Bob Haase’s Another Can Of Worms

Kids At Play

I can remember when I was a kid that anyone over 30 years of age looked old.  Now that I am 70 I find that anyone under 30 looks really young.  A lot of things have changed since I was a kid and one of them is the way children play and the freedoms we had as children back then that no longer exist today.

When our parents told us to go outside and play we got together with other kids and played.  It might have been cowboys and Indians, hide and go seek, or maybe just a friendly game of marbles.  We found things to do and games to play and it wasn’t structured or supervised like it is today.  We played on our own and we usually told our parents where we were going, but they did not always go along and supervise.  We had a lot more freedom and I think maybe a lot more fun!

Our granddaughter went to child care, pre-school, kindergarten, and now first grade.  All this time her life was structured by planning activities for her.  There was a scheduled nap time, reading time, and pre-planned games to play.  She was taught to be aware of strangers and was always under adult supervision.  While at our house, my wife told our granddaughter that it was nice out and that she could go out and play or ride her bike.  She asked grandma if she was going outside with her to watch her.  When my wife told her that she could see her from the window our granddaughter said “what if someone comes and takes me?”

When we baby sit it is always grandma or grandpa let’s play this or let’s do this.  We love doing things with her and she is so much fun to be with, but it seems like she doesn’t know how to play alone.  Playing alone involves watching television or playing computerized games.  Our granddaughter is very involved with dance classes, swimming classes, and other activities, but these are all organized group activities and all with adult supervision.  

Don’t get me wrong… I am not against adult supervision.  I am trying to make a point about how things have changed since we were kids.  Think back to when you were a kid.  Were you afraid to play outside alone or with other kids thinking that someone might take you?  Did you ever play hide and seek or marbles without your parents watching?  The games we played back then were inexpensive, fun, and we created things to do on our own.  I think we may have been healthier back then as we played outside more and didn’t sit inside playing video games or watching the garbage that is on TV today for kids.  If you have grandchildren, do yourself a favor and take the time to watch some of the kids programs on your television and see if you think it is fit to watch!

Things sure have changed and maybe that was the “good old days”.  I realize that we need to be more careful today and that things aren’t the way they used to be.  Kids grow up a lot faster and learn things a lot sooner, but I think it was nicer when we were able to play the way we did and remain kids for a longer time period. 

Bob Haase is the host of “Outdoors Thursday” heard Thursday mornings at 9:10 a.m. on News-Talk 1450 KFIZ.