Growing Up Old School – 7 Differences between My Kids’ Childhood and Mine

BY: - 11 Dec '12 | Home

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Just recently, while making lunch for my young daughter, I realized that we were out of hot dog buns. I told her to use a piece of sliced bread and she looked at me like I had two heads. I laughed because it took me a minute to realize that this baby of mine has lived a sheltered life with hot dog buns, endless cable TV channels,  and at least two family vacations a year.  Basically, she was living like a real-life princess! Its not just her. Like a lot of kids these days, they are spoiled and sheltered.

Although, my life is in suburbia now, I wouldn’t trade my upbringing and exposure to the ‘hood for anything in this world. It prepared me facets of life.  And even though my kids get a taste of it when we visit, they could never really imagine how my young life could be so vastly  different from theirs. Not only are their lives so different than mine, it was just a different time back then. As with every generation, there are just some things that my kids won’t get and will never understand.

Here are a 7 differences between my kids’ childhood and mine:

1. My kids have never had the old school delicacy of all little children far and wide - Beanie Weenies.

Picture 1 of 7

They need some...they really do! That meal in a bowl was chock full of some good protein. Speaking of "weenies", my kids have never had any canned meat ever! I'm talking Spam, Vienna sausage, etc. That's a very humbling experience to pull back the aluminum top of can and commence to eating meat. Ok, now that I think about it, I'm okay with my kids not having this.

BMWK – Do you feel like kids today are missing out? What are some of your fondest childhood memories?


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  • Cheryl

    LOL! I love your trek down memory lane. I would add that at my littlest daughters age, I was sent on errands to the store (she is 4). I distinctly remember going to the store for my mom to buy Pampers for my sister. Crossed the street by myself, counted the change. I don’t even allow her to play outside without me being right there.

    • Sheree Adams

      Glad you enjoyed it! Thanks Cheryl!!

  • Tynia

    i work from home and my kids were home with me this summer. One day I told them they HAD to play outside for at least an hour. We have a water hose on each side if our house. My daughter asked what they should do if they wanted something to drink. I suggested the water hose and told them they could even take their pick as to which hose they chose. She looked at me, apparently mortified and asked “will it kill us, why can’t we have real water”…times and children are definitely different 😉

    • Sheree Adams

      Thank you Tynia! Real water?? I love it!

  • Brandi

    It was cool growing up when I did, but I appreciate that kids today have a lot more at their fingertips. It shows in the way we have kids excelling at things a lot earlier in life. It’s so fun to look a the differences, though! Thank you for the trip down memory lane!

  • Candice

    Yes!! This was well written. I especially loved the mixed tapes!! It’s funny because we try to keep those same experiences in our household but it is so hard. Our children do have the experience of the ” candy lady” :)

    • Sheree Adams

      Thanks Candice!

  • Nicole Antunes

    Great article! It bought back so many great memories of growing up “old school”. My mom was southern and old school and she didn’t play but we had so much fun with the added bonus of discipline that I appreciate NOW that I’m grown.

    P.S. Don’t forget the added “exercise” of having to get up and change the channel on the t.v. Lol!

    • Sheree Adams

      Thank you Nicole! Yup. Like I said, we WERE the remote controls. Oh the memories….

  • DeeDee

    This was funny and it brought back memories of my childhood. It also made me sad to know that my children too, will never know the sweetness of all of the forementioned.

    • Sheree Adams

      Thanks DeeDee!!

  • Harold

    Sherree, growing up in south florida, I remind my kids of the following:
    1. We scraped the burnt off of toast, and put butter and jello on it.
    2. We at all of the bread, there was no pulling the crust off.
    3. Having to be in before the streetlights came on.
    4. Running away from dogs and jumping the fence.
    5. Climbing mango trees
    6. Having to get your own switch, for a beating.
    7. An old milk jug, serving as the water jug in the fridge.
    8. Two phones in the house, the long corded one in the kitchen, and the other in my parents room.

    • Sheree Adams

      Harold, you took us way back. I don’t want to remember going to get my own switch, my legs start stinging just thinking about it! Who could forget the longggggg cord on the kitchen phone. My mom still has hers.

  • The Frugal Writer

    OMGosh, this brought back memories. Our kids indeed have it too good.

    My kids have no idea what it’s like to have to wait until Saturday morning to watch cartoons! But, hey, there was nothing like Schoolhouse Rock, Fat Albert, and Superfriends.

    Electric Company and Sesame Street are still relevant now, but were pioneers back then.

    I also remember buying my first Walkman with a record button! Woo Hoo Big technology!

    And, it was amazing to go to school and talk about what everybody watched. There were only 3 networks and 2 other local channels, so everybody was watching the same thing.

    Oh, and my mom used to feed us kids the breakfast of champions, a raw egg mixed with grape juice. The stuff was magic, and a quick way to get protein and calories in 5 kids before school.

    We all had perfect attendance in school, because unless you were bleeding, you went. And our buses put chains on their tires in the winter and kept on trucking. School closures? Please…

    Thanks for the memories!

    • Sheree Adams

      Great shows! I remember them like yesterday. I’m not too sure about the raw eggs, but you’re still with us, so I guess it was OK. :-)

  • T. Espi

    Bwahaha! I cracked up at the phone contacts. I just realized I probably only know 5 or so numbers by heart and one of them is my own. SMH.