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America today vs. 1950 — what we are missing

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Posted By: ladydawgfan, 10/12/2022 1:28:02 AM

We assume that — with computers, cell phones, and social media — our kids enjoy advantages that previous generations lacked. Sadly, American kids growing up today are missing developmental opportunities that used to be taken for granted. Quality of life as experienced by Americans in 2022 has deteriorated. It is a sad commentary on the state of our civilization. According to, children today spend an average of merely 30 minutes per week engaged in free play outdoors. Their parents won’t let them out alone. “Unstructured time outdoors is becoming a thing of the past. There was a time — and it wasn’t that long ago —


I can relate to a lot of this article, even growing up in the 70's. I grew up in a neighborhood where all of the moms knew all of the kids and were allowed to discipline us if we stepped wrong. Then they would call your mom and you got it again when you got home for causing trouble. We rode our bikes EVERYWHERE, played in the deep grass of the field behind our house, sold Girl Scout cookies door to door (and collected the money on delivery of cookies) and trick or treated after dark all over our neighborhood until people turned off their porch lights. What a sad upbringing kids these days have.

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Reply 1 - Posted by: FL_Absentee_Voter 10/12/2022 1:40:12 AM (No. 1302084)
Growing up in the late-sixties/early-seventies, I could never imagine what it must have been like growing up in the fifties - with no TV. Now, kids ask me what it was like growing up with no internet - and I've come to realize how lucky those kids were back in the fifties. Yet even with TV, like OP, I played outdoors a LOT. Mom's parting words every summer morning: "Supper's at 5; be home by then."
31 people like this.

Reply 2 - Posted by: Timber Queen 10/12/2022 3:20:25 AM (No. 1302114)
I was born in '54, so most of my growing up years were in the 1960's - in L.A.'s newest suburb's in the growing San Fernando Valley. Our neighborhood had been a walnut grove and each lot had a tree in the front and back yards. Other neighborhoods had lemons or oranges; plus the peaches, pears and plums our parents planted - we were always picking fresh fruit to eat. We made up our own role-playing games. We played hide-and-seek with 40 kids. (We had to make a rule you couldn't go inside and watch TV.) We also Trick-or-Treated unsupervised for hours, filling up pillow cases with "the loot". The bonus of going to Catholic school was having All Saints Day off to eat candy all day! At the end of our street there was still a farmer's field where he grew winter onions and it laid fallow every summer. It was a great place to play Cowboys and Indians, have WWII battles, and one year the "big boys" dug a cave. In the mid '60s the City made it a park. It wasn't as much fun after that. We rode our bikes all over. When the older guys were in their early teens they rode their ten-speeds towing surfboards all the way to the beach; over Mullholland Drive then through the Santa Susanna mountains via Malibu Canyon Road. My dad was a cop and he always worked the graveyard shift; he liked his days to golf and play in the sun. When he woke up from his morning sleep he would raise a flag on a pole he had on our chimney. All the kids would watch for it, and when the flag was up it meant "free swim" at our house. Everyone would race home to get in their suits. While all the kids were swimming my dad and the moms would enjoy iced teas sitting at the umbrella table. We had freedom. We learned how to settle disputes among ourselves. Yet, we had adults near us if trouble came our way. Like OP, if you needed a band aid, you just went to the nearest mom; and consequently if you messed up the nearest mom also reprimanded you and notified your mom. In hindsight we can see it was all stolen from us on purpose. Our society was not allowed to have women's roles grow and change in a natural way. The great lie of the "woman's movement" was the dismissal of the important role of motherhood and homemaker; and the mistaken idea that a woman could have it all simultaneously instead of sequentially has wrought untold pain and damage to three generations and many more to come. What we are missing is so much; including the 60 million plus lives lost to abortion.
52 people like this.

Reply 3 - Posted by: sunshinehorses 10/12/2022 6:47:56 AM (No. 1302175)
I was born in 1950 and I remember getting a TV for the first time. From the age of about 9 or 10, I don't think my mom even knew where I was during the day. My world ranged from the housing development we lived in to the farm fields with a creek a few blocks away to the city parks. What I don't miss from that era was being a female and being told that I couldn't take shop because it was for boys - even though I was helping some of the boys build their hot rods and could tell what was wrong with an engine by listening to it. I couldn't take drafting class because it was for boys even though I wanted to go to college for engineering and needed it. We tried to give our oldest grandsons some of that freedom as they grew up. We lived on a farm next to a very small town and during the summers the boys would stay with us for a few weeks or more, They were allowed to explore our 120 acres and the mile square town we lived next to. Everyone in town knew the boys belonged to us, so we weren't worried if they went to town.
20 people like this.

Reply 4 - Posted by: Red Jeep 10/12/2022 7:25:51 AM (No. 1302204)
My mother was a teenager in the 40's. She and her sister on occasion would walk 5 miles to the nearest town and board a train to go to another city to visit their grandmother. A few days later they would return. All the time they were away my mother's parents had no idea if she and her sister were OK until their return (no phone), but all assumed the trip would be safe. Imagine doing that today.
17 people like this.

Reply 5 - Posted by: Strike3 10/12/2022 7:31:52 AM (No. 1302207)
What is missing in today's children is imagination. If it's not on some screen then it isn't real. Imagination is what brought this country from single shot muskets to moon shots in a very short time. We will pay for this missing part of thinking ability in the next generation. The beginnings of that blank spot are visible now in the absence of knowledge, rampant drug use and the frequency of crime in young people all around us.
20 people like this.

Reply 6 - Posted by: WhamDBambam 10/12/2022 7:40:43 AM (No. 1302211)
Another thing missing, regular interpersonal contact. In these modern iPhone times, people are becoming increasingly isolated from personal contact with their fellow men. Life appears a bit different when you never have to look anyone in the eye.
19 people like this.

Reply 7 - Posted by: Clinger 10/12/2022 8:04:10 AM (No. 1302236)
I was a free range kid born in the mid 50's and raised on the edge of sprawling suburbia where a few steps got us in the woods and where a few less steps got us to construction sites to play in. A wooded swampy area adjacent to our house was in the process of becoming a park with a lot of land fill providing an endless supply of ammunition for our dirt clog fights. They were brutal bloody and fun as hell. On a more serious note than simple nostalgia, it is far easier to convince people who were coddled by their parents, never learning to take control of their own existence to transition and surrender to government control living in perpetual childhood. If you were never independent, losing your independence and liberty to government is no big deal. Actually taking control of your life becomes a frightening proposition. We have prepared at least two generations to be comfortable socialist sheep afraid of ever wandering away from the watchful eye of the shepherd.
17 people like this.

Reply 8 - Posted by: Daisymay 10/12/2022 8:11:29 AM (No. 1302244)
I was born in 1941, so yes, I was raised in the 50's! It certainly was a different time than now! Being a Girl, I didn't have as much freedom as Boys did. But, in the summer my friends and I would ride our Bikes to the Tennis Courts and play, or we would go to each other's House to do Crafts or Read Movie Magazines about Tab Hunter and Rock Hudson! We didn't have a TV at my house until I was 10 and we only watched it when in the evening when Ozzie and Harriet or some other Clean Entertainment came on. As a Teen we were glued to Bandstand! None of us had access to a Car when we turned 16, but we took Drivers Ed at School anyway and got our License in hope we would be allowed to drive the Family car at some point. At 14 we were allowed to take the Bus to Downtown to shop for clothes, eat at the Five and Dime Store or go to a Movie. I guess I let a sheltered life compared to some of the Above Posters! But it was a wonderful time to grow up. I wish my Grands and Great-Grands could experience some of those things, but their interests are more on their Cell Phones!!
23 people like this.

Reply 9 - Posted by: chumley 10/12/2022 8:22:09 AM (No. 1302251)
When I grew up I had similar experiences to other posters, but by the 1980's and 90's when my kids were growing up, we couldn't let them out unsupervised. The racial bullies and perverts were getting more accepted and bold, and it was taking a big chance to leave them alone. For an afternoon of freedom you could get back a dead kid. Its not worth the risk. Now the weirdos are not just accepted, they are celebrated. My grandkids dont go beyond the yard unsupervised either. Its not right and its not fair, but it is real.
15 people like this.

Reply 10 - Posted by: RayLRiv 10/12/2022 8:33:23 AM (No. 1302263)
Oh, there was TV in the 1950s - it's just that you only had three channels and the only thing you could watch were Westerns and wrestling. You'd go to the movies if you wanted variety (newsreels, cartoon or two, coming attraction clips before the main feature...)
12 people like this.

Reply 11 - Posted by: Gina 10/12/2022 8:43:05 AM (No. 1302275)
I was born in 1956. Along with no TV, a lot of rural people had no indoor plumbing. I remember pumping water from the pump, used a ladle to get drinking water from the water bucket as you walked in through the mud room entrance and entered the kitchen all hot and sweaty from being outside. No air conditioning -- and I believe that people could take the heat better than because they were used to heat. The dogs followed you everywhere and it was just natural for kids to sleep down by the creek at night if they wanted.
12 people like this.

Reply 12 - Posted by: Lazyman 10/12/2022 8:49:04 AM (No. 1302284)
I'm a 1950 born free ranger, grew up in Newark. We had to be home when the street lights went on but that didn't mean party over. Once you checked in the stoop ball game started under the lights with the kids from the block. Everyone had a Spalding rubber ball that they carried for any occasion. No fat kids and we learned social skills. Everyone ate peanut butter sandwiches without going into shock and every kid was known in the hood so mischief was out of the question. We climbed everyones trees and used any back yard we wanted. There was of course some miserable people who would knock on their windows to chase us off but we learned to avoid them. The Yankees won ever year too.
13 people like this.

Reply 13 - Posted by: Samsquanch 10/12/2022 9:34:09 AM (No. 1302357)
The anti-God evil Dims were unleashed on us full bore after I was grown, thankfully I got most of the freedom of youth then.
7 people like this.

Reply 14 - Posted by: F15 Gork 10/12/2022 9:38:49 AM (No. 1302364)
Growing up in the 50’s a rainy day was looked upon as the worst thing that could possibly happen to us. Not being able to go outside was the kiss off death.
14 people like this.

Reply 15 - Posted by: Hardright 10/12/2022 9:40:07 AM (No. 1302367)
Grew up in the 50'a in Santa Clara county which is now Silicon Valley. Orchards and ranches everywhere. We lived right next to a walnut orchard..We;d go into the orchard and built forts. Played outdoors and rode bikes all the time. No TV. We would go up to San Francisco, The City, to visit my aunt, uncle and cousin We played in the street even when it was dark and it was safe. When they came to visit us they were going to the country. It breaks my heart to see what's happened to this country.
12 people like this.

Reply 16 - Posted by: red1066 10/12/2022 9:48:50 AM (No. 1302379)
My childhood consisted of eating breakfast before 8am, going outside to run around in the woods with friends until lunch, eating lunch, then back into the woods until dinner. Then when it got dark, it was back outside with friends using flashlights playing hide and seek or catching lightning bugs, or just walking around looking at the stars, then going inside to go to bed. Next day it was do it all over again. Now, the woods and the huge field we ran around in are gone. Replaced by a big housing development. Riding past my old house now just brings tears to my eyes. Here's something you don't hear very often. I had a perfect childhood.
16 people like this.

Reply 17 - Posted by: MDConservative 10/12/2022 10:38:05 AM (No. 1302462)
Like others above, I am a child of the 50s. And all this begs the question, why did our "free range" generation put the clamps on our children, who put further clamps on theirs - assuming they had children. We used to ask who put the ram In the rama lama ding, now we how did we allow society to become so fearful of damn near everything? We passed laws, petty laws to create a bubble wrapped life...from seat belts to bike helmets to baby seats. We've lowered the BAC for presumed drunk driving to the level you can't read a beer ad without exceeding it. And now we're nearing the day EVERYONE will need to take a breathalyzer before the car will start. And we haven't even gotten to COVIDS mania. Smart phones and iPads are staples for every kid, who sees bullying in any unkind encounter with another human being. We teach kids that someone else will solve their social problems if they just report it to an adult. We put cops in schools and don't lock the doors. We bestow 18-year olds with adulthood, and fret when these "children" are allowed to do adult things, like vote, drink, smoke and buy guns - so we ban those, or try to, until another level of adulthood at age 21. Some folks need to look in a mirror if they're looking for how this happened.
8 people like this.

Reply 18 - Posted by: bigfatslob 10/12/2022 10:46:45 AM (No. 1302467)
I grew up in the 1950s our entire neighborhood boys and girls alike played in the 'big woods' at the end of our dead-end street. We had cabins, tree houses and made makeshift boats to go in a pond on one side of the woods. When we weren't in the woods, we would make baseball teams boys and girls recruiting more kids from across the tracks (blacks) played too. We were like the Little Rascals. My son and his sons (my grandsons) are doing the same today camping and boating working on cars they keep me excited to watch them.
10 people like this.

Reply 19 - Posted by: DVC 10/12/2022 11:02:10 AM (No. 1302487)
Every single summer day was spent by me either reading books, or out playing with friends. I was pretty bookish, and often friends would come over and have to wait a bit while I finished a chapter, so, in retrospect, I guess I was the slug of the group. But once I got rolling, we rode our bikes miles and climbed trees, built forts, explored the edges of the Chesapeake Bay, dodged the occasional copperhead, learned to make slings (like David) and just ran free. "Home before dark" was the only rule.
14 people like this.

Reply 20 - Posted by: Proud Texan 10/12/2022 2:02:54 PM (No. 1302670)
Before I as five years old, I had the privilege of helping scoop manure out of hog pen, go into pasture and bring sheep to pen at night, help work cows, pick up eggs and help wash eggs from chickens every day (only a couple of thousand head), and at five I started driving pickup when hauling hay so Mom and Dad could load and stack without getting in and out. We got to chop sunflowers and other weeds in crops, scoop grain at harvest and when grinding feed for livestock. I got a BB gun for Christmas at six and a .22 rifle at 11 years old. Like others here, I remember the Black and white TV, the water cooler my parents go when I was about six or seven. I hadn't thought about it, but I guess all the above would be child abuse now, it was just life for us. I wouldn't trade it for the world. It may not be much, but it was a lot more fun than school the rest of the time.
12 people like this.

Reply 21 - Posted by: Kumoan 10/13/2022 1:01:05 PM (No. 1303524)
the electric chair for treason?
2 people like this.

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Posted by Imright 10/14/2022 1:54:48 AM Post Reply
A former federal prosecutor told Fox News host Mike Emanuel that the Biden family faces serious legal jeopardy from Hunter Biden’s alleged business dealings. “[President Joe Biden] should be worried, I think, obviously should be worried about his son who has had a very troubled past, but in terms of the investigation, I think the talk that we are hearing now about the possibility of a disposition of the case with tax charges and maybe the full statement that you refer to, could be a choreographed event, what is swept under the rug is the thing that is of consequence to the country, which is the fact that foreign regimes…
Gisele Fetterman Wants to Know Why Journalist
Dasha Burns Isn’t Facing ‘Consequences’
for Interview With Husband John Fetterman
21 replies
Posted by NorthernDog 10/14/2022 6:54:04 PM Post Reply
On her podcast, Fast Politics, author and journalist Molly Jong-Fast asked Gisele Barreto Fetterman, wife of Democratic Pennsylvania Senate candidate, John Fetterman, about an interview of her husband that resulted in controversy and accusations of ableism this week. Mrs. Fetterman expressed outrage that the reporter has not faced any “consequences” for it. (Snip) Fetterman made it clear she felt there should have been punishment and shared her consternation that there hasn’t been. “I don’t know how there were not consequences, right?” she said. “I mean, there are consequences for folks in these positions who are any of the -isms. I
Quelle surprise: Biden renews COVID "emergency"
for another 90 days
20 replies
Posted by Dreadnought 10/14/2022 12:17:08 AM Post Reply
Never let a crisis go to waste, Rahm Emanuel once advised. Add to that this new axiom: Never let your emergency powers expire. As incompetent as Joe Biden might otherwise be, he’s proven adept at following both. Again: The Biden administration extended the Covid-19 pandemic’s status as a public health emergency for another 90 days, preserving measures such as expanded Medicaid and higher payments to hospitals. The decision follows comments President Biden made in September describing the pandemic as over. Some Republican lawmakers said afterward that the administration should wind down its pandemic response and the emergency designation.
PayPal apologizes for policy notice saying
users could face $2,500 fines for misinformation
19 replies
Posted by klezmer 10/14/2022 7:24:34 PM Post Reply
Payment service PayPal apologized for publishing a policy change that would subject users to $2,500 for “misinformation.” The company said it had published an acceptable use policy, or AUP, in error, and that “PayPal is not fining people for misinformation and the language was never intended to be inserted into our policy.” PayPal PYPL , which also owns the Venmo payment service, did not respond to other questions from MarketWatch.
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