No idle boast – helicopter parents not required

We was good and brung up PROPER – according to me mum.

It is time to congratulate ALL WHO WERE BORN IN THE 1940’s, 50’s, 60’s and 70’s

They survived being born to mothers who smoked and/or drank Sherry while they carried us and lived in houses made of asbestos…

They took aspirin, ate blue cheese, bread and dripping, raw egg products, loads of bacon and processed meat, tuna from a can, and didn’t get tested for diabetes or cervical cancer.

Then after that trauma, they painted our baby cots with brightly coloured lead-based coatings. Even our toys were hazards.

We survived even though there was no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors or cabinets and when we rode our pushbikes, we had no helmets or shoes, not to mention, the risks we took hitchhiking. If we were really privileged we would paddock bash in an old car – because someone had a dad that didn’t need the car anymore – they might even give you the petrol to put in it!

As children, we would ride in cars with no seat belts or air bags, and some cars had dicky seats – the boot opened to give an extra seat. Even the back of a ute was OK – but you had to be sensible and sit down around town.

We drank water from the garden hose and NOT from a PET bottle.

Take away food was limited to fish and chips (not that cotton oil stuff either), no pizza shops, McDonalds , KFC, Subway or Nandos.

Even though all the shops closed at 6.00pm and by midday Saturday, and didn’t open on a Sunday, somehow we didn’t starve to death!

Sunday was special – the pub was family day – dad had to buy a meal for us to get a beer.

Going to the corner shop was a treat – they knew your name!

We shared one soft drink with four friends, even without a straw, from one bottle and NO ONE we know actually died from this.

We could collect old drink bottles and cash them in at the corner store and buy lollies or whatever like Bubble Gum.

We ate teacakes with icing on top, cupcakes with hundreds and thousands on top, white bread and real butter cut real thick, milk from the cow that left a white mark on your top lip from the thick cream, even milkshakes used sour milk with extra ladles of sirup because it tasted better, and we drank soft drinks with sugar in it, 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 streetlights came on.

No though no one was able to reach us all day. And we were OK and loving it.

We would spend hours building our billy carts (go carts) out of old prams and then ride down the hill without brakes.  And, what about the brakes you might say, why did you need them you would say, building them wastes time, time you can have to have fun.  Just yell and everyone get out of your way!

We built tree houses and dens and played in river beds with matchbox cars.  We were allowed to cry if we lost one – so long as we had a good reason.

We did not have PlayStations, Nintendo Wii, X-boxes, no video games at all, no 999 channels on SKY channel, no video/DVD films, or colour smart TV, no mobile phones, no personal computers, no iPads, no Internet or Internet chat rooms………WE HAD FRIENDS and we went outside and found them! We even knew what the weather was like outside – by feeling it.

We fell out of trees, got cuts, broke bones and teeth and there were no lawsuits from these accidents – it was learning to go with the flow.

Only girls had pierced ears! But being cool was fine – like leaving your buttons undone on your shirt.

We ate worms and mud pies made from dirt, and the worms did not live in us forever. Good old Castor oil was yucky but did the job so mum said. Dad might argue a swig of home brew will fix that problem.  And grandpa would give you some grappa for the same reason. It worked all of it – I don’t have worms!

You could only buy Easter Eggs and Hot Cross Buns at Easter time….and you knew what it meant.

We were given air guns and slingshots (catapults) for our 10th birthdays, for pest control of course.

We rode bikes or walked to a friend’s house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just yelled for them for them to come out.

Mum didn’t have to go to work to help dad make ends meet because we didn’t need to keep up with the Jones’s! Even though they lived in the street – we had our pride.

Not everyone made the rugby/football/cricket/netball team. Those who didn’t had to learn to deal with disappointment. Imagine that!! Getting into the team was based on MERIT

Our teachers used to hit us with canes and sand shoes (gym shoes) and throw the blackboard rubber at us, if they thought we weren’t concentrating … even six of the best could be seen as a correction effort to help you on your way to be a better citizen.

We can string sentences together and spell and have proper conversations because of a good, solid three R’s education.

Our parents would tell us to ask a stranger to help us cross the road.

The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of – They actually sided with the law!

Our parents didn’t invent stupid names for their kids like ‘Kiora’ and ‘Blade’ and ‘Ridge’ and ‘Vanilla’ – not even ‘Tiger’ was used?

We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned HOW TO DEAL WITH IT ALL !

The local copper would clip us across the ears if we needed to learn respect, if we learnt from that we were going to be alright, if not – then we became problems and most probably ended up in the armed forces and welcomed back as hero’s.

When we grew up to thirteen , we were responsible – we made sure nobody else would get hurt if we were stupid – unless we was off our face – then some other responsible person would make sure your parents knew to kick your butt cause you we stupid – so you did not become a criminal while growing up.  But once you reached nineteen you better know you should know better.

Yeah, we were the lucky ones, a time when you had the luck to grow up as kids, before the bevy of lawyers and the government regulated our lives for our own good.

So now the question is: Should you be congratulated because of how brave your parents were? Would it be allowed today? Is that the real problem with kids today?

Why are we now so afraid to live our own lives, without being watched over all the time? Beware even reading this story is profiling you!

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