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Lamar and Ronnie Tyler

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Lamar and Ronnie Tyler have used social media to build an online movement around promoting healthy families and marriages. By following their passion, they have stumbled into their purpose. From blogging to speaking to creating films with sold-out screenings across the country, the Tylers are loving life and each other along the way. You can find out more about the Atlanta based couple and their four kids on their personal blog

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10 Things I Did as a Child That Kids Today Would Never Do

By Lamar Tyler |

Credit: Lamar Tyler

Kids today just ain’t the same. Yeah I said it! They’re weak. They live indoors in their perfect little plastic bubbles. They spend their days using technology and their summers in all sorts of fancy-dancy, specialty camps. Well, this post is a throwback to the good ol’ days of growing up. Back in the day, when we stayed outside until dark, Living La Vida Loca, before it was even a song — LOL. While talking with Ronnie a few days ago and telling her for the umpteenth time that kids today aren’t built like we were, I realized that I needed to put it down on paper my keyboard.

Below is my list of 10 things that I did as a child that today’s kids would never do! Now I’m not condoning any of these actions, and my kids would be in severe trouble for doing half of the things on this list, but let’s go.

Check them out then let me know what you would add to the list!


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10 Things I Did as a Child That Kids Today Would Never Do


I remember standing up from the backseat as a child. When we got a car with bucket seats I was always standing in between the two. This would definitely be a no-no in today's times.
Photo credit: Lamar Tyler

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About Lamar Tyler


Lamar Tyler

Lamar and Ronnie Tyler have used social media to build an online movement around promoting healthy families and marriages. The Atlanta basedparents of four run the award-winning website They are also filmmakers and public speakers that have discovered their purpose through pursuing their passion. Read bio and latest posts → Read Lamar's latest posts →

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31 thoughts on “10 Things I Did as a Child That Kids Today Would Never Do

  1. stephanie roberts says:

    I laughed when I read this it was really funny to think of some of the thing we did when we were children that children today never would. Yet I think when you can get creative and make a toy out of a box that you found or a barbie car out of a bleach bottle or build a doll house out of books. This is were my creative side comes from today, I had to make some thing out of nothing. Because we could not afford the toys I really wanted, I was much happier with less. But the children today have everything to there disposal and are very un apprecitive of what they have. I loved the article

  2. Edward Finley says:

    As kid growing up in the south, we didn’t have a lot of toys, so we had to have an imagination. We would go outside, with an empty jar and catch bees, hornets, yellow jackets, anything that flew. We would catch them in the jars and let them fight. Yeah you got stung sometimes (very rare) but that was par for the course. My kids are terrified at anything that fly and because of that they won’t go outside.

  3. Rene Syler says:

    Okay these made me LOL.. YES to the outside thing too. I have to BEG my kids to go out.. it’s always too___ fill in the blank..

  4. Mrs. Shaffer says:

    I’d LOVE to be able to send my kids to summer camp- my kids have begged for it….but at the cost of anywhere from 800-$1000 or more per kid for like one week???? Just not feasable. Not including transportation and “gear” costs and if you wanna send them somewhere out of state throw in plane tickets too. =(

  5. AnneMarie Rafter says:

    Now “adults” these days are getting on my nerves. the younger generation have different types of people as well as your generation. its not fair to say we are all like that. im 20 years old. ive been drinking out of the garden hose since i can remember. i spent days on the FARM helping my family with chores since i can remember. i have and still do spend most of my time outside. yes i have a phone, didnt get it till i was 18 and could pay for it myself. its not fair that you all go on about how we are lazy and weak. i personally think i have worked harder than many of you. i spend my days cleaning stalls, getting pulled around and pushed around by horses. i have been stepped on and run over. its not all of us that are that way. just the one whos parents can afford to pay for it all. so please as you older generations attack mine think on that. because things are not always as they seem.

    1. Elizabeth says:

      AnneMarie, honey, you are an exception to the rule. My kids who were raised in the country didn’t do like most kids their age. After they moved to the city and the chores were reduced to housework, I couldn’t PAY them to go outside. They don’t do heat or cold or bugs. No sir, they’re too good for all that now because they won’t fit in.

  6. Debi says:

    Thank you Lamar for putting it out there. The seat thing is big with me, when I was a kid we rode back and forth from Dallas, Tx to Mississippi and back again sprawled all over the car without a seat belt. We too went out after breakfast and did not come back until it was time for dinner. We also went to drive in movies and played up front under the movie screen while the adults watched the movie. What wonderful times those were. We were not afraid.
    Thank you again

  7. Rhonda says:

    We played from mornin to night.Catch lighting bugs and played tag with flash lights.Put sheets over the swing sets and made forts to sleep in over night.Steal fruits from trees ( apples,pears,plums) and veggies from the gardens.Kept a salt shaker out by the swing set. We had teeter – totters too.Badmitten,frizzbee and crochet even.Ran thru the sprinkler and roller skated.In the winter we made forts and used trash can lids as “shields” to protect us.There isn’t one swing set in my hood and not a kid out playing anywhere after school…sad

  8. Bernie Chittester says:

    How about double-dutch jump rope, 4-squares and Hide and go seek?

  9. Mary says:

    This is a great article and thread. When I was growing up we entertained ourselves outside with jump ropes, pogosticks, skates, slip-n-slides, bikes, dodge balls and hopscotch. We’d skate to the store to pick up things like milk, sugar or bread all by ourselves. We’d eat fruit off our neighbor’s trees and set up lemonade stands in the summer. We would sell raffle tickets door-to-door for our church to help the poor without adult supervision. We’d walk to the movies on Saturday mornings and after the show would go to Thrifty Drugstore for an ice cream cone that cost a dime. We would ride bikes to the park where we played on the monkey bars, merry-go-round and slide for hours. We would go door to door asking if we could do work for a quarter to pick up spending money because our parents did not believe in giving us allowances without working for them. Such different times today.

  10. LyndaJ. says:

    We played jacks for hours on the front stoop on hot summer days. There was always a kickball baseball or football game going on in the street. We got a peanut butter sandwich handed to us out the back door at lunch.The big kids had to watch the little ones. We played under the street light at night.
    Ahhhhh Those Were The Days!!!!!!¡!!

  11. Ellen Coshow says:

    The things you listed don’t even begin to hit the fun zone I grew up in. What about kick the can, horse ball game, hopscotch, jacks, jump rope competetions, double jump if your really good,laying out on sidewalk after a good long swim with friends, ice cream trucks are few and far between nowadays, board games with dice and no batteries that would last for days or you went broke

    Thats just a few

  12. Kiki says:

    I remember when we would go to my cousin’s house and go outside to play “cops and robbers” in the two cars in the driveway. Man I miss those days!

  13. Karen Warkentin says:

    I remember laying the back seat window too, Sheree! In fact, I remember my mom suggesting it; “Just lay in the back window, the sunlight will make you warm and drowsy.” What a great story this is, I can add so much to this!

    I know that if I said some of the things that my parents used to say, it would be a race to see which one of my kids would grab their cell phones first to call the nice ‘home’ they have on speed dial.

    I remember:
    - going shopping with my parents. My brother and I went with my mom into the grocery store while my dad went into the hardware store. This was in the good old days, when your groceries would come out of the back of the store on a conveyer belt. When Mom was done, we went and sat in the car. My brother, David, sneezed, and Mom asked where the tissues were, the tissues that were always in the back window. There was also a cross hanging from the rear view mirror that I hadn’t noticed before. All of a sudden my mom said in a soft but clear voice, “No one panic, everything is fine, just quietly and quickly get out of the car. David asked “Why would we panic?” Mom: No panic, you’re not going to panic.” “But why?” Mom: “This isn’t our car!”

    I remember:
    - “be sure to come in when the streetlights go on.”

    - “pick up your feet when you walk!”

    - Dad: “Do you know that there are children in other countries that would love to eat those lima beans? It would be the only thing they’ve eaten all week!”

    - sitting on the curb, waiting for the ice cream truck on Tuesday evenings. Anyone else remember “Buried Treasure”?

    - my baby brother sitting in a car seat that hooked over the back of the bench seat, in between my parents. My dad made a seat belt for him – one of his older ties – not so my brother would be safe, but to keep him from crawling out.

    - my mom asking where I was going. “To Ruth’s.” Mom: “Do I know her?” Me: “Yep.” Mom: “OK, come home when the street lights go on.” Me: “OK!” (Never knew a Ruth in my life)
    - driving the car for the first time by all by myself. My dad was on the porch when I left, and he was in the exact same place and position when I got home 3 hours later.

    - putting packages of lit firecrackers in the toes of my brother’s high-top running shoes that were hanging on the clothes-line because he’d gotten soakers. (I have never seen anyone before or since move as fast as my mother did that day.)

    - getting a wood burning kit for Christmas. (That’s a great gift for an 11-year-old girl!)

    - smoking a cigarette in the bathroom and flicking it out the window where it fell into the laundry basket full of clean clothes my mom had just taken off the line. (They didn’t speak to the neighbours after that, I don’t know why.)

    - playing ‘hide and seek in the dark’ when we had company over, and forgetting to find my brother. Dad: “Where’s David?” David: “I win!” (phew!)

    - telling my kids that if I ever start talking or acting like grandma and grandpa to take me outside and pretend I’m Old Yeller, and having my oldest open the back door and say “tsk, tsk, tsk, here girl!”

    - I could go on for hours, but if I did, well … see my second paragraph.

    1. Marie Hale says:

      I remember those things to. And just to comment, What streetlights? The road I grew up on didn’t have those. We came in when our parents stuck their head out the door and shouted for us, or they walked to the house we were at, told us to come home in half hour, and left. I’m 18 now and missing where I come from. No worries other than what team to play on for hockey, scoring the goals in soccer, fishing, and having fun.

  14. Rita says:

    In raising my children I wanted all three of them to know how to swim, ride a bicycle and how to skate so I feel that learning to skate should be added to the list. It helps with balance and is a fun thing to do for parties, be it roller skating or ice skating. I enjoyed reading the list and I thank you for sharing it with me.

  15. Stephanie says:

    This was great! I remember staying out all day playing and saving our money so we could ride our bikes to the matinee movie. Sometimes we would watch 2 in a row. I’m only 41 so it wasn’t that long ago. No one would let their kid do that today without a parent. What’s the world coming to!

  16. Angji says:

    Pretty much what ever body said… Neighbors hung out… If you was bad any body who saw you do bad could whip your tail. No lawsuit involved. Now a days it is either my kid id not do that, or your labled a weirdo if you talk to another persons kid.

  17. Linda says:

    I’m a bit older than you so I had even more freedom. I lived in a city neighborhood and we were outside being active all day. We jumped rope across an alley and moved when a car came. Can you imagine now? When I had kids, for many years, starting in the mid eighties, we lived on military bases and that was the best. There were kajillions of kids and a lot to do. I’m glad my kids had that experience.

  18. Nena says:

    People are just so ruled by fear nowadays. They are terrified that their kids will be abducted. One friend’s ex husband even called CPS on her for letting her teenage daughters walk to the bus stop and the CPS took his side! There is also too much structured time. You can see it in this newer generation that they have no true creativity and don’t know what to do with themselves. They expect to be entertained all the time. I hope I die at 50 so that I won’t have to be taken care of by these losers.

  19. R. says:

    We used to hop on a bike, no helmet, fling an inflatable tire tube around our arm and a bucket over the handle bars, ride to the nearest creek, find a stick for steering, hop in the tube, paddle down creek with bucket, stopping at eddies and try to catch minnows, frogs, lizards, snails, crawfish, whatever we could find, then carrying said full pail of water, walk back upstream along the side taking breaks along the way to skip rocks, play in the clay deposits. No sunscreen, no fancy clothes, just cut off pants from last year. Making our way back to the bike, riding carefully so as not to spill the minnows out of the bucket. Going home briefly just enough for a glass of water and a quick apple while making a makeshift habitat for the minnows with whatever we could find in the house. Then going back out on bike to find neighborhood friends. Showing up unannounced asking if kids could play, (no need to schedule a “playdate”). Then if we could round up enough kids in our gang, we’d play kick the can or king of the mountain or tag. Dog trailing behind. Hair blowing in the breeze catching scents of different wild plants and trees growing. Occasionally getting caught in a rain or hailstorm. Thinking what a bummer we will have to go inside and be bored. Full of mud. Those were the good old days. Too bad there are fewer days like this for our children.

  20. D. says:

    Really, I do all these things except break-dancing on cardboard.

  21. jm9 says:

    A lot of these points are basically that kids today stay inside instead of going outside. I wasn’t around back then, but I would imagine that just as today, there were kids back then who preferred to do something inside, such as read. They might do something different today, but with or without modern technology they probably wouldn’t want to go outside. In the same way there are probably kids today who couldn’t imagine spending the day doing things inside. This has always been the case, as has older people complaining about children and teenagers. And, as the author stated, it is a good thing that some of the things in the list are no longer done today, such as not wearing a seat belt.

  22. Felix says:

    Um, excuse me but no all kids are like this, I should know because I’m thirteen. I spend most of the summer hanging out with my friends playing football, baseball and basketball. We sometimes just go around the neighborhood talking. As for the seatbelt thing it’s not us kids that won’t let our parents drive without a seatbelt, it is you adults who drill it in our brains that we have to where a seat belt to avoid accidents. Now, I’m not saying I like wearing them but it is safe. And maybe the reason we learned to wear them was because you adults were stupid enough not to wear them and got injured all the time. We do hang out and kids that don’t and stay indoors all the time are called game nerds or just plain nerds.

  23. Margie says:

    I grew up in the mid seventies and eighties, i do remember being outside to play, with my friends,and being active but we didnt think of it like that,it was all you knew to do, we played kickball,jumped rope,we did step dancing that was G-rated.My mom and grandmother didnt fear that we were outside until dark. we could stay out till at least 9pm, in the summer as long as we popped in the house to eat or go to the bathroom,it was okay, There were no worries about abductions,gangs,shootings and the like.Seems as if those days were carefree. today you have to watch every move your kids take,and what goes on in schools today is very complicated, This is a different world than what it was 30 or 40 years ago.

  24. Lou says:

    All the comments about the playground things we used to play on reminded me of last weeks episode of Last Man Standing, where the grandson’s father was calling the teeter tottoter a ‘catapult’. Children now definitely have it way too easy. I too spent most of my days outside, we walked everywhere, and none of us were fat or had major allergies. My daughter stood on the seat next to me in the car with her arm around me, she reacted based on what she felt me doing. Never once fell.

  25. Realistic Rachel says:

    Maybe the reason so much had to change from when you oldies were young is that somethings went wrong during your generation…think about it: not having car seats, seatbelts, or sunblock isn’t exactly anything to celebrate. And the abductions and molestations would be perpetrated by older adults, not other kids. Heck, maybe the whackjobs now forcing kids to be more cautious were the free spirits of yesteryear complaining about ‘the good ol’ days.’

  26. Bev says:

    I lived the way most of the kids back then lived… outside, active, with a neighborhood full of kids playing together.

    Sundays were special also. We didn’t believe in working on Sunday, that was the Lord’s day. Mother would fix fried chicken, potato salad, baked beans, etc. on Saturday. Daddy would polish the shoes for his four daughters, wife and himself and mother would iron four dresses, daddy’s shirt and get her clothes ready; all on Saturday. On Sunday morning we attended Sunday school and morning worship. After church we would head home for Sunday dinner and an afternoon nap before heading back to church for the evening service. I have my Sunday school pin that shows I attended for 7yrs. straight without missing a single Sunday. (We would be excused if we got sick though) If we were out of town we still attended a local church… we didn’t want to miss getting our yearly attendance pin. :>)

  27. Liz McGraw says:

    My son at age 17 is a volunteer fireman for our town. At age 16 he passed the state course for certification. He carries a pager and responds to calls after school hours. I never did this as a child.

  28. AM says:

    Loved reading this! I see this all over. However, I have 2 boys that have led a more “normal” life. They love being outdoors, and because we live in the country, have no problem spending the majority of their time outdoors. Weekends, I’m lucky to see them from camping and fishing. They’ve never been to a summer specialty camp, and they knew before starting a team-sport (paid for or through school), they would not be able to quit just because they didn’t like it, or someone on the team.

  29. ralph says:

    ok so im 50 but I grew up in suburb of nyc and as kids we learned self reliance ,responsibility, social skills and so much more by not having supervision at all times. we left our house in the morning and came back for meals and went right back out. The sight of a group of kids all running in different directions when the street lights started to hum (they took like ten minutes to warm up )was hysterical. Then after you checked in you went back out but had to stay on the block unless you were with the older kids. We walked to all our activities on our own , be it football,baseball,hockey, practices, youth center, games etc. Today kids get driven everywhere, and when they turn driving age they cant find their way around the block without GPS. When they get their first taste of unsupervised time they make stupid choices for lack of learning the lessons that come from gradual independence through childhood. We truly are not preparing them for adulthood

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