Life for those of us born in the 1970s and the early 1980s was different to Kids born today. We survived without a lot of kids stuff that parents think they cannot do without today. We were much stronger and could do a lot at a very young age.
I could do house work at an early age of 6, not that we didn’t have a house help but its how we were trained, but now things are different it is hard to see a child moving anywhere near a stove or cooker even at 10.
First, we survived being born to mothers took aspirin and didn’t get tested for diabetes.
Then after that trauma, we were put to sleep on our tummies on a mattress on the floor not baby cribs covered with bright coloured sheets.
To be put to sleep you were carried on the back tied with a cloth and not put on rocking baby cribs or wheeled around on baby cycles till one got dizzy and opted to sleep.
We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors or cabinets. When we rode our bikes, we had no helmets, not to mention, the risks we took climbing walls, trees and posts. As infants & children, we would ride in cars with no car seats, booster seats, seat belts or air bags.
We drank water from anywhere; from the river, lake, rainwater that collected in the bucket; the garden hose, directly from the tap whatever tap- outside the garden, in the toilet, on the street, in the kitchen sink and not from a bottle.
We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle; or shared a sweet with four friends- and no one actually died from this.
We ate cupcakes, ice cream, bread and blue band, but we weren’t overweight because we were always outside playing. We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the sun went down. No one was able to reach us all day. And we were o.k.
We would spend hours building our toys, out of scraps and tins or out of boxes and empty bottles. I remember when we used to ride down the hill, on a bike that had no brakes.
And mind you this small bike would be carrying 4 guys. We were already used to this because after running into the bushes and sewage trenches a few times, we knew how to solve the problem.
We made up games- after watching Black Ninja or Bud Spencer movie at our friend, Simon, they were the only ones with a video tape player- we went out and started playing Ninja with sticks and through Ninja bombs (tennis balls, stones etc) and, although we were told it would happen, we did not put out very many eyes.
We did not have Play stations, Nintendo’s, X-boxes, no video games at all, no 150 channels on cable, no video movies or DVDs, no surround-sound, CDs or I pods, no cell phones, no personal computers , no Internet or chat rooms, name them. We had friends and we went outside and found them.
We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and there were no lawsuits from these accidents.
We ate worms and mud food made from dirt (when playing papa and mama games), and the worms did not live in us forever.
We were given Biscuits for our 5th birthdays. In case you did well in school a pat in the back will do and a stun warning not to fail otherwise you will see, for the lucky ones a new school bag or uniforms would do.
We simply walked to a friend’s house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just walked in and talked to them. The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law (in this case talking of school) was unheard of.
They actually sided with the law. Imagine they even had the nerve to take the cane from the teacher and unleash it on you.
These generations have produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers and inventors ever.
We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned how to deal with it all.