Did your parents let you do these five things, and would you let your kids do them today?

There is a lot of discussion about children these days and how they aren’t nearly as independent as we were when kids.  As parents ourselves now, are we too being overly protective? Well, a recent study shows just how much times have changed.

RelayGo.com conducted a survey of over 1,000 parents. Each parent was asked about five specific activities. They were asked if they would let their ten year old child do these activities alone, and also if they were allowed at ten years old to do these same activities unsupervised.

The results are below:

  1. Would you let your 10yr old stay home alone for 2 hours? 53% said they did stay alone at 10 yrs of age for 2 hours, while only 36% say they would allow their own 10yr old to stay alone.
  2. Would you allow them to walk or bike to school alone? 68% walked or rode a bike alone, but only 43% would let their child do it today.
  3. Go to a public park to play alone? 51% of them did indeed play in public parks all alone, but a small 26% would let that happen today with their child.
  4. Play out in the yard without an adult present? 91% did it themselves, and 78% say they would  be okay with that now.
  5. Go trick-or-treating on Halloween without an adult? 44% did go alone for trick-or-treating, but only a small 24% would allow this today.

Other facts from the survey show that only 60% of kids today even like playing outside. And only 1 in 10 cited it as their favorite thing to do. Overall, the one activity the children cited as being their most favorite thing was (no surprise)… playing video games.

I think that’s sad. Going outside to play was what we lived for as kids. At ten years old I was hitchhiking five miles each way to my job as a caddie at Avon Oaks Country Club. Not kidding.

But the “times” have changed. You wouldn’t dare let your 10yr old hitchhike 10 miles a day now. I wouldn’t. So, I get it. We grew up when things were safer and times were less complicated. I’m certainly not a fan of getting older, but I am actually thankful that I grew up when I did.

How about you?

Rich Fields is a veteran radio broadcaster who is best known for having been the Announcer on the Price is Right. He is also an Emmy Award winning Meteorologist .