Sac’s kids today

One of many fun outdoor things kids could be seen doing recently. Gold Rush Daze 1 by C.M. Keiner on Flickr

I know a few of us bloggers like to joke about how we are grumpy old men trapped in svelte, exquisitely toned younger men’s bodies. But I’d like us to take a moment to make fun of this awesome op-ed that takes it to a professional level. It’s a “Special to The Bee” from Bruce Maiman, a former radio show host living in Rocklin:

With Labor Day weekend behind us and the unofficial end of summer upon us, I’m reminded of something I rarely see anymore: kids playing outside. Have you noticed? Over the years, there’s less and less of it. Why?

Feel free to tell me your favorite part. I think my favorite is where he completely discounts skateboarding, a great outdoor activity, but cites playing with army guys as an example of acceptable “outdoor play.” Or maybe when he laments that kids here in Sacramento, on the West Coast of the United States, are rarely found bottling fireflies. Or when he blames the 24 hour news cycle for scaring parents into keeping their kids indoors, paragraphs after raising the specter of rising obesity as a scare tactic to get kids outside playing stickball.

Author: CoolDMZ

"X-ray vision to see in between / Where's my kimono and my time machine?"

7 thoughts on “Sac’s kids today”

  1. The reason parents keep their kids in…. as in singular? Typical to most sac metro neighborhoods, we’ve got four reasons: pedophiles, kidnappers, drug dealers and roaming pit bulls. Thanks to Megan’s law we know that three of the first choice live within walking distance of our house; the others–granted–are all mere possibilities–and kids should feel safer inside their own homes–but ask Mark Klass how he feels about the odds of kidnappings. As far as the last two, drug dealers have been moving into middle-class neighborhoods more frequently, along with pot-growing-in-a-residence operations… and I counted two free roaming pit bulls last week stalking past our house, no tags or collars on either.

    Am I paranoid parent? I prefer the modifier “cautious” and I also prefer taking the kids to the public park by a library, which usually are free of the latter three. I join the other moms and dads–which stand hawk-like on guard–while our kids swing obliviously the monkey bars and slide down the slides, just being kids. That, unfortunately–is city life for parents of younger kids these days. Gone are the days of being able to bike around with your buddies through suburban vacant lots with an E.T. doll in your front basket.

    Now, as my kids get older–and learn a marshal art or two–I’ll feel a bit easier in my mind about having them stroll down the street, but still the skate park and Bball courts might be the better option… with Dad and I across the park within sight, favoring everyone near our kids with a wary glance and thinking to ourselves “Not on my watch…”


  2. I agree, not to get all serious but I actually dispute his argument that there are the same number of pedophiles now as there were, at least when I was a kid in the 80s. I don’t have any data to back this up, just a hunch, which as a parent I reserve the right to act on.


  3. Bruce Maiman can be at tool, but he is mostly on target here. Local news has squeezed out all useful information in favor of fear mongering and an endless weather tease.

    The one family on my block who actually lets their kids run around like the good ol days is also the family whose kids used to run around naked and whose dog can be seen all over the neighborhood.


  4. I guess we can all agree that local news is a joke. But he’s doing 80% the same thing with his poorly researched op ed using obesity as a scare tactic. Kids can eat Cheetos and Mountain Dew for breakfast and then do army men and suddenly not be fat?


  5. I am one of those crazy parents that sends my kids outside. However when my kids are inside it is that jerk Gutenberg I have to blame. All they ever do is read. What the hell is up with that?


  6. The stranger danger argument is bullshit. Your kid is far more likely to be injured when you’re driving, or at school, or by a family member than by a stranger. More hypersensitivity that’s just going to make our kids incapable of taking chances and living like adults.


  7. Children are not adults. Children are children. Children should not be instructed to “take chances” except under supervision.


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