Comments on
The Age of Innocence

By Diana L. Walcutt, Ph.D

You know, I can still remember being very young and how much fun it was. Or at least I think I remember it being fun. I felt safe, lacking stress or pressure, and was interested in what the great outdoors had to reveal.

Now, you have …

4 Comments to
The Age of Innocence

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  1. My pre-teen playground was either a storm-water drain, a huge oval-sized deep sandpit or the local creek by the railway line where frogs were caught. I loved my childhood. We now live next to bushland (this is Australia) and during the school holidays I encouraged my children to play there. They’d raid our shed for planks, nails and hammers and build cubby houses and bike ramps and come home dirty and hungry at night-time. It’s still out there for all to enjoy and I don’t believe there are more kidnappers or paedophiles out than there was back in the 1970′s.

  2. My pre-teen playground was either a storm-water drain, a huge oval-sized deep sandpit or the local creek by the railway line where frogs were caught. I loved my childhood. We now live next to bushland (this is Australia) and during the school holidays I encouraged my children to play there. They’d raid our shed for planks, nails and hammers and build cubby houses and bike ramps and come home dirty and hungry at night-time. It’s still out there for all to enjoy and I don’t believe there are more kidnappers or paedophiles out than there was back in the 1970′s.
    Oops…forgot to say great post! Looking forward to your next one.

  3. I was born/reared in the same time period as the author of this article. We played out of doors a lot with less supervision than I gave my own children. I read lots of books and do remember having some fun. I also remember being physically, sexually, emotionally and spiritually abused in a time when “whatever goes on behind closed doors is nobody’s business but our family’s”. The neighbors knew bad things were happening and no one ever tried to help. My childhood was so frightening that I blocked much of it out of my up-front mind. I used dissociation to a huge extent to survive and have since spent my adulthood trying to get past my past. I am the 3rd generation of the kinds of abuse I experienced – and most thankfully I broke the chain and my own precious children were not abused. They did have to deal with a mom who had major problems.

    I recently realized that “child welfare” services did not even exist when I was young and that the neighbors did not have any idea of what to do to help me. My childhood felt like a concentration camp to me because I saw things and experienced stuff no one should have to.

    I’ve done a lot of thinking about my childhood and my family and my own children. The thing that ultimately helped me survive was developing a spiritual relationship with God. If not for that I would have destroyed myself and possibly others along with me.

    There are still people suffering behind closed doors. I wish I had a perfect plan for a good society, but I don’t. My age of innocence ended before I said my first word. It still hurts.

  4. I was born in 1971 and even during my childhood, the 70s & 80s, things were less stressful.

    I played outside all summer long. I didn’t have to come home until the street lights came on. My mom never worried about where I was or what I was doing.

    I did have video games. I was about 7 years old when the Atari 2600 came out. We played Pac-Man and Space Invaders. On an Atari system you can only play so many minutes of Pac-Man and Space Invaders before you get really bored with it. Then we went outside to play.

    We didn’t have cell phones. We didn’t have day-long scheduled activities. We didn’t have computers. We didn’t even have cable TV. When there are only 10 channels to choose from… you play outside a lot.

    We played in the corn field. We played baseball in the cul-de-sac. We played hop scotch. We had lemonade stands. We swam at the pool. We rode our bikes. We played… outside.

    I’m SO glad I grew up when I did… I have fantastic memories.

  5. I would like to say, first of all, that I found this post very interesting, thank you. Second of all, Lisa, my heart goes out to you, you’re a strong and amazing individual and kudos to you for breaking that chain!
    Back to The Age of Innocence, I guess I should say that I was born and raised in Ukraine so that probably makes my perspective somewhat different, but my point is, I, too, remember my childhood as being happy.
    When I first read the post, I agreed with its main points, but as I keep thinking about it, a question comes up. If we were to go to the future and ask today’s kids (now all grown up) if they consider their childhood to have been a happy one, would they say yes? Perhaps, most children, no matter when or where they have grown up, (except for, of course, extremely traumatic circumstances)have the experience of a happy childhood.
    Is the right to an innocent childhood really being taken away from American children or do we just see it this way from our “adult” point of view? Having said that, I still do think it is important for parents to spend quality time with their children and tear them away from television and computers (even if they make them happy), if only for the sake of making sure they still remember what the sun and the sky look like in the real world.

  6. I am teenager, and I agree with many of these comments. I think that many people are using computers and video games and tvs as “babysitters” for their kids. Some parents dont seem to understand that they need to pay attention to their children. I am lucky to have parents that pay plenty of attention to me, but if you look at the children who are problematic at school, the kids who steal and swear most of them have the same problem: their parents do not care about what their children are doing, and so the children resort to misbehavior to draw attention towards themselves. its very sad. I also wonder what the drugs violence and sex protrayed in many video games, tv shows and popular books affect is on kids minds. teen pregnancy is up, and kids tend to be more interested about drugs and drinking because on tv you dont see the bad barts of these drugs, just the temporary giddiness that is soon replaced by the negative effects. also, im sorry, but violdent video games can not be good for childern. seriously, in those games, people are getting blown up and there is blood all over. in some of the games, there is even an extra gore setting. I wonder if there are more sadists in this world because of those video games. i think people just need to wake up and pay more attention to their kids. it will save them much time (in court, ect.) It doesnt take that much!

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