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Childhood memories that wouldn't fly today

  1. Alivoo01

    wonderful olive / 19353 posts

    Teachers were allowed to spank kids at school in their classroom for misbehaving. Now days... yea, no. Hello zero tolerance policy!

  2. mediagirl

    hostess / wonderful persimmon / 25556 posts

    @Mrs. Lemon-Lime: yes, totally playful. Like how you would swat someone as they walk by you to say hi.

  3. mediagirl

    hostess / wonderful persimmon / 25556 posts

    @mrsjyw: totally want to get M into lacrosse but....she will have to wear that??? Haha.

  4. Smurfette

    GOLD / wonderful coconut / 33402 posts

    @LuLu Mom: Yes! A pinch to grow an inch!

  5. CakeLady

    pear / 1657 posts

    A group of girls from my 1st grade class had a sleepover at a (female) teacher's house! Our parents won it for us at a school auction.

  6. photojane

    cantaloupe / 6164 posts

    So many things. We played outside alone all day in the summer. In elementary school I walked to my bus stop a couple blocks away and waited alone... it was definitely out of sight. I "drove" to the gas station a few miles away... my dad put me on his lap and let me pretend to steer.

  7. kayakgirl73

    clementine / 750 posts

    Being allowed to stay home by myself afterschool at age nine since I didn't want to go the babysitter anymore. This was in the suburbs of a major East Coast city in the mid 80's. In the mid 80's we moved a rural area and my parents left us home alone all day in the summer at 8 & 10 while they worked. Riding in the super-cab of our Ford pick-up with the back seat folded down and two coat mattresses piled up so we could sleep or play. Down I-95 to boot. Going to the convenience store to buy candy with friends we had to go though a vacant lot and across a busy parking lot. Life was a lot different

  8. Anagram

    eggplant / 11716 posts

    @Mrs. Lemon-Lime: yup, there's an adult chaperone (either parent or teacher) in most rooms. We can't leave students in a room overnight unattended (they could just leave their room which would be terrible), so some chaperones have to be on "night duty" where they spend all night on chairs in the hall, making sure no one is loud or leaves the room.

    The 7th graders also go on a camping trip each year, and it's one teacher to every cabin with kiddos.

  9. sunny

    coconut / 8430 posts

    In grade 1, my tooth was loose and my teacher yanked it out for me when I told her it was bothering me.

    In grade 4, we had 2 weekly "class presidents" and our teacher would take us out to pizza lunch on the Friday when it was our week. I can't imagine riding in a teacher's car and having them take us out now. And we had no booster seats back then!

  10. maddyz

    persimmon / 1270 posts

    I really hope to find a way for my child to have days of running around with other children and a sense of freedom. I think it's really important for children to have time with out adults looking over their shoulders. I spent HUGE amounts of my childhood with out close adult supervision playing outside, in the neighborhood or a friends back woods.

    But I am all for carseats and not sleeping on the floor of the minivan on the overnight drive to my grandparents... although i am sure that made the trip SO much easier for my parents.

  11. ShootingStar

    coconut / 8472 posts

    @kayakgirl73: I started staying home alone after school at 9 also. That's not ok anymore?

    I can remember babysitting at 12. I have no idea why people would leave their small children alone with a 12 year old, lol. I've also done the back of the station wagon with no seatbelts thing. And my parents like to tell the story of how right after I was born they drove 2.5 hours from my grandparents house to their new home with my aunt holding me on her lap the whole way.

  12. kayakgirl73

    clementine / 750 posts

    @ShootingStar: I know in some states I think kids have to be 12 or 13 to be home alone now.

  13. Mrs. Jacks

    blogger / pineapple / 12381 posts

    @ShootingStar: I did a weekend babysitting stint at 13 for 4 children. I made $100 and felt like it was a fortune... But why in the world would anyone think that was ok? Even in the 80's that seems extreme!

  14. Anagram

    eggplant / 11716 posts

    Oh man, I babysat all the time a 12-14! I had a regular babysitting job with a family down the street that had 4 boys and an ungated pool and my only instructions were to keep them out of the pool! They had ways of scattering and all running in different directions!

    I think I was paid like $30 a day, and yes sometimes I had them ALL DAY from 8-4 because their mom was a teacher and I would babysit on teacher inservice days.

    I also distinctly remember babysitting 2 infants (still in diapers, not walking) when I was only 12 while all our parents went to dinner.

    Also, I grew up in the country and traipsed all over with my brother on our bikes--we climbed an oil pump jack once when the ladder was lef down--and we built a tumbleweed fort (true story) with real, gigantic tumbleweeds and leftover bricks and boards that we used to make tunnels through the tumbleweeds.

    And we totally accepted rides from strangers, if we walked a long way from home and someone saw two kids walking in the hot sun--we would jump right in their car!

  15. mrscobee

    clementine / 903 posts

    @TheSwissWifeStyle: Actually, they are pretty well-behaved. It is a pretty diverse, affluent, and safe suburb, so it isn't like these packs of kids running around vandalizing things or anything like that. Most the time they are walking around, riding bikes, or dining at local eateries completely unsupervised, and I would say it is common to see groups of kids as young as 5-7. It is pretty neat!

    I will say there are no major thoroughfares separating most of the neighborhoods in my suburb, so I think parents are less concerned about their children getting hit by cars...

  16. TheSwissWifeStyle

    nectarine / 2600 posts

    @mrscobee: That's great!

  17. Meridian

    pomegranate / 3716 posts

    This post brings makes me so nostalgic! I also baby sat a lot by the age of 12 - 13, which sounds crazy now!

    It's sad to think that our children now will have SUCH different childhoods, with so many more rules and "scary" things to deal with!

  18. PawPrints

    pomegranate / 3658 posts

    All these things everyone has mentioned - I was allowed to be home alone after age 8, I could ride my bike alone around the neighborhood around that age as well, on long car trips (like 8+ hours) my parents would lay the seats down and we would lie in sleeping bags and when we passed a cop my mom would yell "hit the deck!" so we'd lie down flat so the cop couldn't see we were back there without seatbelts.

    There was a law that you had to wear a bike helmet up until age 13, and it was understood in our house that after that point you didn't have to wear it anymore. That one baffles me looking back on it. Why didn't we just keep wearing it if we were already used to it?

    My mom told me that when we were born there really was no such thing as a carseat so they would just stick us in the infant carrier down on the backseat floorboards to drive us anywhere.

    These days I cannot recall the last time I saw a child under 16 more than ten feet away from an adult. Really sad. I hope we can find a way to give our kids independence without someone calling CPS. (I am a fan of helmets and seatbelts though!)

  19. tinyperson

    pomegranate / 3858 posts

    When I was in Kindergarten, we lived in a small town in BC, in the mountains, in a neighbourhood at the top of a pretty steep "hill" right on the edge of the Rocky Mountain forest. It was a 20 minute walk down the hill to my school, and I walked by myself there and back. There were coyotes in the area fairly regularly, and we saw bear tracks in the playground all the time! I did have to come by the road up the hill, but a friend and I used to hike up the side of the hill through the forest instead sometimes. Mom didn't like that!

  20. stiletto_mom

    persimmon / 1183 posts

    My husband's family lived in a shady part of town. But he was allowed to stay out all night. he said he was around 10 when he went to the local McDonalds at 3am with his buddies.

    They also walked around the woods in pitch black to play games. No parents.

  21. Mrs. Cheesecake

    blogger / kiwi / 588 posts

    I also remember the birthday spankings and pinches! We had a massive backyard, none of our neighbors had fences so all the kids played in everyone's yard. There was also a communal swing-set in the middle of all the yards that all the kids would play on. I remember one time playing with the kids and then going to someone's house to eat lunch. Unfortunately, my dad freaked out that he couldn't see me in the yard anymore and got mad that I ran off without telling him. My parents were more the helicopter type.

  22. HLK208

    pineapple / 12234 posts

    My mom would leave me home alone around 3-4 years old while she took my sisters to school! I have no idea why it would be extra work to put me in the car? It's not like she had to buckle me in s car seat haha

  23. Twolittlemen

    cherry / 109 posts

    I know this is old, but I had so much fun, re-reading it:
    Also @HLK208: this is pretty much my 5.5 year olds dream.

  24. T.H.O.U.

    wonderful clementine / 24134 posts

    This really is a great thread!

    I agree with babysitting. At like age 13 I babysat for 2 kids down the street from us (my parents were home) but they were out until past midnight. I remember my mom was kinda upset about that.

    There was only a few years I had with sleeping on the floor in our van on road trips. After that we had to at least be in a seat but I'm sure our belts weren't on properly.

  25. Greentea

    pomelo / 5678 posts

    Dad drove a vintage sports car with no backseat and no seat belts and the 3 of us kids would PILE in, 2 on the seat and one on the center console!

    I also had a teacher bully me in 2nd grade. I like to think that couldn't happen anymore...

  26. Twolittlemen

    cherry / 109 posts

    Definitely running around the entire neighborhood with friends. We moved when I was 7 into a huge neighborhood with a ton of kids my age within 2 blocks and we'd totally roam the neighborhood. Part of it was a huge ditch system with underground culverts we liked to play in, part of it backed up to a farm where we'd go watch the horses (without anyone's permission) and we also liked to go to where it met the main road and climb all over the decorative stone entrance fence with the neighborhood name on it. We'd eat at other peoples houses too- mostly the neighbor who had 4 kids because she always had the most food.

  27. hocuspocus

    apricot / 373 posts

    Riding around in back of my gpas pick up truck.

  28. Alba4

    nectarine / 2951 posts

    I had a regular babysitting gig for an 8 month old when I was in 6th grade!

    I'm pretty sure I walked to school when the weather was nice with neighborhood kids sans parents by first grade.

    I have distinct memories of walking alone or riding my bike alone to my friend's house...maybe by 2nd grade?!

    Summer's were especially nostalgic. In late elementary years in a beach community, the kids would runaround all day riding bikes, going to the beach (lifeguards were present) , eating ice cream and candy from the ice cream man. We had so much freedom (and no bike helmets).


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