I feel that life was much better born as a 60’s babe than later on in life, in comparison to modern children’s lives. Life has improved in some ways, but not in others.
Would you believe it that in the 60s mothers used to leave the baby in pram outside the supermarket in the street, and nobody would take it away? If that happened now Social Services would be called and the police would take action against the parents that left the baby on its own.
As a young child I was able to play outside unsupervised. I think this was very good for children because they were burning up calories. We did things like running, skipping, hop scotch, playing rounders, leap frog, skate boarding and roller skating. I also walked to school. We used to call this playing; now they call it exercise.
Being able to play outside all the time meant that we built up social skills by mixing with the other children. This also allowed us to build up street awareness from a young age. When these children from the 60s grew up into teenagers, they were more able to cross the road safely. ‘Traffic is the biggest single cause of accidental death for 12 to 16 year olds. 1,844 12 to 16 year olds were killed or seriously injured in Britain as pedestrians, cyclists and car occupants in 2007’ (Wirral Council, 2010). We also used to see an advert, THE GREEN CROSS CODE, which taught people how to cross the road properly. The teenagers of today don’t seem to have as much safety awareness crossing the road.
Back in the day there used to be something called a ‘house wife’. This was women that did not work full time, but spent their time looking after the family. I feel fortunate that my mummy was a ‘house wife’ so she was always there if there was an accident. We also got a good, hot dinner every evening with the whole family together, which was a healthy meal (thanks, mum!). So there was less child obesity because mothers did not have to rely on take-away meals. However, some people believe that they were better off for their mothers going to work. They saw their mothers working as a good example. The mum also had financial independence. They also wonder why it should be the mum at home, not the dad.
Before children had their own computers, we used to make up our own games and songs. This was good for the imagination. Unfortunately, children are spending so much time on computers nowadays that they are turning into a computer couch. They are just exercising their fingers.
In the good old days we used to know our neighbours a lot more. The children got to know all the other children on the same street. We were more a part of each other’s lives. We got the opportunity to go to lots of parties, weddings; I even went to Turkish weddings which were very good. We did so much together. The fact that we knew so many people as children proved to be a good safety net. I think we had a better education, schools were better and if you wanted to go to university it was free. Only the best things in life are free!
The family unit seemed more stable, and for that reason less stressful. We didn’t have such a consumer-orientated society. Lots of children these days expect expensive presents all the time, like computers and trainers.
Do you think things were better in the good old days or are things better now? How would you like to improve the future?