Just been involved in a few tweets about letting kids learn by risk taking and it reminded me of this!
Our baby cribs were covered with bright colored lead-based paint.
We slept without flame retardant pyjamas, without air conditioning, with doors and windows open.
There was nothing to stop us from sticking a fork in an electrical outlet.
We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors or cabinets and when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets. (Not to mention the risks we took hitchhiking.)
As children, we would ride in cars with no seat belts or air bags.
Riding in the back of a pickup truck on a warm day was always a special treat.
We drank water from the garden hose and not from a bottle. Horrors!
We ate cupcakes, bread and butter, and drank soda pop with sugar in it, but we were never overweight because we were always outside playing.
We raced around town without adults on Halloween collecting treats and eating them as we went along without having them x-rayed first.
We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle, and no one actually died from it.
Our dogs did not have rabies shots, distemper shots, parvo shots, and we didn’t pour chemicals on them or on us to repel fleas and ticks and mosquitoes.
We followed along in the big white clouds sprayed out by the city trucks to kill mosquitoes breathing in the wonderful smell of DDT.
We waded barefoot through muddy water in ditches catching tadpoles and crawdads.
We cut the grass with push mowers, climbed trees, and walked along the top of fences like they were tight ropes.
We petted stray dogs and cats and took them home to see if we could keep them.
We would spend hours building go-carts out of scraps and then ride down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. After running into the bushes a few times, we learned to solve the problem.
We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on. No one was able to reach us all day.
No cell phones. Unthinkable!
We played with cap pistols and toy rifles and rubber knives.
We took snakes or frogs or lizards to school, but never guns.
We had video games, no 99 channels on cable, videotape movies, surround sound, personal cell phones, personal computers, or Internet chat rooms.
We had friends! If we didn’t, we went outside and found them.
We played dodge ball, and sometimes, the ball would really hurt.
We fell out of trees, got cut and broke bones and teeth, and there were no lawsuits from these accidents. They were accidents. No one was to blame but us. Remember accidents?
We had fights and punched each other and got black and blue and learned to get over it, or punch harder next time.
We made up games with sticks and tennis balls and ate worms and mud pies, and although we were told it would happen, we did not put out very many eyes, nor did the worms live inside us forever.
Some students chose not to be as smart as others, so they failed a grade and were held back to repeat it.
Tests were not adjusted for any reason. Our actions were our own. Consequences were expected.
The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke a law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law. Imagine that!