How My Kids are Growing Up Like I Did

How My Kids are Growing Up Like I Did


I grew up in the late 80s and early 90s. My bike was my method of transportation. I drank soda and spent my allowance on non organic sugary treats at the local convenience store. My friends would spend the night and we watched SNICK on Saturday night. I didn’t have a cell phone and beepers were fairly new. I think I knew maybe one person with one. I lived the typical childhood of that time. But now that I have kids of my own I realize that kids these days just don’t do a lot of those things. Kids now seem to be so busy with after school and weekend activities. They eat incredible well. It appears that kids don’t watch tv at all or at least very little. It’s funny to think that we as parents we worry about or don’t allow our own children to live as we did. And it wasn’t too long ago.

Before I had kids I wanted to be a parent that I thought was perfect. No tv. Constant play groups and lessons. All organic. Breast fed babies. But life happens. So after failing at my goals at parenthood, I realized my parents didn’t raise me with those goals and I turned out just fine. Here is how my kids lived as I did, many moons ago.

  • My kids eat cereal with sugar in it. Think Froot Loops, Frosted Flakes. Do they eat it every day, well no because they also like waffles with syrup. No my children do not eat the amount of sugar I did back then, but they do have some sugar. Honestly if you look at grams of sugar on the box it can compare to some of the kids yogurts on the store shelves.
  • We watch tv and movies. I usually let them watch tv in the morning, while I drink coffee and wake up and then in the evening while I make dinner. Also like that last point, they do not watch as much as I did but it’s not forbidden. We also do keep the tv on channels that are appropriate for their age. I’ve also introduced some of the older Disney movies.
  • So my husband used to play video games. And still has most of the systems. Like all the way back to the Atari. Yep. And because he really doesn’t have time to play them anymore by himself he usually takes our son and sets up the Atari or Ninetendo and play some old school, non violent, games. My son loves them and loves to comment on how hard it is to see what is going on. Gotta love old video game technology. He also can beat his dad in PacMan now.
  • Play in the mud. My kids love jumping in mud puddles. And get completely dirty. Mud pies and mud castles. My sisters and I would play in the dirt and mud all day in the summer. My mom would even bring out old pans and mixing bowls with spoons. Sometimes I even go out there with them and we all become a big mess.
  • Run through the sprinklers in the back yard. There are a lot of neighborhoods that have splash pads and pools. We do not live in one of those neighborhoods. My kids have a great advantage in learning to swim at their great grandmas. But during the week when it’s super hot turning on the hose in the backyard provides a great cool down. Toy stores have awesome sprinklers now. We have a three tiered turtle that in connect and they just love it.
  • We don’t go to many playgroups. Not that I am against them. If you have a found a playgroup that you love, awesome. I have not. I took my older child to a few and there was just a lot of comparing and contrasting of kids abilities. Or some of the mothers told me what I was doing wrong. So we just don’t sign up for many of them anymore. No, my kids make friends at school or if we take a walk in the neighborhood and see some at the neighborhood park. I don’t think my mom ever took me to a playgroup. She did take us to the park and library and other places where kids might be. But a planned and organized play group, no.

I love being able to share some of my favorite past times with my kids. We live in a different time obviously, than when I was growing up. Rules and advice change. But somethings don’t have to change.  I think anyway you play with your kids and spending quality time with them, everyone benefits.

Have you introduced an activity to your child that you did as a kid?

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