No one can deny that the world is very different now than it was even 20 years ago, and the further back you go, the bigger the differences in parenting are. However, there’s something awesome to be said for an old-fashioned childhood. I know I was lucky enough to grow up in the country with an old-fashioned family and those values and memories have stuck with me my whole life.
Here are 10 signs that you, or perhaps your children, had an old-fashioned childhood:
1. You drank water straight out of the hose
The most delicious water comes from a hose, and no one stopped to worry about the water quality or what the hose was made out of. Also, if you happened to be the first to the hose, you sometimes had the added bonus of being able to spray all those who approached until someone thought to kink the hose and stop the water flow.
2. You rode a bike without a helmet
You didn’t need a helmet or knee and elbow pads (although they probably would have helped save you from some scrapes) and no one thought it was weird. You probably also went out on your own on your bike without worry about anything bad happening.
3. You knew all the neighbors by name
Assuming you had neighbors, you knew many of them by name, if not personally. You may have helped them out on occasion or, at the least, exchanged words frequently. There was a sense of community throughout the area, and you were probably even been friends with those living nearby.
4. You said “please” and “thank you” automatically
When you ask for something, it always came with a ‘please’ and was rewarded immediately with a ‘thank you.’ This wasn’t because you were being polite–it was just how you were taught to talk. In fact, you didn’t even really think much about it unless someone commented on it. That’s just how people talk.
5. You played outside without supervision
No one thought it was strange or dangerous for you and your friends or siblings to go play outside in the front or back yard (or even in the fields if you lived in the country) without any kind of adult supervision. And if you fell while playing, you simply got back up again and kept going.
6. You made forts
Inside or outside, you spent much time designing the perfect kids-only hideaway. It might have just been household items like sheets or tarps taped to chairs or fans, or perhaps it was an actual fort outside or in a tree. Either way, you spent an inordinate amount of time in said fort where you were king.
7. Dining out was a treat
Going out to to a restaurant or even someplace like a mall was a privilege and something that only happened for special occasions. And if you got to pick, it was an even bigger deal. Oh, and when you were out, you were on your absolute best behavior.
8. You didn’t dream of talking back to your parents
The thought didn’t even cross your mind that you could be rude or disrespectful to your parents, and if you were, then they certainly made sure that it didn’t happen again. In short, your parents were parents and not friends.
9. You caught bugs and other critters
In addition to hunting for bugs and catching them, you probably also caught frogs, Crayfish (or crawdads, depending on where you’re from), turtles, or any other small critter that you could manage. No one thought this was dangerous, and dirt was just sort of a part of life. It washed off, so no one minded.
10. You went to bed early and got up early
Whether it was because you grew up in the country and had to get up early for school or simply that your parents paid more attention than some parents do today, you went to bed much earlier than kids do now, and you got up either before or with the sun every morning. There was no staying up super late on a computer or console; if you were up late, there was probably someone over or a book to read.
So, did you have an old-fashioned childhood? How many of these things have you done? How about your kids? Leave me a note below!
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