Kids today have it easy with their play-dates and after school programs. They don’t have a clue the struggle of being a latchkey kid. Or the fun that came with not having an adult breathing down your neck 24/7. Sure we got a lot of sunburns and broken bones, but it was a rite of passage! Being an 80’s kid was pretty rad. There are even some studies that have come out showing that with all the supervision and bubble wrap we have added into our kid’s lives, we have not changed the amount of danger they can get into in a lot of areas. For example, kids get injured at the same rates today as they did back before playgrounds were all rubber mats and plastic surfaces.
1. Lawn darts were a great idea. Give sharp pointy things to kids to throw!
2. Kids were actually encouraged to play with fireworks.
3. Casts were a badge of honor for kids. And parents didn’t feel shame or neglectful when their kids broke bones.
4. Slides were taller and playgrounds were more dangerous. And more fun.
5. Piling up in the back of a truck and feeling the breeze in your hair was not only legal, but a pretty good time.
6. Being a kid and having a ride up in the front seat without a seat belt was always a good time. Especially when you were at the wheel.
7. Kids were allowed to play and explore without a constant watchful eye.
8. SPF one million wasn’t a thing, and sunburns and peeling skin was the norm.
9. Helmets, knee pads, wrist guards, and all that jazz were also not a thing.
10. Second hand smoke was something you just dealt with.
11. Heating up your SpaghettiOs on the stove by your lonesome happened all the time.
12. The backseat was a playground where you could sit any which way.
13. There was a very likely chance that your mom smoked while she was pregnant with you.
14. Being a latchkey kid was the norm. Letting yourself in the house after school, getting your own food, and trying not to burn the house down was a daily thing.
15. Young kids would watch their even younger siblings.
16. Play-dates weren’t called play dates and kids didn’t have adults breathing down their necks the entire time.
17. Sneaking cigs was not disgusting. It was a sign of coolness.
Some people might argue that today there are a lot less injures and death due to helmets and seat belts, and they may be right. All I know for sure is times were a lot easier. And not only did we survive, but it made us stronger.