20 Signs Childhood As We Knew It Is Gone For Good

LOL 119

boy and girlThe older my kid gets, the more I realize her childhood will never be like mine. It doesn't matter that I'm raising her a mere 16 miles from my childhood home. It doesn't matter that I have pretty much the same values as my parents before me. There are some things that are just never coming back

And when it comes to the mullet, that's a good thing (seriously, Mom, that third grade picture ... really?). But it's no wonder parents today are neurotic .. life is so different. Just take a look:

Childhood Then: Mom taught you to avoid that empty house down the street.

Childhood Now: We teach them to avoid high fructose corn syrup.

Then: When you complained about your food, your mom told you about the starving kids in Ethiopia.

Now: If they really think they have it rough, they could try living under Joseph Kony. 

Then: Ernie & Bert were our favorite babysitters.

Now: The only babysitter we trust speaks three languages and has a PhD in child development.

More from The Stir: 8 Childhood Horrors Our Kids Don't Have to Face

Then: Mom worried we'd get in trouble for trading Garbage Pail Kids cards on the playground.

Now: Our kids would get suspended if they brought a peanut butter sandwich into the cafeteria.

Then: You couldn't wait until your pictures came back from the developer and Mom picked them up.

Now: They wish we'd stop sharing every single thing they do on Facebook.

Then: We came back inside from playing when the street lights came on.

Now: What do you mean "go outside?"

Then: The lucky kids got Wonder Bread with Goober.

Now: The lucky kids don't have to eat kale chips.

Then: Casey Kasem provided the soundtrack for the lives of everyone in the family. 

Now: Radio? We only let them listen to Kidz Bop.

Then: Mom magically paid for toys by writing out a check at the department store.

Now: BPA-free, wooden toys magically appear on the front porch after we order them online.

Then: Movies were a Saturday afternoon day out at the theater, paired with popcorn that was absolutely soaking in butter.

Now: Movies are popped in the DVD player, Pirates Booty is poured into a bowl and plopped in front of them, and we vamoose out of the room as fast as we can.

Then: Itchy bug bites were coated in Calamine lotion, and we were sent back out the door.

Now: We take their clothes off and send them straight into an organic oatmeal bath.

More from The Stir: 10 Childhood Joys, Rediscovered

Then: Friday meant family game night with pizza.

Now: Friday means dad's on the Xbox, mom's on Facebook, and the kids are playing Angry Birds on their iPads.

Then: You fought with your brother over who had shotgun.

Now: They won't be riding in the front seat until they're in college!

Then: You had to wait until Mom had time to take you to the library to do research for your school project.

Now: They can look up whatever thy need on their laptops.

Then: Visiting with Grandma and Grandpa meant making cookies and staying up late for snuggles on the couch.

Now: We set them up on Skype so they can talk to our parents.

Then: Three words: raw cookie dough.

Now: You just found a recipe on Pinterest for carob brownies made with free-range eggs and zucchini hidden inside that looks fabulous.

Then: Kool-Aid stained our teeth.

Now: Organic Honest Tea is a rare treat. Otherwise it's a stainless steel bottle full of water.

Then: You brown-bagged your lunch to school. 

Now: They have a monogrammed, insulated bag made from sustainable fabrics.

Then: You had to sell candy door-to-door for the PTA.

Now: You take an order form to work because the school has forbidden the kids from actually selling to a real, live person in case they're pedophiles.

Then: There wasn't enough room in the car for all your friends, but the squished in anyway.

Now: Your only child can move their booster seat to any of a variety of seats in the minivan.

What is the biggest difference between the childhood your kid is having and yours?


Image by Jeanne Sager


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nonmember avatar blh

Most people I know aren't this upright and neither am I.

Venae Venae

All your friends lived in your neighborhood and went to the same school.  And every one of their mothers would give you a smack when they saw you doing wrong.

nonmember avatar Cameron

I absolutely love this article! I was lucky enough to live through these times as a child and the value it has taught me is worth its weight in gold. Thank you so much for writing this!

Hocke... HockeyMomNJ

Lol venae - how true! Id say its the freedom. When we were kids we took off on our bikes and had to be home by dark. Now there are 10 year olds with cell phones so they can check in every ten minutes. With how things are now, we can't just let our kids go off somewhere. Its a shame, but it is what it is

xanth... xanthian41691

Then: You and your sibling would fight over the front seat until you both decided to sit there together

Now: Children sit in the back seat until they're at least 12


Terrific post. I think what saddens me the most about childhood now is the lack of "real" playing. Nothing organized but just going outside and playing for the afternoon with no electronics.

WowIl... WowIllbeamom11

I think it's disgusting how uptight everything is now! we plan on teaching our daughter martial arts and letting her eat real sugar and real chocolate, and she might even sit in the front seat before she is 12!

nonmember avatar Anon

The kids in our neighborhood never play outside, except occasionally with their own parents. Also, it is impossible for my kids to walk to school, bacause the schools are all too far away (the PS we're zoned for is 3 miles). Same with the library, corner store, and almost everything else. When I was a kid, I walked everywhere all the time. I didn't need to get my parents involved in my business. Also, homework was a 3rd-grade rite of passage, and we did it all ourselves. My kids got homework at age 3, and the teacher expected me to sit and do it with them. Amazingly, kids are not any smarter nowadays . . ..

the4m... the4mutts

Only the "freedom" has canged. The "now" stuff, doesn't apply to my kids. I loved my "then" childhood, and make sure my kids get the good parts as well.

yayhe... yayheadstart

i guess i am living in the past cause we do most of the old school stuff and the new school stuff, well, most of it makes me wanna vomit.

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