Riding our skateboards with no gear....
Three months of summer vacation-all at the same time!
Hearing bad words on records-before 1985, anyway.
Playing in the front yard-while mom either got drunk or got a special delivery from the mailman: usually both.
Running from ride to ride at full speed inside Disneyland while your parents were having dinner at Blue Bayou, inside of the Pirates of the Caribbean.
Going to the mall-again, unsupervised!
While I usually bash the 1980s for record deficits due to massive paranoia, there were actually were some good things about the 1980s-especially if you lived in the San Fernando Valley section of Los Angeles, California, where General Motors made the Chevrolet Camaro and the the Pontiac Firebird, and where a Budweiser brewery continues to operate on Roscoe Boulevard, across from the San Diego Freeway.
Oh, and the Los Angeles Dodgers won the World Series twice that decade-1981 and 1988, and hosted the All-Star Game in 1980. I remember going to the batting practice at Dodgers Stadium the day before.
Ditching curfew and hoping your parents never found you after 10 p.m. Hey, I did that myself, as our metal band would turn off the amplifiers, and we (being as dumb as we were in those days) went on either our skateboards or Redline or Mongoose bikes (I had a Huffy-sue me), out of Los Angeles and into the City of San Fernando (literally a quarter mile away) to go order from the drive-thru. We would then go to Chalet Liquor and play videogames before we played hacky sack at 2 a.m. and crashed.
Me? I would get up around 8 a.m. and practice one of our new tunes outside because everyone else was still asleep.
Girls were actually ladies in those days, and boys were still expected to open the passenger door for them. Most boys didn't have their own cars in those days, so we found religion to be quite useful then.
Not every mother worked at the beginning of the Eighties, which meant that you were toast if you weren't home from school by 3:30. Worse yet, parents had their own little Internet, as they would call each other and ask if the kids were seen.
This meant that lying served no purpose:
"Detention? I didn't get a call from your school, but I did get a call from Mrs. Boyd-and you know what that means."
Yeah, no Atari for a month is what that meant-and we had to do twice the number of chores assigned to us in order to distract us from the fact that we couldn't hang out with our friends.
Guess what happened when we got caught (which we always did):
A MONTH GROUNDING TURNED INTO TWO!
It's not like that anymore.
People don't realize that kids need cellphones because there are practically no pay phones anymore.
While the world was dangerous in the Eighties (we were just too naive to realize that), the kids of today have no childhoods because 'see you after three' doesn't mean there's going to be a fistfight in the park across from school: it's a death threat-and they're not kidding.
Kids get into trouble because there is no adult supervision-and spanking isn't the answer: never was. You have read my previous articles on the subject and the psychological harm it inflicts. Taking something valuable from them hurts more, but for a shorter period of time.
This 'new normal' has been with us now at least since 2001.
School shootings, which have been with us since at least the 1990s as the National Rifle Association continues to derail any new gun legislation-and don't blame Hollywood for any of this, as Hollywood is in the business of entertainment, not childrearing.
The Founding Fathers entrusted future generations with the Second Amendment because they were responsible men. Ten-year-old boys were taught to shoot rifles, but problems were solved with a talk between the parents of the two kids or a fistfight at school-not a dual. That was saved for men.
President Jackson ring the Liberty Bell for ye? He was a duellist. How he ever became the seventh president is living proof that God is a bisexual crackwhore on Sepulveda Boulevard at two in the morning, because Jackson was in more than a 100 duels, but only killed one man: Charles Dickinson, on Friday, May 30, 1806: on his second shot.
You see, Jackson totally missed Dickinson on the first shot from 24 feet, according to TeachingAmericanHistory.org. Think of the location of the three-point line in the NBA.
How did Andrew Jackson become a general and beat the British in New Orleans?
The point is this:
Don't buy a house if you don't have time to mow the lawn and don't have children if you claim that your work schedule gets in the way. Either telecommute or don't have children. I can make that statement because I taught someone who was a low-functioning autistic man how to function in this sick society.
I don't have children yet, but nearly ten years experience working with someone who had the capability of running into the street on a whim (but didn't) as well as my degree in psychology pretty much checks the mate on the board.
He did what I told him. When he was out of line, he knew that 'taking responsibility for his actions' meant walking up to the person whom he offended and make an apology-whether he understood what he why he made the apology or not. What mattered was that other people saw that someone was trying to teach this man a concept which may have been out of his capability of understanding, but also kept him out of a police unit.
Even parents who have kids who don't have a developmental disability don't teach responsibility-and that's worse. At least the man with whom I worked knew he was in trouble and expressed remorse (again, whether he understood the reason for that remorse is up for debate).
Parents don't have to be pricks, but they're not supposed to be pushovers, either.
Kids need parents to tell them they can't go someplace.
Kids need parents who don't give in.
Kids need parents who expect them home by a certain time (within reason).
Kids need to have things taken from them when they get out of line (instead of being spanked).
This world is too dangerous for kids to navigate through alone, but parents can't be so strict that their kids are afraid to come to them if one impregnates the other-or runs away from home during a blizzard.
In the case of what happened in Iowa with regard to Corey Brown, the thirteen-year-old boy from Marshalltown, Iowa, who ran away from home and was found frozen to death yesterday, January 27, it wasn't worth it. 13-year-olds are impulsive and do things like runaway from home without a jacket. Forget about it. It's a wonder that I'm alive to tell you the truth.
Kids need to be disciplined, but not to the point at which they're going to carelessly take their own lives without even realizing it.