Things Kids Used to Get Away With, But Can’t Anymore: A Nostalgic Look at Changing Times

Krystal DeVille

Childhood has changed dramatically over the years. Let’s take a nostalgic journey back in time and explore some of the things kids used to get away with, but can’t anymore.

1. Playing Outside Unsupervised

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In the past, kids could spend entire days playing outside without adult supervision. Today, due to safety concerns, it’s less common for kids to roam freely.

2. No Seat Belts

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It’s hard to believe now, but there was a time when seat belts weren’t mandatory. Today, not buckling up is not only illegal, but it’s also universally recognized as unsafe.

3. Skipping School

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Skipping school used to be a common teenage rebellion. Now, with digital attendance systems and stricter truancy laws, it’s much harder to play hooky.

4. Prank Calls

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Before caller ID and cell phones, prank calls were common mischief. Nowadays, caller ID makes it easy to see who’s on the other end of the line.

5. Smoking in Public

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There was a time when teenagers could get away with smoking in public places. Now, smoking laws and increased awareness about the dangers of smoking have made this a thing of the past.

6. Cheating on Tests

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With the advent of advanced technology, teachers have new tools to catch cheaters. Copying your friend’s homework or sneaking a peek at their test paper is much riskier now.

7. Riding Bikes Without Helmets

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Once upon a time, kids would ride their bikes without the thought of wearing a helmet. Today, safety regulations and increased awareness have made helmets a must.

8. Watching TV All Day

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Before the digital age, spending all day watching TV was a common pastime. Now, with concerns about screen time and a push for more active lifestyles, this is less acceptable.

9. Eating Junk Food

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While kids still love junk food, there’s a lot more awareness about healthy eating. Schools have improved their lunch programs, and many parents are more conscious about their kids’ diets.

10. Not Using Car Seats

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In the past, kids often rode in cars without car seats. Now, car seats are not only mandatory but also come with age and weight guidelines.

11. Buying Candy Cigarettes

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Candy cigarettes were once a common novelty item for kids. Today, they’re seen as promoting a harmful habit and are less available.

12. No Sunscreen

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Before the dangers of UV radiation were well-known, kids would often play in the sun without sunscreen. Now, sun protection is a must.

13. Walking to School Alone

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Many parents used to let their kids walk to school alone. Today, due to safety concerns, this is less common, especially for younger children.

14. Drinking from the Hose

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On hot summer days, kids drank water straight from the garden hose. Now, with concerns about bacteria and lead, this is generally discouraged.

15. Running Errands Alone

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Kids used to be sent on errands alone, like going to the store to pick up a few items. Today, this is less common due to safety concerns.

16. No Internet Monitoring

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Before the digital age, kids didn’t have to worry about their online activities being monitored. Now, parental controls and concerns about online safety mean less privacy for kids on the internet.

17. Playing with Dangerous Toys

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Many toys from the past would not meet today’s safety standards. From lawn darts to chemistry sets, kids can no longer play with these potentially dangerous items.

18. No Cell Phones, “I’ll be home when I’m home.”

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Before cell phones, kids could be out of contact for hours without causing worry. Now, many parents expect to be able to reach their kids at all times.

19. Less Homework

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In the past, kids often had less homework and more free time. Today, the amount of homework has increased, leaving less time for play.

20. No Social Online Media Pressure

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Before social media, kids didn’t have to worry about online popularity. Today, the pressure to get likes and followers can be a significant stressor.

While some of these changes may seem restrictive, they’re generally in place to keep kids safe and healthy. It’s interesting to see how societal norms and expectations have evolved over time!

STEM Education Guide originally published this article.

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