The Loss of Childhood
The Baby Boomers
You were born just after World War II. You were fed 'formula' and toilet training began at three months.
There were rules; bed time, meal time, bath time....a lot of rules.
When a child was three s/he was to sit at the table and eat with the family. Eat with a spoon or a fork, and behave.
Discipline was manual. There was often 'the look' then the 'no' or 'stop' or 'don't' which was followed by a smack.
Children knew how to behave, and the penalties for misbehaviour. There was an on spot Mommy and a WorkaDaddy who ruled.
By the age of Five a child went to Kindergarten. A child knew how to behave. How to listen, the penalties for misbehaviour; (which was Calling Your Parents and would result in a premeditated spanking).
As the five year old was given a certain level of respect, they could go out to play when they came home from school. This was not supervised. This was not contained.
Kids learned how to play various games, run, climb, ride bikes, swim, do all sorts of things which would get them dirty, sometimes scraped.
Every house had lots of bandaids and all sorts of disinfectants. For being a child meant cuts, scraps, bruises, even broken bones.
This was childhood.
Fitting School into Play
Before Kindergarten, the child had a schedule. This was waking up or being woken up for breakfast. It was play until lunch.
If it was a nice day, it was outside. If it wasn't, it was inside with toys and clay and paints, and colouring books.
Mommy would do the housework then take you shopping with her, if she was going, maybe a baby sitter would come to play with you.
After Kindergarten you often knew how to take yourself to and from school, unless your mother or someone collected you.
And then, outside, playing.
As you moved up in age, there was the coming home from school, the removal of the school clothes, putting on the play clothes then outside until called.
Then, inside for dinner, and then, if the sun was out, you could return to play.
After your bath was your homework and this usually ended before television viewing which depending on your age, ended at eight or nine p.m.
Weekends were pure play, unless your parents sent you to some lessons, whether dance or sports, or took you on excursions.
Summer vacation was all play, from breakfast, until called for lunch, then until dinner, then after.
It was outside, it was unsupervised, and it is here you developed a certain sense of yourself. A sense of right and wrong, wise and stupid, risks worth taking, risks not worth taking, so that judgment was inspired.
Just like teaching a child that s/he can control their bowel movements, can control their bodies and behaviour, this free play forced a child to develop a nascent independence.
School was important, and often parents demanded homework be done before play, or play be limited.
Children were given more and more responsibility, so that sending a ten year old to the shop to buy something was not strange. The child knew how to cross a street, how to act in the shop, how to pay for the groceries, how to carry them home.
There was a lot of life outside of school and home. A lot of freedom. A lot of unsupervised freedom. There were all sorts of adventures, friends, unfriends, so that a lot of the life of a thirteen year old was without adult supervision.
This No Longer Exists
The life those Baby Boomers lived, no longer exists. That kind of freedom, that kind of being 'on your own' is gone.
Today, children are not toilet trained. They sit in their crap until such time they toilet train themselves.
Sent to pre-school there's a big box of paper diapers, because now, as opposed to then, kids who aren't toilet trained are accepted.
As the kids are never taught they have control over their bodies, they behave as feral, without punishment.
They scream and break things and are virtually never manually disciplined. Adults can't carry on a conversation when Bratsy wants to make noise, and Bratsy's parents don't stop him.
Hence, the Baby Boomer of Five was more mature than the Millennial child of ten.
Due to this stunting and the fear of predators, children are not allowed to be unsupervised. They are not allowed outside.
Kept indoors, driven to and from school, they live vicariously on a computer or on television. They don't know how to do simple things, because they never had to.
Riding a bike, today, can only be done at set places under watchful eyes, unlike the Baby Boomers who would ride miles from their homes and back, without the slightest thought of being lost, abducted or shot.
Children socialise at school, maybe at a religious institution, but not haphazard. Children are never allowed out without a parent or supervisor.
There is no childhood, just containment.