black eyes, welts, mud between your toes, black knees & elbows...

THAT is what childhood should be.

Tree forts & rope swings & old bikes, creeks & frogs & biking, swimming, pretending whatever you want to pretend...

We need to get kids back to that kind of imaginative independence.
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Old 07-10-2012, 12:38 AM   #15
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Quote:
We need to get kids back to that kind of imaginative independence.
My kids did when they visited their dad. He was living in the Ozarks with his second wife and her kids. They lived in the woods near the lake and they went to swim quite often. There were trees to climb and critters to chase. New bugs to watch. It was so funny, one weekend DH and I were there, it was a holiday. A friend got really drunk and swallowed a stick bug, of course it came back up after it tried to crawl out on it's own.

We had a big open field behind our house and the boys loved playing out there. It worked great until the guy next to us started to mow it so that his peewee baseball team could practice there.
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Old 07-10-2012, 10:49 AM   #16
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We played even when we we recovering from the flu or some fever. I remember making life boats out of the quilt and pretending I was lost at sea. Of course we also were creative without any playground counselers. Made jewelry out of melted crayons. Drew, painted, wrote endless novels about pirates etc. Stupid stuff. Coloring books, hopscotch, double dutch, kick the can, walking on stilts, roller skating, sledding on Dead Mans hill, swimming, high diving as a show off, ballet school, ice skating, playing statues, walking around on cans, picking berries, eating sour grass and bread and butter leaves. Cheap movies, 12cents. a quarter got you a movie, a triple ice cream cone to eat while walking the miles home.

We woke up eager to go and that is what we did after breakfast until supper, we went out and explored, fished, talked, experimented. We were healthy, inquisitive and pretty feisty. I wish I had as much get up and go, and was as totaly fearless.

I've gotten a bit cautious in my old age, and this body certainly wouldn't take the abuse we gave it as kids.
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Old 07-13-2012, 09:34 AM   #17
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Old 07-19-2012, 04:19 PM   #18
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Default How children lost the right to roam in 4 generations

http://bigthink.com/strange-maps/571...childhoods-end

This is true, in my experience. As a boy, we played ball in the streets after dinner or Hide n Seek in the yards. In the long days of summer, there still were woods to explore. There were trees to climb. We took long bike rides and practiced diving and ogling girls in the community pool a half hour bike ride away.

On weekends, there were camping trips with the boyscouts in some wonderful mountains/forests within 20 miles. Dads, scoutmsters and older scouts watched over us. If there were any perv scoutmasters, I was unaware. School teachers were mostly unglamorous females and (mostly)nerdy guys. None were sexually threatening. It was a Norman Rockwell world; corny, but I cherish it.

Now, younger kids stick around the house. There are too many risks about, ranging from much busier street traffic to murderous pervs who might lurk behind the trusted dress of minister, teacher or scoutmaster. Plus the neighbor looks a bit shifty and we don't know him at all. Finally, the kids themseves are too often seduced by TV, video games, computer games and social media to want to go outside and build a treehouse or a snow fort. Wii becomes the physical activity of choice.

I grow old and querulous.
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Old 03-25-2013, 04:05 PM   #19
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http://www.cnn.com/2013/03/22/living...iref=obnetwork

Whatever happened to 'go outside and play'?
Join the conversation
iReport CNN iReport
By Josh Levs, CNN
updated 12:16 PM EDT, Fri March 22, 2013


Many kids stay busy with an abundance of after-school and weekend activities. Parents act as chauffeur and cheerleader, but is all the frenzy good for the family? Many kids stay busy with an abundance of after-school and weekend activities. Parents act as chauffeur and cheerleader, but is all the frenzy good for the family?
STORY HIGHLIGHTS

After an article about overscheduled children, readers shared their thoughts
Some commenters said childhood should be a time of freedom and character-building
Some say a key childhood right is to play outdoors without hovering parents
Some said play dates can be restrictive and take the imagination out of playtime
Editor's note: CNN's Josh Levs covers top stories and hosts "Dads Do it Differently" on HLN's "Raising America." His latest column was inspired in part by his HOBY World Leadership Congress keynote talk, "Shine."

(CNN) -- "Parental competition" has sent American families into a frenzy of overscheduling activities for their kids. And out of fear, we're depriving them of what childhood should be -- a time of freedom and character-building. Our neighborhoods, once the classic microcosm of a free America, have devolved into little more than supervised "dorms."


Those were the sentiments behind many passionate responses to my column, "Overscheduled kids, anxious parents," about the conundrum facing millions of parents like me: Determining how many, and which, activities in which to enroll our kids. On CNN.com, Facebook, and Twitter, readers responded in droves.

They were largely in agreement. With children penned in by too much structure, lacking the chance and encouragement to "go out and play," make up their own games and use their imaginations, we're hurting them, readers said.

"Most of this movement is fueled by parental competition," said the CNN.com comment with the most "likes," posted under the name "Coco Bear."

"An 8-year-old going to school, taking piano, swimming, quantum physics and ninja training on the weekend is, more than anything, a future psychologist's client," she wrote, adding that when the child's adult life "doesn't turn out to be as grandiose as mom and dad forced him/her to believe," it will be evident that what he or she had really needed as a child were playtime, "friendships and positive examples."

Just about everywhere I've gone since the column published, people have stopped me to say they agree with a clinical psychologist I quoted, who argued that hectic schedules are damaging American families. Many also agree with a trainer who said kids should wait until they're 11 or 12 to join league sports.

Playing pickup games with no parent coaching is how kids develop passion and instincts for sports.
Gary Simmons

In our Facebook discussion, Gary Simmons wrote that organized sports "are good for kids, but not if that's the only time they play. Playing pickup games, with no parent around overcoaching and killing the fun, is how kids develop passion and instincts for sports. It's when they develop their game. The inner-city athlete has changed the way basketball is played today. They grew up playing on their own."

Get over the fear

Many commenters said nervous parents are keeping kids from an important childhood rite -- the chance to play outdoors without the feeling that adults have to watch over them every second to keep them safe.

"I had free reign over a two square block area," CNN commenter Lebowski 113 wrote of his childhood. "As long as I could hear my parents calling from the yard, I was good."

Now, because of threats real or imaged, "people don't let their kids wander around," he laments. "Neighborhoods are just dorms with trees."

Some commenters pushed the "free-range kids" movement.

Have we entered an era of "free-range" lifestyles for chickens but not our own kids?

Lenore Skenazy, who blogs at Free-Range Kids, rails against "out-of-control parents who are so overprotective that they can't let their kids, aged 8 to 6, do things like walk to school, use the microwave or even play in the front yard."

Like millions of parents, I understand both sides.

Growing up, I always knocked on the neighbors' doors or answered mine, and a group of us kids would run around, play and explore. I don't remember ever feeling afraid.

But as a parent to two little boys (the oldest is in kindergarten), I am protective and don't like to let them out of my sight.

Crime statistics don't back up a notion that kids are in tremendous danger of being kidnapped off the street. But as parents, we're more aware of the danger than previous generations were.
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Old 03-25-2013, 04:14 PM   #20
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The stepmother of Grandson #1 won't let him use sharp knives or run the microwave. You'd think he was 5 instead of almost 15.

Contrast that with me at 11, baking cookies in the REAL oven, quite safely.
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Old 03-25-2013, 04:31 PM   #21
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Almost 15 is like, adult.
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Old 03-25-2013, 04:39 PM   #22
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We moved into a pretty rough neighborhood when I was 12 and my mom did not like me roaming for miles but tolerated it somewhat.

After I came home beaten to a pulp a few times for failing to hand over my money or bike to older, less civilized beings she raised hell with my dad to make me stay on our street, etc.

His solution was to buy me a Gerber boot knife and insist I always carry it. It worked but I don't think that would fly these days with the law.
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Old 07-03-2013, 08:33 AM   #23
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We had a gong installed right outside the entry and when Mom desired me house she go the gong. I used in for my two until the elements got to it and it dropped apart.
I hate it when my gong drops apart.
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