The first time I ever rode the New York subway without my parents I was 13 years old. I was with 4 other friends going to a Mets game at Shea Stadium. We took the bus into the Port Authority Bus Terminal and the number 7 train to Shea Stadium. My mom and dad had no problem trusting me and my friends parents were fine with the idea too. We knew about the "buddy system." Our group always stayed together and we had no problems. We didn't even have cell phones to call our parents. There were plenty of phone booths.
Today that kind of parenting would come into all kinds of question. I couldn't imagine any of my kids going into New York City with a group of their friends at 13. By the time they were 18 I thought they were ready. I think today's parents of school age kids are even more cautious. I'm not sure if any of this is a good thing or a bad thing. I do think it's taking each generation longer and longer to grow up. Something to think about.
A new Mumsnet thread lists some other ways parenting has changed over the years. If you're over 40 you can relate.
1. Do you remember being sent to the corner store to buy cigarettes?
2. Do you remember being allowed to walk several miles from home on your own?
3. How about playing outside all day just as long as you were home by dark?
4. How about bike riding with your friends all day with your parents not knowing exactly where you were?
5. Swimming in a river or lake without parents or a life guard?
6. Riding the city bus home from school or after school activities. Then cooking your own dinner until mom or dad got home?
7. Dialing a random phone number and saying something silly. Then hanging up?
I'll bet you can come up with even more.
Source: The Daily Mail