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SergeantQueen's avatar

What are things that you look back on and go "How the heck was I allowed to do this"?

Asked by SergeantQueen (11751points) 1 month ago

Freshman year I went to New Orleans for a jazz fest.

Group of 4 14–17 year olds were able to just walk around the French Quarter with no adult with us at all.

We ended up on Bourbon street because we got lost lol.

Not sure how high schoolers were allowed to walk around a huge city alone, almost 20+ hours away from home. Don’t get it lol but it was fun.

This was a school event too

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20 Answers

Mimishu1995's avatar

Not me, but more like “How the heck were people allowed to do this?”

When I was in kindergarten, I was thrown into the bathroom for not singing a song correctly. I was also cut on the hand with scissors for not staying in line. There was once when it was bedtime and I was among the kids who were sleeping in a cold and wet surface, so I took the opportunity while the teacher was away to move up to a more comfortable place though still cold and wet. When the teacher came back, I was beaten and put back to the old place.

If it was today the teachers taking care of me would have been charged with child abuse and had their names ridiculed all over the Internet.

LuckyGuy's avatar

When I was about 10 we bought powerful fireworks from the ice cream man and blew up all kinds of things.
We had a riflery class in high school and took our own guns to school. We carried them on the school bus and kept them in our lockers. .

seawulf575's avatar

I did a lot of things that no one really “allowed” me to do, and which were fairly stupid. It wasn’t like mom gave me the scissors and told me to run around the yard.

rebbel's avatar

Group of 4 14–17 year olds were able to just walk around the French Quarter with no adult with us at all.

I know you are not kidding, but this to me sounds almost like you’re taking the piss.
You mean to say you were not allowed to walk in New Orleans, without adults?
Why not?
Said who?

JLeslie's avatar

When I was 6 years old my mom let me walk to the supermarket myself. It was a block away, but parking lots are so dangerous!

My neighbor asked me to babysit her infant and 3 year old when I was eleven. I was really too young. My mom checked on me, which was good, she helped me feed the baby.

mazingerz88's avatar

French kiss the love of my life when I was 18.

Forever_Free's avatar

By today’s standards, EVERYTHING I was allowed to do as a kid is in question.

I am so grateful for not being helicoptered by my parents.
All they cared was that I made it home for supper at 5pm and when the street lights went on in the evening.
That freedom is significant. It bothers me that today’s society does not allow kids to explore like I was able to. Yes, there were things to watch out for, but with good parenting instilling in us a sense of good judgment, we survived.

Mild rant over

I do recall being allowed to take the bus by myself at age 10 to go visit my Grandmother. I took a wrong bus (correct number, but wrong direction) and ended up at the end of the line. The bus driver turned to me and asked where i was going? 2 hours later I got to my Grandmothers house. More of a lesson learned experience.

Dutchess_III's avatar

When I was 6 we lived in Florida. Running through the back yard was a man made canal. It came off of Tampa Bay. Everybody had one running through their back yard. It rose and fell with the tides.
Every kid in the neighborhood ran rampant with no supervision. I was in charge of my 3 year old sister.
One day she fell off the sea wall, duh Mom and Dad.
Fortunately the tide was out so she landed on sand.
What were those 60s parents thinking??

Zaku's avatar

I’m more appalled by how much so-called “protection” some people attempt to apply today.

My parents trusted me quite a bit… and I was very grateful, and it inspired me to continue to deserve their trust, in their eyes. Sometimes I got up to things I should not have, almost always because of the other kids I associated with, who had much stricter parents and were therefore acting out in sometimes quite delinquent and in some cases dangerous ways.

Trying to overly control children leads to problems. Often, worse problems than you’d have if you didn’t overly control them. That’s kind of the point. You can’t control people entirely. And if you try too hard, they will resent it, and act out to make up for it, often over-compensating, or even developing life-long unhealthy behavior patterns.

So “How the heck was I allowed to do this”? I know how. I was a good kid blessed with parents and teachers who mainly trusted me, because I continued to seem to deserve to be trusted.

The things I did that were most crazy, were as some level or other of accomplice to kids acting out against their parents who were trying to tell them they couldn’t do things, to an unreasonable degree. This generated attacks on society. Rocks flying through the neighborhood. Tires rolling down steep hills into busy streets, hitting cars. Sabotage of parked cars. Calls to the police. People calling police because people (8-year-old kids, but they didn’t know that) were sneaking through their yard at night. Many prank calls. Petty theft. Fraud. Etc Almost all before about age 10, about the time I stopped being friends with the last of my most chaotic friends. I had little or no reason nor desire to participate in such things, but the kids with over-controlling parents sure did.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Our next door.neighbor had an indoor pool. The door to the pool room was never locked. I pulled my 3 year old sister outta that too.

SergeantQueen's avatar


The teachers told us where to meet. Then we were allowed to walk around. We had to be in a group of 4, but we did not need an adult and most groups didn’t have one.

product's avatar

I was pretty “free” to be a kid when I was young. It was a different time, but my wife and I have approached parenting in a similar way. Our kids were far too “free range” for some people I know (“It’s not the 70s!”), but we’ve been fortunate to foster a relationship with our kids that involves a large amount of reciprocal trust and respect.

I’m pretty happy that I was allowed to live a bit as a kid, and I can’t honestly look back and wish that I had been restricted from engaging in some activity.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

14 years old playing Double Bass in a Jazz band, beginning of second set, the waitress for the restaurant brings a beer over puts it next to me, “this is from the bartender.” Everybody else got one too.

We each got another one at the beginning third set.

We each made over $8.00 for three hours, minimum wage was $1.15 and hour. Two beers each . . . bonus!

raum's avatar

My older sister showed me how to grab onto a train (as it stops at a crossing) to hitch a ride to the next town over (for thrift shopping and comic book store).

I’d have a heart attack if one of my kids ever did that.

raum's avatar

We also used to walk around downtown with bare feet (sandy feet and in our bathing suits).

As a parent, that just makes me think of tetanus shots and athletes foot.

Dutchess_III's avatar

My kid’s dad and I got divorced when they were pretty young. We lived in Wichita.
Several years later we moved to a small town. They were getting to the age where if I kicked them out of the car they could make their way home!
We had no internet or TV during this time.
My kids were free range. I wouldn’t have done that in Wichita.

jca2's avatar

When I was little, (second, third grade), I used to walk to my friend’s house about two miles away, and then we’d walk all over, exploring, going to stores, hanging around. Now, if a child was walking around unattended at age 7 or 8 the parents would be arrested. It was a simpler time – this was in the early 1970’s.

When I was 14 and 15, I used to take the train by myself to New York city to walk around. I used to go with friends sometimes, too. We’d go to Greenwich Village which was a cool place to walk around. This was around 1980, which was during the height of the punk era. We’d buy black leather bracelets with studs in them. They were around $2 at the time. We’d hang out in Washington Square Park. From where I lived at the time, I could get to the city either by taking Metro North (the regular commuter train) or by taking the bus and then the subway from the last stop in the Bronx.

JLeslie's avatar

@jca2 You reminded me that we used to take the subway by ourselves (my sister and I) as young teens and even when we were in London on vacation when I was 14 and my sister 11, my sister and I took the subway (tube) ourselves from the hotel to get our hair cut, and then again to meet our parents in another part of the city.

I wonder if teenagers in NYC still travel the subways on their own? I haven’t really paid attention even though I use the subway when I’m in NY. Don’t kids still use it to get to school if they attend outside of their district?

Metro North I would especially feel is safe for teens assuming they can handle once arriving at their stop whether someone is meeting them or need to transfer or walk somewhere. Arriving in the city can be overwhelming in Grand Central if not accustomed to it, but to another smallish town not so overwhelming.

jca2's avatar

@JLeslie: In the city, teens definitely take the subway on their own to school or other places. I can tell you that with people that I know, here, we’d never let our kids take the train or subway unless there was someone on the other end to meet them. There would be no taking the train or subway into the city to just wander around, unattended, like I did, 40 years ago.

flutherother's avatar

Traveling standing up in the back of a lorry to pick potatoes. Paddling a homemade raft in deep water . Attempting the assault course used by soldiers of the Territorial Army. The list goes on and on.

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