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Author Topic: Would you be a child again?  (Read 14116 times)

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Would you be a child again?
« on: March 26, 2013, 04:50:51 PM »
A while ago a friend mentioned to me that he would love to be a child again, because he remembered just playing and playing all day long, completely carefree. I had never thought about it before but was immediately struck by the opposite reaction, that I would never want to be a child again.

I had a perfectly fine childhood, great by a lot of standards. No major traumas of any kind. But when I think back on being a kid, the main thing I remember is feeling confused and powerless a lot of the time. Again, not because of anything especially horrible, just the normal things kids do--I felt like adults (parents/teachers/sitters/etc.) were always saying, "Go here, do this," and I never had any say in the matter or understood why we had to do those things. School was alright, I did well in it, but I found it rather boring, and at the same time occasionally stressful because I was under a lot of pressure to get straight A's; I had friends and they were fine, but it was a small school and my friends were more like, "the least not-compatible kids" rather than the "kids I have the most in common with."

Okay, now I sound like a total whiner. :) But I was just curious what other people thought about that idea--if you could be a child again, would you?

ETA: This was in the 1980s and early '90s, for reference.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2013, 06:17:19 PM by Lynn2000 »


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Re: Would you be a child again?
« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2013, 04:53:37 PM »
I would if I could carry the wisdom and self confidence I have now, back into my childhood.

Otherwise, no.
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Re: Would you be a child again?
« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2013, 04:57:48 PM »
If I could have the brain with all the knowledge I have now, yes, I would go back and start from childhood again.
No matter where you go, there you are...


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Re: Would you be a child again?
« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2013, 05:00:20 PM »
While I would give almost anything to see my parents again, and a day without all my responsibilities would be wonderful, it would require me to give up the one thing I wouldn't forfeit even to see them again.  The family I have created.  I wouldn't give up my husband or my kids for anything (except to save them) and I know my parents wouldn't want me to, so I guess my answer is no, I wouldn't want to be a kid again.  Unless I could be a kid again for like a day, then go back to me present life.  I also don't think I would go back and share any knowledge from now with my past self unless I knew I would still end up where I am now, just maybe a little better off, like still have my parents.  Okay, I'm rambling now.  Sorry.


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Re: Would you be a child again?
« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2013, 05:01:56 PM »
I am so excited about my life right now, and I wouldn't trade it for anything. I would really love to see some deceased loved ones again though, so I guess it's kind of a toss up for me.

So basically what Jules just said. I would do it for a day to see my loved ones again, but I want to get back where I am now.
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Re: Would you be a child again?
« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2013, 05:14:33 PM »
No.  I would not want to have to go through all the phases again, like finding a husband and proving myself in my career.


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Re: Would you be a child again?
« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2013, 05:17:16 PM »
If I could have the brain with all the knowledge I have now, yes, I would go back and start from childhood again.

This. Otherwise, no. while I didn't have a miserable childhood, I was shy, quiet, didn't have a lot of friends and was picked on all the time. No way I'd go back and relive all that agian.


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Re: Would you be a child again?
« Reply #7 on: March 26, 2013, 05:24:42 PM »
Maybe the last year of teenaged life, but I had no control, many bad memories, couldn't participate in sports or any non-church or non-school events. Yes I had playtime, but also a lot of responsibilities and little choice in the matter. I was often confused on adult vs. Child responsibilities and perks. I swimmingly took to being an adult and, though some days are hard, wouldn't trade back.
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Re: Would you be a child again?
« Reply #8 on: March 26, 2013, 05:32:26 PM »
My mom (along with 90% of the other moms on our block) was of the opinion that if the sun was out and we weren't at school, we were to be outside. Thus, my childhood was a blur of spending long, hot days outside, and having to take turns going to different houses on the block to use the bathroom or get a drink or snack. She was a SAHM, but that meant soap operas and house cleaning took the priority, not time with her daughters. So, no, I would not go back. (O/T I was astonished to learn working moms today spend more quality time with their children than SAHM's of the the 60's and 70's, cured my guilt forever.)

School was a pretty terrible time other than music, science and literature. My life drastically improved in my 20's and 30's. About ten years ago, I stopped wondering how my life would have turned out if I had made different decisions. I wouldn't have met DH, and DS would not exist. I would never change neither of those.
“All that is gold does not glitter, Not all those who wander are lost; The old that is strong does not wither, Deep roots are not reached by the frost."
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Re: Would you be a child again?
« Reply #9 on: March 26, 2013, 05:33:41 PM »
Oh no!  Especially if it was with my highly dysfunctional family.  After more than 30 years of marriage my mother is still waiting for me to come out of the closet.  Her evidence:

  • I joined the Army (well, it was in the 70s  ;))
  • I got married before I had children

I remember as a pre-teen having people tell me these were the best years of my life.  It frightened me that life wouldn't get better.  Fortunately I planned my escape--by joining the Army--and discovered things really could get better. 
« Last Edit: March 26, 2013, 05:35:50 PM by Library Dragon »

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Re: Would you be a child again?
« Reply #10 on: March 26, 2013, 05:54:00 PM »


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Re: Would you be a child again?
« Reply #11 on: March 26, 2013, 06:00:30 PM »


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Re: Would you be a child again?
« Reply #12 on: March 26, 2013, 06:09:47 PM »
I don't think I would want to be a child again unless I could go back to the time-frame of my childhood. Back then (I was born in 1960) it really was much more carefree than it is now-a-days.

I remember playing in our 3-acre field (before my parents sold the lot) climbing trees, making hay-forts, planting our own garden (us kids were responsible for our own patch), watching cloud formations, riding bicycles (with no helmets!) etc.

When 7 houses were built on that lot, each house had kids about our age. All of our back yards connected with no fence. Softball games, hide-n-seek, kick-the-can. Camp-outs, with bonfires.

We were told on a daily basis to go out and play! We never had to "check in" but if we didn't go home when the bell rang (a huge clanging bell on the back porch) there was heck to pay.

My mom was a stay-at-home mom. She was the one that taught me how to fish. She took us on field trips to the beach, the museum, the library, CUB's games (I love my Cubs!) ;D. She taught me how to bake bread, make jam, cook dinner, throw a party.

She encouraged us to sign up for Park District classes -- swimming, baton twirling, arts & crafts, etc. However, she never drove us to these places. We had to ride our bikes and be responsible enough to get there on time. At 8 years old? That was freedom.

Yes, there were a lot of chores and strong discipline if we didn't follow the rules. ("Wait 'till your father get's home! He was the one that administered the spankings.)

We were allowed only 1 hr. of TV per day. There were no computers, no cell phones, no worries about "Stranger Danger" or being the best in class. No pressure to succeed at "soccer" and be the one to help bring the team to a championship. Going to college was a choice (at that time college wasn't necessary in order to get a good job.)

I would not want to be a child these days.

Even though I tried to raise my daughters in the manner that my parents raised me, there were still too many restrictions on them. When they were 6 & 8 and wanted to go to the park (a block away) I felt that I had to go with them, you know, to supervise. During the summer, while I was working? Yup, you better believe that they were in a structured day care. No carefree summer for them!

Even though they were signed up for all sorts of Park District programs, I drove them there and picked them up. Sometimes I even waited in the hall, or on the bleachers while they had their classes.

I did take them to ball games (never a Cubs game, sigh) and museums, fun field trips, but it was always on "my time" when I could get a day off of work.

Yes, they were encouraged early on to get good grades in school so that they could get into the college of their choice. This is definitely not a bad thing, but it puts added pressure on a child.

Cell phones and computers? Okay, I've already written a novel so I'll stop here.

Being a child these days, in my opinion, is certainly not the freedom and carefree style of childhood that it was in the past.

Sheila Take a Bow

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Re: Would you be a child again?
« Reply #13 on: March 26, 2013, 06:12:23 PM »
I would like to be a child but not permanently -- if I could have an afternoon to be a child and play with my own child, that would be a lot of fun.  She's funny and quirky and adventurous and playful, and I think she's a good playmate.

But I wouldn't want it to be permanent -- as much fun as I'd have with her as a playmate, I think she's even more fun as a daughter.


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Re: Would you be a child again?
« Reply #14 on: March 26, 2013, 06:14:12 PM »
Yes and no. 

I would love the free-range life I had as a child on Saturdays.  You would have your breakfast at home, make yourself a sandwich for lunch, take a dime  from the piggy-bank to buy a soda and another dime  just in case you had to make a phone call home. 

Then you were off to ride your bike for a destination 15 or 20 miles away.  You weren't expected home until sundown.  If you came home early you were likely to be asked if you felt well. 

Weekdays were another matter.  You rode your bike or walked to school.  You did your work there.  You came home, did your homework and chores.   You helped  set the table and helped with the dishes. You practiced the clarinet and drove the dog nuts for an hour.  If you were lucky, you got to
watch an hour of television before you had to go to bed. Of course, you would  read or, after the invention of the transistor, listen to the radio under the covers for an hour or so before you went to sleep. 

On Sundays, you got dressed up and went to church.  You ate a big dinner at noon and spent the
afternoon in your Sunday Best, visiting Grandparents and playing with cousins. That might have been
 good but on Sunday evenings you got to watch the Ed Sullivan Show at home in your pajamas, if your homework was ready for Monday morning.

I certainly wouldn't like the life of a modern child.  From what I see, it's so driven towards success
and so structured that kids don't have much time to really be kids. We didn't have 'play dates'.  We just wandered over to so-and-so's house to see if they felt like playing after we finished our chores.


« Last Edit: March 26, 2013, 06:18:00 PM by Thipu1 »