Generational gap

There is something I’ve suspected for quite a while now, but has only recently been confirmed.

Kids today are total pussies.

Now, granted, this is a relative statement. My parents’ generation had dangerous toys like a miniature Atomic Energy Lab or the original Creepy Crawlers Thingmakers, not to mention cap and/or BB guns. The only gun I was ever allowed to have was a light-up Star Wars Storm Trooper Blaster (aside: holy crap, that thing rocked. If I still have it tucked away somewhere, I will save it for my own future geek-spawn). Hell, I was born in the 80s and still completely missed out on lawn darts and slap bracelets.

I saw an article today on AOL Shopping called The Most Dangerous Toys. A few of my favorites:

*The Fun Roller. How awesome does that look? I want one! It’s the closest I would ever get to having my very own hamster ball. But don’t buy one for your child. They might roll out into the street and get hit by a car. Okay, that is a valid fear. Might I offer a couple suggestions? Have them play with it in the backyard. Even better! Try some good, old-fashioned Adult Supervision.

*Hulk Smash Hands. Put on the gloves, hit things, they make Hulk noises. What’s that you say? It makes children aggressive? They could hurt someone? Well, have a Come-to-Jesus Meeting with the kid where you explain that hitting the cat or their little brother is not, by any means, okay. At the very least, get another pair for the younger sibling so he/she can fight back.

*Lite Brite. I grew up with this. It’s pretty, it inspires creativity, it’s a choking hazard. Look, the pegs are tiny. It will not kill you. If the child (who should be old enough to know that swallowing toys is a dumb idea) or a baby swallows a little light peg, he/she will poop it out. No big deal. Same goes for pennies and small pebbles.

*Trampoline. We’re not talking a regular, ordinary, old-school trampoline. A bunch of my friends had those, all filled with holes and relatively high of the ground. We fell off, and it hurt like hell. We were more careful the next time. This Is How We Learn. But these spiffy trampolines have a big piece of netting around it, so the kid can’t fall and get a concussion. However, “the safety net could pose as an entrapment issue”. What does that even mean?

In junior high, I was the only girl in my group of friends. Well…that’s a mostly true statement. The boys I played with would occasionally have girlfriends, and Allison stayed in the group for a while, but I was the token vagina. I liked the way that worked. It allowed me to do *fun* things that other girls weren’t into…like playing tackle football or doing a host of stupid things for money (keep my hand in a frozen puddle of water until it turned blue, eat a bug, spit across the street, etc). It also gave me special access to Frog Pond, the boys haven. It wasn’t a pond, and I never once saw a frog. I think the only creature I ever found in there was a blue and deformed crawdad. Makes sense that it would be a bit retarded, because Frog Pond was (still is, actually) where the sewer lets out. It is smelly, awful, poop water. And we stomped around in it. We fell in it. We climbed down a garden hose that was tied to a tree branch, balanced on slippery boulders and discarded couches, all so we could make our way through the liquid poo. It was brilliant. The most fun I’ve ever had. I felt like a freaking Goonie. I also twisted my ankle more than once, fell down a ravine and nearly hit my head, and generally came home wet, bloody, and/or bruised. Because (and this is the point of the anecdote, so pay attention) kids get hurt. They are supposed to get dirty and get hurt. If you live in a bubble, you will never learn about your limits, you will never get any stronger, and probably not much smarter in the terms of being street-wise. Grade-school children aren’t even allowed to play Dodgeball for chrissake, and I can’t think of a single game that was more important in my childhood. If you wanted to win, you had to earn it. You had to be fast, alert, and willing to get a few scraped knees. Sitting in a circle and playing nicely with your peers, while valuable when learning about sharing and cooperation, doesn’t teach a child anything about survival.

We are making our kids weak from the get-go, and then wonder why they are growing up to be weak adults.

2 Responses to “Generational gap”

  1. Mark Says:

    This is so true. I fear that we are heading toward that big space ship in Wall-eeeeeee where everything is taken care of for us because everything has a potential to be hazardous to us (in someone’s opinion.)

    By the way, Lawn Darts were awesome! Then they replaced them with bean-bag toss, then they found that even those could be used to hurt someone. You are right. The key is adult supervision and a certain amount of letting children learn by experimentation and playing with friends.

  2. Mary Says:

    Amen! My kids got a Lite Brite for Christmas.

    Kids gotta be kids. Or else they will be douchebag adults.

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