1950's vs. 2000's Growing Up

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Running Arrow Bill

Well-known member
Dec 24, 2003
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Texas Panhandle On US 83
Had a rare inspiration today...lol.

In preparation for the below, all of us that grew up in the 1940's, 1950's as kids and teenagers were raised very different than the kids of the 1980 to 2000's. Strange as it seems, many of these "early" kids are still alive today...surprise, surprise!

The 1940's and 1950's:

  • We played outdoors, doing about anything we would think of.
    We sometimes fell out of trees, bumped into things, crashed our bicycle, etc. We moved on...
    There were few parent organized "sports", soccer moms, etc. Sports were for fun at school & exercise.
    We shot BB guns, "rubber guns", bows & arrows, had rock fights, etc. No one got killed.
    We didn't have seat belts, kids "car seats", or bumper to bumper freeway traffic at 80 mph.
    We had drag races (in cars, that is).
    We smoked cigarettes, cigars, grapevine, cedar bark, and occasionally (bermuda) grass.
    We stepped on nails, sewing needles, glass, etc., while going barefoot in yard.
    We learned how to use hand tools and build things.
    We had imagination, creativity, and knew how to occupy ourselves.
    We rarely had TV, and no Ipods, cell phones, gps, blackberries, and other stuff...we survived.
    We rode in pickup beds, on car and truck "running boards".
    We flagged rows in field for crop dusters.
    We washed our greasy hands in gasoline, kerosene, or paint thinner.
    We didn't have "DEET" for insects: we wrapped a cloth saturated in kerosene around our ankles.
    Insect stings were treated with "Black Leaf 40" (basically Nicotine Sulfate, a poison).
    We burned wasp nests in trees using a gunny sack wrapped around a pole dipped in kerosene and lit it.
    We spun out on gravel roads while taking a corner too fast.
    We got a paddling at school for misbehaving and another one when we got home.
    We drank water out of the creek and didn't get sick.
    We used lead based paint and didn't get brain damage (at least most didn't...lol).
    We went snipe hunting.
    We played outdoors hard and broke bones, got cuts, scrapes, and survived.
    We played with mercury in Chemistry class and shined coins.
    Most kids were fit and trim, lean and mean.

For some strange reason, many of us are still alive today and in fairly good health for living 60, 70, or 80 years.

The 1980 to 2000's:

  • Have overprotective parents.
    Parent organized sports (parents getting vicarious endorphin highs).
    Spend hours on TV, video games, computers,at Mall, etc.
    Spend hours on cell phones and texting.
    Drink purified bottled water.
    Over indulgence with microwave meals and fast foods.
    Large percentage of obese kids.
    Increased incidence of allergies, and other health problems.
    Very few practical, self survival skills. A "Hoe" or "Shovel" or "Hammer"...What's that?
    Must wear helmets when on bicycle, roller skating, playing in yard, etc.
    Limited exposure to "Dirty" environmental things: don't build up adequent immunities.
    Smoke free, smell free, sanitized air.
    "Soccer Moms" sanitizing the house with wipes, sanitizers, Lysol, etc.
    The list goes on and on...

Makes one wonder if these over-programmed X and Y generation kids will have enough environmental experiences and resistance to live to be in their 60 , 70, and 80's"

God bless the "normal kids and parents" that let their kids live a "normal" life...especially those of us that live the country life... :clap:
And was there such a thing as a Muffin Top back then? Just learned what that was. :help:
Hey you forgot my generation, 60's and 70's... almost the same and the 50's... kind of :???: :D
nitpick - 1980 - 2000 doesn't include Gen X
I should know, me and my siblings were born within five years and straddle X and Y.

Seatbelt laws started being enforced when I was a kid.
As an 18 year old I drank out of mountain streams - didn't take water on hikes. Now I carry bottled water and purification tabs for any stolen from mountain streams.
The fact is that 15 or 20 years ago those streams were safe. They've been contaminated since then, probably by my generation.

I guess for those of us born in the 70s the way things were updated too fast to keep track of.
I was born in 1972 and I can honestly say there was nothing different about my upbringing from those you describe in the 1950's. It is my child's generation that is truly awash in what you describe. We no longer allow them to get into mischief. That is often where they find their true character. We watch them too close, and then wonder why they don't grow up! You are correct on everything but the years. Children born after 1983 are FAR different than those before. That was when Tylenol scares and molestation charges became front page news. Every parent became scared of their neighbor. Right or wrong, it changed us all.
By the way, I'm not saying that Tylenol scares and child molestation are not serious. I'm just saying we got too scared as a nation. Could not look at it for what it was, and is. Problems just as traumatic have happened for generations. We are just more aware of it now, and have let it scare us into over-protectionist attitudes. Instead of educating our children we legislate childhood to a death sentence. As a whole they seem far less better off.

I don't know what the answer is, but the way we are going about things isn't it. Kids need to make mistakes, bet big, lose big, win big! That is the way they learn!!! We have limited them too much!

I challenge every parent reading this thread to let their children LIVE and trust in the lessons they teach them!
I was born in 1963, so I qualify as an old fart now. I did all those things listed above, including playing with my own coffee can of black cats and a lit punk when I was five. Maybe younger. I can't remember a time when I didn't set off my own fire crackers. I still have all my fingers and most of my hearing. I straddle the Baby Boomer/Gen X thing. I am a Boomer in that my father was a WWII veteran. I associate most with that generation. Never was much of a gen X'er.
I was born in 1951. My schools and neighborhood were 100% white. My autistic son just graduated from a high school that includes about every race creed and religion. In 1951 my son would have been forced into a hospital/warehouse. Again, I guess it depends on who you were back then. I doubt anyone (African American) that had police dogs attack them for peacefully marching would say things were better. Back then police were next door neighbors. Now they won't assist and wait for the ambulance to arrive. Yet we private citizens are the first to respond, even through blood to help an officer that has been injured. Back then, we had part time politicians. Now they are all full time fundraisers with little time to properly address what is going on in this country. I doubt any of us will recognize this country after another 60 years.
There have been some good things to happen since I was a kid. I'm not saying it was all roses back then. Think of the people you know who would have been dead back then from conditions that are treated successfully now. Gimpy, you are right. Back when we were kids, your doctor would have encouraged you to place your son in an institution and not return. I had a client with Down's that was placed when she was four months old. Can you imagine that??? But it was acceptable then.

I guess what I'm saying is that I wish we could keep the good parts and chuck the bad parts.
Smoking grapevine sure gives you a headache. Had not thought of that in years. Never wore shoes except to church and school. Steping on nails or glass was common. No wonder I am so messed up.
kenny thomas":fpytxkvd said:
Smoking grapevine sure gives you a headache. Had not thought of that in years. Never wore shoes except to church and school. Steping on nails or glass was common. No wonder I am so messed up.

When I was a kid we took off shoes after school got out and rarely put them back on until school started again. I wore shoes to church, social events and doctor appointments. I am pretty sure I went to the grocery store with Mom barefooted a number of time. So did all my friends. We'd run from one shady spot in the road to the other, ouch ouch ouch! My feet were probably leather. :shock: I worried way more about grass burrs and goat heads than glass. We did dangerous stuff that I would never let my kids do. I wonder how I survived.

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