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To wonder how many people think that they had a better childhood than their children are getting?

(44 Posts)
Joysmum Fri 28-Feb-14 12:03:39

I was chatting fondly about my childhood and it made me realise that the things I most enjoyed, my own DD hasn't got to experience because times have changed.

So what do you remember fondly and will your child's memories when they are an adult match up with yours?

ElvisJesusAndCocaCola Fri 28-Feb-14 12:06:55

It was mixed: mum was at home, while I work. But we weren't getting her attention the way my kids do.

Went to stay at the parental home for a summer holiday and spent most of the week on camber sands, only 5 miles away. Mum and Dad never took me. It was all national trust and antiques roadshow!

So I won't fondly remember family time, and I totally took mum's presence for granted. Hopefully my kids will enjoy te days out together we have; no doubt they will take tem for granted too.

But I did love the freedom to run round the village and surrounding fields.. My kids won't get that in the same way.

Hoppinggreen Fri 28-Feb-14 12:17:25

I don't think it Im making bloody making sure of it!!!

ithaka Fri 28-Feb-14 12:27:07

My children are definitely enjoying a better childhood than me!

I had a good childhood, but my children's is better.

We are in the countryside, as I was, and my children have enjoyed the same freedom to roam.

We have a far smaller house, but other material advantages. The girls have been abroad 4 or 5 times, we only went abroad once.

My little one got a pony younger than me, it is a far better pony than I ever had and we have transport to get out and about rather than having to hack to the odd local event.

But beyond all that I have a happy and close marriage. My parents' marriage was a disaster zone. My girls have a secure base from which to set out into the world and return to when they need to. That is what I always lacked in life as my parents' marriage finally imploded as I hit my teens.

The best thing I know I can do for my children is love their father & stay with him - that makes a happy childhood more than anything.

Primrose123 Fri 28-Feb-14 12:27:53

I feel the opposite actually. My parents were better off than we are, my DM didn't work, and she had a cleaner, so had plenty of free time when I was in school. My DF, however, worked very hard running his own business, very long hours, and often had to work during the night too. I don't remember my DM spending much time with me though, and I was an only child, so spent most of my childhood alone. I wasn't unhappy, I know they loved me, but I wouldn't say it was a wonderful childhood. I don't remember any 'family time' at all.

We are not as well off as my parents were. I have alternated between working part time, and being a SAHM. I spent hours and hours with my DC as they were growing up. We did lots of things together and are really close. We've had great holidays - some exotic, many quite ordinary - but we've always had a good time. I think my DC have had a much better childhood.

anothernumberone Fri 28-Feb-14 12:29:08

Being a stay at home mum was a gruelling endless task with very little joy for my mum. It put me off it but made me appreciate how hard it was. There are a lot of us so washing was endless and the house was sterilely spotless at all times. No toys strewn about in spite of all those kids. I work full time and my house is the opposite a veritable toy fest.

We also pitched in a lot to help with the house and garden which is very positive and something I do with my kids.

Outside was our play ground, we were free to roam. We lived in the country but moved to a town when we were older. It is funny really but my siblings are divided on whether they wanted a town/country life for their kids based on our experiences. I hated the country and adored the town with all of the possibilities it offered. My kids live in the town but do not get outside enough as they are too close to a busy road. This is something we will have to address this summer.

I had loads of positives from my upbringing but I learned a lot about what I wanted to do differently too. My parents were very traditional and conservative. They have totally mellowed over the years but we had a very stifled early childhood because of it. There was a huge them versus us thing going on and very limited proper interaction with my father until we were older. I could not describe my early childhood as a joyous experience but there was plenty if joyful times. I never embraced a family dynamic for a variety of reasons and I feel that was the one thing I was to instil in my children a genuine feeling of love and belonging both verbalised and a physical connection with hugs, cuddles and kisses. So far so good on that front but I have no teenagers. My DH is equally as involved with the kids and equally as affectionate which is better too.

All in all I think my kids are getting a pretty good innings comparatively but I wish I could give them more time which my mum did in spades but sure nothing is perfect.

cory Fri 28-Feb-14 12:34:04

I remember a childhood with good health and without physical pain or fear of pain.

This is not a childhood my dd has ever been able to experience. sad

On the plus side, she has had a better social life, lovely friends and little bullying.

Both of us have had plenty of family time and families that enjoyed doing things together (long tradition of this in my family, going back generations).

desertmum Fri 28-Feb-14 12:45:42

No way! My kids have a much much better childhood that I did - they have experienced things I wished I could, they have travelled, lived overseas, met amazing people and have parents who love them, don't argue and can afford to give them a nice life. My childhood was the exact opposite. No way would I wish my childhood on my kids.

Sirzy Fri 28-Feb-14 12:47:44

DS has a different childhood to mine. But both are happy and loved childhoods and that (without sounding corny) is the most important thing in it.

DomesticDisgrace Fri 28-Feb-14 12:52:03

I was dragged up by two abusive drunks, witness so much violence and suicide attempts. My daughter has a great little life, she's so loved and secure, we roar laughing every day.
I do worry myself sick that I'll wake up like my own mother one day and leave her (my mam left me and her sister left her kids, so I fear it's something horrible in my blood)

sisterofmine Fri 28-Feb-14 12:53:27

i had a hideous childhood, and i make sure she has a better time than i did.

BUT i also make time to do the old fashioned activities too

IdRatherPlayHereWithAllTheMadM Fri 28-Feb-14 12:56:47

Mixed, materially yes and no, I grew up in far larger, better house, in a very nice area....

however my dc have more than i have, at better school and have been away, go to loads more cultural things that I didnt.

emotionally i hope so...far less arguing, in fact very rare arguing from me and DH

maillotjaune Fri 28-Feb-14 13:04:12

I think my kids have quite a similar childhood to mine but with
- better holidays, children's TV
- less playing in the road(actually in the toad, not the pavement)grin

OK I didn't have computer games but played lots of board games. Still read lots, go to park etc

shewhowines Fri 28-Feb-14 13:22:14

I think my kids have many more material things, and far nicer experiences, than we had.

I think, though, my childhood was far more innocent and free from the pressures and anxiety, that a lot of todays children are subjected to.

I worry about the mental health of my children, and most children, in the future.

shewhowines Fri 28-Feb-14 13:27:06

General society's pressures , that is.

The pressure to look perfect
The pressure at school to achieve
The influence of tv

Whilst we had those pressures years ago, it is far greater now.

YoureBeingASillyBilly Fri 28-Feb-14 13:40:06

Definitely i had more outdoor time and was never bored unless it rained heavily. We lived in the countryside and had free reign tbh. I envy myself for my children if that makes sense. We now live in a terrace on a busy road. The only positive about that is my dcs have neighbour friends to play with which we never had. My dcs do have a lot more options for social interactions and to build confidence and independence because we are in a town and everything is on our doorstop. Dsis and I were painfully shy growing up and still both have issues interacting with peers.

My dcs also only have one parent living with them. The other they see EOW. Tbh i havent decided yet if thats an improvement on my childhood or not. I remember lots of arguments that were very scary to witness. My dcs have never witnessed their parents argue. (But is that good or bad?)

Financially my dcs have a lot less than i had as a child but i'm not sure if childhood me was asked and my dcs were asked whether it would be obvious. Aside from things like holidays.

My dcs get a lot more of me than i did of my parents. I'm at home and they both worked FT which indefinitely noticed ad felt as i got older.

BirthdayMuppet Fri 28-Feb-14 14:23:33

I had a great childhood. Didn't really want for anything in that I appreciated what I had, even if it wasn't much in quantity or monetary value. My children have way more in the form of 'stuff' and 'experiences' than I did, but I had vastly more outdoor freedom and, in conjunction, responsibility. I really regret this slide into paranoia that we seem to be experiencing in terms of physical freedom for children, and the repression of parenting freedoms it's bringing.

cory Fri 28-Feb-14 15:06:42

Like IdRather, I grew up in a bigger house than I've been able to offer dc.

But dc have had cultural opportunities that I would have killed for: real actors coming into school to talk about Shakespeare, school trips to museums and theatres, a school environment where reading a book in your lunchbreak is not tantamount to waving a big sign saying PLEASE BEAT ME UP NOW.

tbh I don't think I've been a particularly paranoid parent when it comes to safety and independence, probably about the same as my own parents, have tended to allow very similar things

As for the pressure to look perfect: I think I knew more teens with anorexia in my day than dd does now.

Not drinking seems far more accepted at the teen parties she goes to than it ever did in my day.

Fatphase Fri 28-Feb-14 15:37:11

I had an amazing childhood yet we were very poor.

I have such find memories of my mum always being there for me. Wash days with the twin tub. I remember being fascinated by it when we first got it and felt so grown up being able to help her. My grandparents lived in the same village and my mum would send me to collect eggs from their hens or veg and fruit from their market garden. My Grandparents let me help with draining the honeycomb from their hives for honey.

I used to play out all the time. Our cul de sac had 16 houses and all but 1 had children. We were all similar in ages and used to play street games like May I, Coco, British Bulldog. The junior school was at the top of my street and we used to climb over the gates at weekends and school holidays and use the netball hoops and play hop scotch.

I grew up in a village where I was free to roam. Everyone knew us and would say hello or report us if we were upto no good. We used to go scrumping sometimes. We used to go off on our bikes with a sandwish in the morning of the summer holidays and end up in the surrounding countryside. We had rope swings over a stream, would take our nets and catch tiddlers (tadpoles and spawn in the spring). We used to shout and scream for hours listening to our echoes under a deserted viaduct. we used to feed the ponies apples and set treasure trails using twigs and stones. Play hide n seek in the fields, hedges and trees surrounding our village. I used to make mud pies in my mums (unused plant pots) and get generally mucky and dirty. We used to take ourselves upto the village park and play for hours on the roundabouts and swings - all based on rock solid concrete!!

We were poor. I had hand me down clothes and shoes. I recall getting my first ever brand new item of clothing on my 10th birthday - a rara skirt. All my toys were secondhand from my sister or older kids in the street. My nan knitted outfits for Sindy and we made furniture out of ceral boxes and loo rolls.

We used to collect crisp packets from the park for PDSA tokens for free posters and corona bottles for the 10p deposit.

School was mostly fun and about friends as much as learning.I recall the summer fetes, the chocolate crunch pudding and green custard and bringing home the school guinea pig and rabbit at weekends and school holidays.

We had little material things. We wanted for so little though. We had friends on tap and a freedom that just does not exist for most anymore. I remeber being happy happy happy 99.9% of the time and just being able to discover things for myself with no one helicoptering around. We learnt quickly from mistakes.

By comparison my kids have had a very privelidged upbringing. They are much better travelled and better educated. There is no doubt they have had a good childhood but I do doubt it is better all round. There are better things but they want for more, they are certainly under more pressure at school and although they have a fair amount of freedom they do not have anywhere near the same levels I had as a child. We live in the middle of nowhere so they can roam - but traffic is always a worry these days and there is no way I would let them go off after breakfast in the holidays with a sandwich and let them come back 12 hours later. Infact i would imagine if I did - I would be judged as a neglectful parent these days.

The 70's were a different time to today. My childhood was good but I am sure many were awful in a way that they would not be today. There are pro's and cons to all generations but on refelction I think all in all I had a better childhood than my kids. Just because they have grown up faster and experience more pressure from all differet areas of life sooner/earlier.

needaholidaynow Fri 28-Feb-14 15:58:03

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

shewhowines Fri 28-Feb-14 16:39:13

I also think I appreciated things more and valued the rarer outings and holidays. Christmas and birthdays were happily anticipated and presents treasured and looked after.

Kids don't get that type of pleasure nowadays. Everything is taken for granted, a lot they feel entitled to, and experiences are diminished in value, purely because there are so many of them.

I was a child for so much longer. I wasn't aware of the awful things that happen in society. Kids are exposed to adult worries, sex and dilemmas, through the tv and "playground talk", that I would have had no idea about. Kids aren't kids for very long. i think that is a shame.

Gileswithachainsaw Fri 28-Feb-14 16:52:38

I had a better childhood for sure.

I do try my best with my kids and thy have more toy wise and as much love and attention I received.

But I grew up in a village. We didn't have much. We were clothes and fed but money was frustratingly tight. No shopping trips for me I had to make do with clothes from m&s or John Lewis. That doesn't sound like a hardship I know but there was never anything I liked but we couldn't go anywhere else because my parents had store cards. It was the only way they could but is clothes. So hike everyone was in pretty little outfits or more fashionable stuff I had to have boring stuff. Sounds daft now but I was desperate to go on the high street with my friends and but clothes is picked. Anyway despite no proper holidays or games consoles or even a video player til I was 9 we were out, all the time aging. Riding bikes, roller skating, climbing trees, finding bugs etc.

It was safe, there were other children, everyone knew eachother. Werevr to a good school,got to walk to that school.

All stuff that's soooo much harder to come by now and not the same.

MrsBungle Fri 28-Feb-14 16:59:26

My kids are having a nicer childhood than I did. I witnessed a lot of violence until I was about 9 or 10. We were poor and although we were really loved by our mum, life was quite difficult.

My kids have two loving parents who love each other. We are comfortable. My kids seem very happy.

BackforGood Fri 28-Feb-14 17:06:44

No - I think it is unreasonable to try to compare different times - at the time, my childhood was very happy, and it was what we all had, at that time in 'history'. My dcs also have a good childhood, but, as society has evolved, they have different experiences.
What I mean is, there are lots of things about my childhood that I wouldn't want to go back to now, but at the time they weren't an issues, as that is all we knew.

From sunburn to all TV being B&W and only 3 channels, and not being able to record it, to the 3 day week and food shortages and constant power cuts and trying to do homework by candlelight and the rubbish piling up on the streets and inflation being at 70%, etc.,etc.etc., but, as a young child, you just thought that was what childhood was, didn't really think anything of it.
I'm sure our grandchildren will be a bit disbelieving of some of the things our dc "cope" with.

Laquitar Fri 28-Feb-14 17:13:27

Both me and dh have some traumatic experiences that our dcs will not have. We live in the uk so they will never experience war and we dont have earthquakes in uk.
But despite that my childhood was happy. What i most remember fondly is the uncles, aunts, cousins, neighbours. My dcs dont have that as much as i did. Thats why i make an effort for them to be with cousins (even if i have to tolerate bil !).
And everything was much more spontaneous. I miss that.

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