Discuss Detroit Archives - January 2008 Kids yesterday and today Previous Next
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Little_buddy
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Username: Little_buddy

Post Number: 46
Registered: 03-2006
Posted on Friday, January 04, 2008 - 4:08 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

when I was a kid there was a field right behind my house, we played baseball all summer, no rightfield that was a RR(DT&I)with the big cement arches. Played football on the same field in the fall, even lined it with chalk. The baseball field had a dugout make by us kids and a nice backstop made by our parents that in the fall they took down the fence and made a big container to fill with leaves from all the big elms(before they died) and stuff we found along the tracks and burned it devils night. In the winter the city flooded the slighty mounded area out in leftfield with water and we played hockey(till global warming). In the summer we played hide and go seek on bikes around the neighborhood, camped out, and generally had lots of fun and things to do without much tv,radio,computers,ipods,vidio games, etc. what do kids do outside today, anything?
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Livernoisyard
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Username: Livernoisyard

Post Number: 4724
Registered: 10-2004
Posted on Friday, January 04, 2008 - 4:25 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Back during the 1950s, most kids were active athletically. My elementary school class had 22 boys, and most of us got together for two hours after school, starting in late February if the snow was gone. We played hardball baseball, starting back during the second grade and kept at it until the summer of our eighth grade. Then we did other things.

During the fall/early winter, we played tackle football (helmets and pads from our paper routes or bought by the parents or handed down). We never had any adult (parental) involvement during those years until we started high school. When it snowed, we did winter sports--tobaggoning, skating, hockey, sledding, various tackling sports with a few tomboys, etc.

But, that's history. We didn't get a TV until maybe the third grade. We watched cartoons and such on Saturday mornings and then played ball. On Thursday evenings, I rode the bus downtown (six or seven miles) to the Turner Verein (aka, Milwaukee Turner Hall) where there was what then was called tumbling (gymnastics, today).

I suppose if there were today's distractions, we wouldn't have been as active and would probably have been thirty pounds heavier, as many kids today are.
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Vetalalumni
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Username: Vetalalumni

Post Number: 855
Registered: 05-2007
Posted on Friday, January 04, 2008 - 4:37 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

In my neighborhood the children enjoy electronics and technology and tend to spend less time outdoors than I did. Soccer, skateboarding, and beach activities (surfing, boogie-boarding, etc...) are very popular here out west. Many families spend weekends in the desert camping, riding ATVs, fishing etc...
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401don
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Username: 401don

Post Number: 195
Registered: 11-2007
Posted on Friday, January 04, 2008 - 5:25 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

When I first started coming to Detroit without my parents (1972, for Tiger games), my buddy and I would stay at the YMCA in Windsor. We would grab our gloves and head over to a ball diamond nearby. We always ended up in a pick-up game with other guys and would barely leave in time to catch the tunnel bus. Today kids don't even play with their friends never mind strangers.
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Carptrash
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Username: Carptrash

Post Number: 1514
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Friday, January 04, 2008 - 5:39 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

It was at a pick-up touch football ca. 1960 that I had one of those epiphanies that still echoes around between my head and my heart. An argument broke out (no adult to make the call) about whether someone had been touched or not and I came down on the side of the other team and my team mate (Kirk Lawrence - otherwise mostly forgotten unless I try to remember him, at which point there is a lot of stuff) demanded of me, "Whose team are you on anyway?" as if that should make a difference as to what I'd seen. I suppose that kids today still have some version of that question but it's not at that sort of event. Lord Wellington is supposed to have remarked that the Battle of Waterloo was won on the playing fields of Eaton. I wonder if the Mario Brothers (etc) will provide that for our kids? Maybe? . eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeek

(Message edited by carptrash on January 04, 2008)
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Ray1936
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Username: Ray1936

Post Number: 2512
Registered: 01-2005
Posted on Friday, January 04, 2008 - 5:45 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Only time I ever broke a bone was playing scrub football in a vacant lot (snapped a finger). And it was baseball and/or softball all summer, and hockey in the winter if the pond was frizzed. I did spend time indoors with the Lionel trains and short-wave listening on the old Hallicrafters radio.
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Focusonthed
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Username: Focusonthed

Post Number: 1574
Registered: 02-2006
Posted on Friday, January 04, 2008 - 6:26 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

It went downhill quick. I grew up in the mid-80s (born 83) and I spent nearly dawn to dusk outside playing baseball and other such things.
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Davecil
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Username: Davecil

Post Number: 4
Registered: 03-2007
Posted on Friday, January 04, 2008 - 6:28 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I think things have recently changed for kids. I'm only 27 and I remember being a kid in the late 80's and early 90's. We were still allowed to disappear all day in the summer on our bikes with our friends. I just had to be back by dinner or check in once a day. Most of our time was spent in the woods building forts with saws and knives or playing baseball and a LOT of street hockey. Video games were only for rainy days. We were even allowed to run around the neighborhood at night with flashlights. Now I see parents not even letting their kids leave the driveway.
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Blksoul_x
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Username: Blksoul_x

Post Number: 117
Registered: 06-2007
Posted on Friday, January 04, 2008 - 6:46 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Over my way(near Southwest), we have a gang load of kids on the block, and just the other day, I witnessed them playing a 7 on 7 game of football in the mud in a vacant lot. Also the few kids that were not participating were pushing each other around in the mud and ice on a piece of discarded tile.

Kids will always be kids.

blksoul-atcha!
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401don
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Username: 401don

Post Number: 196
Registered: 11-2007
Posted on Friday, January 04, 2008 - 6:55 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I saw a news story about how soldiers in Iraq are providing soccer balls, etc. and are playing with the kids. It keeps them busy and builds goodwill. I thought about how they should send the National Guard in our parks to do the same thing when the war ends.
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Danny
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Username: Danny

Post Number: 6936
Registered: 02-2004
Posted on Friday, January 04, 2008 - 8:10 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

When I was a kid watching T.V. is for a rainy day. I go outside and play with my friends until the street lights come on.
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Davidruffin
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Username: Davidruffin

Post Number: 6
Registered: 12-2007
Posted on Friday, January 04, 2008 - 8:45 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Little_Buddy,

I remember you mentioned you grew up in Allen Park and the concrete arches over the RR are very familiar to me. The house I grew up in was on Osage St. Right by the HS. Across the street was a huge field that ran along the track and the dirt road (Arno St.) I spent most of my summer days as a kid playing baseball and football in that field or we would go to Champaign Park. We used to ride our bikes down the dirt road, causing trouble on the tracks....

What street did you live on?
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Frumoasa
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Username: Frumoasa

Post Number: 101
Registered: 03-2007
Posted on Saturday, January 05, 2008 - 2:19 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The kids in my neighborhood are out a lot in the summer. It's great to see...The tiny tots ride their bikes with parents or grandparents watching from the porch and the older kids have fun with walking to downtown Hamtramck and to play soccer at a nearby field. I think that because many of these children came from other countries where kids still play outside all the time, they keep up the good habits. Whenever we are in Romania, every neighborhood kid is out in front of the apartment building playing in the street or in odd scraps of undeveloped land that tend to dot our city. As a matter of fact, the open areas barely have grass, they are so well worn from kids playing. Although I would love for my daughter to enjoy the same freedom that was common in yesteryear and some kids still enjoy...I see news stories that make me teary eyed sometimes and I hate to say it but I think I need to err on the side of overprotectiveness and letting her play in our fenced yard. However, there is no cable or video game systems in our house nor will there be for her to get cooped up inside with so I guess she will just have me as a chaperone wherever she goes..until she's 21 :-)(She's currently 3 months old)
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Mackcreative
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Username: Mackcreative

Post Number: 154
Registered: 08-2006
Posted on Saturday, January 05, 2008 - 9:30 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The kids on our block (mine included) are out all the time. Playing ball, riding bikes, hula-hoop, generally running around being loud, petting passing dogs, playing in the sprinkler during the summer, swinging, building forts, playing hide-and-go-seek. We have seen kids disappear indoors once their family gets a satellite dish or a game console, not an issue for us here w/o a tv. As for supervision, I always stay within ear shot just because of the world we live in, but if I'm right there watching them they never learn to solve disagreements themselves-just run and tell a mommy.
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Jeduncan
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Username: Jeduncan

Post Number: 168
Registered: 11-2006
Posted on Saturday, January 05, 2008 - 10:10 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Things have changed even since I was a kid, and I'm only 24. On clear summer days, I wasn't allowed to stay inside. My parents encouraged us to be out playing. If I wasn't out riding my bike, I was camped out in the huge box elder we had in our front yard. Unfortunately that storm we had back in the mid 90's (the one that f'ed up part of, I wanna say hamtramck, blew that sucker over onto our house.

This past summer I saw my parents' neighbors playing outside. They were playing their game boy.

No wonder America is becoming such a fat nation.
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Pffft
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Username: Pffft

Post Number: 1438
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Saturday, January 05, 2008 - 11:17 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Bad things happened in the past, too, but I think a major difference is you don't have a generation of moms, and grandmothers, present all day in the houses and just a shout or a short run away, from the kids playing.

Even though our generation was allowed to "disappear" all day, there was someone at home to run to or call. Or wherever you were, there would be an adult nearby, on a porch or doing yardwork, watching.
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Chitaku
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Username: Chitaku

Post Number: 1755
Registered: 03-2006
Posted on Saturday, January 05, 2008 - 11:30 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

people are paranoid as hell these days. when i was a youngin' we played street hockey all day every day. I remember it snowing and still playing. Now i watch young parents like my aunt keep her kids close and indoors playing video games constantly. Personally the only video game i dig is madden and only if i am playing against someone.
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Gannon
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Username: Gannon

Post Number: 11228
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Saturday, January 05, 2008 - 11:51 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I daresay the children haven't changed one whit, but parents have allowed THEIR fears to largely ruin childhood for their spawn...along with passing down their ill-health, both physical and mental!


I'm with you, Mackcreative, I've seen my friend's children and the neighbors playing in Corktown...same dynamic...if the parents are not filled with fear and LET their children play, the children find a way to play and KNOW when something comes along that is different.

If they know to tell a parent, and the parents talk amongst each other, the troubles get worked out just like in the golden olden days!

Too many ways to isolate and over-react to unsubstantiated fears in this world.
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Wazootyman
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Username: Wazootyman

Post Number: 295
Registered: 02-2006
Posted on Saturday, January 05, 2008 - 1:42 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Jeduncan - I'm only 26, and it was a similar story for myself. During summers I would love the occasional rainy day, as it was the only opportunity I had to 'play indoors'. We never even had a gaming console. We'd usually spend 4-5 weeks of the summer on the lake up north (my mom was/is a teacher). I feel like my summers playing in the dirt and lakewater are what lead me to have no allergies and a strong immune system now. You've gotta wonder where these crazy Peanut allergies are coming from...

I've seen a lot of kids in recent years who are being raised entirely on TV shows and video games. Sure, we had Sesame Street and Mr. Dressup, but it wasn't something you watched for 12 hours a day.

If I ever get around to getting married and having kids, I will probably raise them like I was - play outdoors and stay active. TV is for rainy days.
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Irunwscissors
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Username: Irunwscissors

Post Number: 11
Registered: 11-2007
Posted on Saturday, January 05, 2008 - 1:44 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Being a parent ,I am sad this is the way it is. my child will have no one to play with outdoors because other parents don't let their kids outside for fear of them being snatched up .In the summer it seems, all the kids on our street are in daycare. They come home, eat dinner and are glued to their electronics until bedtime. It's really sad. I grew up in the 80's and we did the same as most of you- out at the crack of dawn and in when the street lights came on. Who are my kids going to play with ???
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Rocket_city
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Username: Rocket_city

Post Number: 509
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Saturday, January 05, 2008 - 1:56 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

When I have children, they will be going to neighborhood schools...if there are any left that is.
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Chitaku
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Username: Chitaku

Post Number: 1757
Registered: 03-2006
Posted on Saturday, January 05, 2008 - 2:14 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

i lived in south St. Clair Shoes (medium to low income area) for a few years and the kids were always outside. Every day I could look and see a bunch of kids skateboarding or girls jump roping or teenagers walking and smoking. This compared to where my parents live in Clarkston (high income Mcmansions) the kids are never, and I mean never outside. Sometimes blue collar types are much more laid back about life in general and let their kids out more whereas the rich folk purchase more indoor activities to keep the kids inside so they can work. Just a guess really, but the same assumption goes hand in hand with trick or treating. my hood in SCS and my hood here in the d is always packed with kids whereas my parents get nobody in a subdivision packed with kids. All I can say is I am glad my parents never put me on ritalin as that is some scary shit. I remember watching my friends become zombies
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7051
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Username: 7051

Post Number: 55
Registered: 02-2006
Posted on Saturday, January 05, 2008 - 3:37 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

As far as "getting snatched up by strangers" is concerned, this is one of the biggest urban myths out there. Most of the statistics that speak of stranger danger, reveal that, at most, 100 children per year in the entire US are abducted by complete strangers. The hundreds of thousands (literally) of abductions that occur, involve parental or grandparental custody issues. In fact, crime itself is at mid 1960's levels throughout most of the US. Our children are at a bigger risk of death from lighting strikes, meteor crashes, etc. The media is a far-reaching thing these days - 10 stories played to a national audience of children murdered, kidnapped, etc. over a 6 month period has a huge impact on today's parents and their micromanagement of their childen's activities.
One shouldn't jump in front of train, but one also should not be fearful of riding the train called life.
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Gannon
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Username: Gannon

Post Number: 11229
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Saturday, January 05, 2008 - 3:46 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

7051,

I'm with you on that myth, but it has been one sold to mothers throughout the land on the side of fucking MILK CARTONS for over twenty years! You cannot blame them for being over-protective after seeing some poor missing child every morning with every bowl of cereal and later every afternoon cookie snacktime.
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Reddog289
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Username: Reddog289

Post Number: 177
Registered: 08-2007
Posted on Sunday, January 06, 2008 - 3:20 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

i spent most of my time outside as a kid, even when i was at my grand parents in NW/Detroit in the 8o,s. some kids still play outside yet that number is getting lower. like alot of you i stayed out till the street lights came on. "my kids" think i,m nuts when i say that.
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Little_buddy
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Username: Little_buddy

Post Number: 47
Registered: 03-2006
Posted on Sunday, January 06, 2008 - 11:48 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Davidruffin, I lived on Larme, the field was right behind my house.
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Irunwscissors
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Username: Irunwscissors

Post Number: 12
Registered: 11-2007
Posted on Sunday, January 06, 2008 - 11:51 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I guess being a mom might make me a little more overprotective, but when something happens in your neighborhood, thats when people really freak out. I bought my first in CenterLine , just a few blocks away a little girl was snatched and ended up dead, scared alot of people, but none the less there were still little girls out playing, would my daughter been allowed to go out and play after the snatching - probably not.
I lived im Brightmoor as a child in the late 70's the height of the child abduction scare ( the Oakland county abductions) I still played outside. I don't remember my parents making a huge deal out of it, we were told not to talk to strangers and to run if someone came after you.I guess what it really comes down to is how the parents of the children react the news stories- some may let them roll off their backs and some may become a little more aware.

I now live in a middle class neighborhood, and I feel safe here. I will send my kid outside to play- but again, with who?
The 10 year old next door has to go on playdates because she is not allowed outside unless a parent is with her.
Back to the topic, I think the majority of kids are indoors due to the fact of no outdoor stimulation. They don't ask for bikes or skateboards anymore for Christmas, they ask for Wii and computers.
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Reddog289
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Username: Reddog289

Post Number: 182
Registered: 08-2007
Posted on Monday, January 07, 2008 - 1:55 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

when i read this thread and think back, i did spend alot of time out side till 1983 when cable tv came to town and i did have a video game system then. every other weekend me & my intellivision would go from garden city to 7/evergreen. it was allright by then the alleys were gone, you couldn,t play baseball at votrobeck park any more cause the grass was too tall. maybe it was my generation that started the whole kids stay inside trend.
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Aoife
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Username: Aoife

Post Number: 49
Registered: 04-2007
Posted on Monday, January 07, 2008 - 9:08 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

"Normal" childhood activities still go on- my daughter and her friends spend most of the summer riding bikes, playing in yards, going to parks, digging up pill bugs, building forts, etc. Do I worry about her and strangers? Yes, that's why I am usually outside doing something when she is. I think most parents just don't care- they let that "fear" of something happening (instilled by the ridiculous SVU type shows and sensationalized news programs) override common sense. That and it is easier to let your kids plop down in front of a TV or game system than to keep an eye on them. As a child I was allowed to go absolutely feral in the summertime- when my child is a little older I'll let her do the same.
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Mackcreative
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Username: Mackcreative

Post Number: 174
Registered: 08-2006
Posted on Friday, January 18, 2008 - 11:54 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Pertaining to the topic of children playing:
See the Detroit premiere of the PBS documentary

"Where Do the Children Play?"

Weds. January 23 6:00 -9:00 PM

Followed by a panel discussion
"Where Do We Go From Here"

Play is the work that children do on the way to becoming adults capable of creative, innovative, and profound thought. Yet our communities and schools allow less and less space and time for children to play. How can we restore play as a vital part of our children's lives?

Detroit Waldorf School
2555 Burns Ave.
Detroit
313-822-0300
allianceforchildhood.org
wfum.org/childrenplay
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Fareastsider
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Username: Fareastsider

Post Number: 785
Registered: 08-2006
Posted on Friday, January 18, 2008 - 12:11 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Im sure kids play as much outside as kids of the past. Sure some sit and play more video games but im sure a majority still love to play baseball and football and build forts. Im sure in 30 years kids will be saying the same thing that kids dont have fun like they used to.
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D_mcc
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Username: D_mcc

Post Number: 135
Registered: 12-2007
Posted on Friday, January 18, 2008 - 12:19 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

David and LB...I grew up in Dearborn much the same way everyone else did. We had a park a block from my house that had games and activities all throughout the summer. I remember playing street hockey from like...9 in the morning till at least 7 or 8 at night, breaking only for dinner or the occasional jump in the pool.

I went to HS in AP at Cabrini and worked the summers between school years, had a lot of memories at that park behind APHS as well as the parks over by Cabrini on Wick Rd.
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Elimarr
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Username: Elimarr

Post Number: 48
Registered: 09-2007
Posted on Saturday, January 19, 2008 - 4:46 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

We rode bikes a lot. All over. We'd ride a few miles to Derby Hill just to ride bikes down the hill a couple times. Kids on my block played hide and seek at dusk in the summer...pretty much running wild and hiding in the neighbors bushes. Most didn't seem to mind, maybe just a cranky one or two did. In the winter, there was always a family that undertook making a backyard ice skating rink. Every kid was over there helping, then skating.
The elementary school up the block used to have Parks and Rec. people run a summer program there. The neighborhood kids spent most of the day up there, with just a lunch and dinner break to check in at home. Certain days (maybe the rainy ones), kids could buy and paint those chalky white plaques, or lace up some lanyards. I learned chess there too. We played girls softball with other area teams (beating rival Heilmann once in a championship East District game.)
Now I live in a neighborhood where the nearest school (and park) is a mile away. The younger ones can't get there safely on their own. I see more basketball being played than when I was a kid. Only need a few friends for that. Nowadays, I don't know if kids could get a dozen others out on a baseball diamond without difficulty. We normally had enough for 7v7 games, and with very minimal organization actually taking place.
People did not move as frequently as they now do. Also, computers do keep people inside more. I believe what is lacking in many places is a sense of community. If that is achieved, then a neighborhood will naturally generate some of the activities that we remember from our own childhoods.
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Peachlaser
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Username: Peachlaser

Post Number: 150
Registered: 08-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 22, 2008 - 9:33 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I have a niece that remarked that while she lived around Atlanta, she kept her eye on the kids to make sure no one ran off with them. She moved to the Canadian Rockies and she said that she then had to watch her kids to make sure that a Grizzly Bear or Mountain Lion didn't run off with them!
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Mama_jackson
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Username: Mama_jackson

Post Number: 264
Registered: 06-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 22, 2008 - 10:31 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I was raised in the country in an area north of Detroit. In the spring every year-never failed-I had to stay inside the house for a week or two because there would be packs of dogs roaming the farm. They would move on eventually.
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Jrvass
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Username: Jrvass

Post Number: 407
Registered: 01-2007
Posted on Tuesday, January 22, 2008 - 11:19 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

As the snow continues to fall, I'm reminded of my childhood in the 60's with building snow forts and having snowball fights. I recall one time when we were throwing snowballs at the cars passing by on our residential street. We were set up on the side of a friends house and would judge when to throw based on the volume that the car's engine made. We didn't see what we were throwing at before we launched our snowballs.

Well, once we pelted a cop car and he stopped. About a dozen kids take off in 3 different directions! Over fences, through bushes, etc. The cop didn't chase anyone, but we never did it again!

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