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18 Things I Did In Childhood My Kids Wont Experience

By Devan McGuinness |

I swear over this weekend my kids grew. You know sometimes you look at them and you swear they grew like 2 inches and look less and less like little kids? That was this weekend for me.

I started thinking about what things would be like when they were older. How weird will it be when they are all in school? How much trouble are they going to give me when they are teenagers? What will the world be like when they are older? All questions I am sure we as Mother’s ask ourselves from time to time.

Then I got to thinking about how different things are now. Technology changes, society changes and things evolve. I then realized some of the things I experienced as a child — my kids wont experience let alone understand & that is weird to me.

Click through for 18 things I did as a child my kids won’t experience:

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Childhood Memories I Have That My Kids Will Never Experience

Rolling Back a Cassette Tape

My kids will never know what a cassette tape is let alone why it was important to have a pencil nearby... to wind it back up.
Image: graur razvan ionut

Want more? Check out 15 Memories from Childhood Our Children Won’t Have and 18 Things My Kids Are Growing Up With That I Didn’t

Read more from Devan on Accustomed ChaosUnspoken Grief
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About Devan McGuinness


Devan McGuinness

Devan McGuinness is the writer of the lifestyle website byDevan. After surviving 12 miscarriages, Devan founded Unspoken Grief, a resource and support site for perinatal and neonatal loss. Read bio and latest posts → Read Devan's latest posts →

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33 thoughts on “18 Things I Did In Childhood My Kids Wont Experience

  1. kate says:

    This is so true!!! Sad that times have changed so much in such a short amount of time! Plus, all those “memories” have given us character!

  2. Tanya says:

    Thank you for the blast to the past. They probably won’t experience black and white tv or turning the dial of the TV. They will also never experience “if you’re not good you will stay in the car while we go in shopping!”

  3. LogicalMama says:

    We have a wall-mounted phone (in case of power-outage) at your house! A trimline!
    But I would disagree with your sunscreen section simply, b/c while I know sunscreen is important and we do use it, we also don’t sometimes so that we can get some Vitamin D. You are aware that when you put on sunscreen, you block out the rays that provide Vit. D. 10 minutes a day with some part of your body exposed to the sun is not bad for it, in fact, it’s good.
    Because it’s the brand you chose in the pic, I’ll mention, too, that I think Banana Boat has a bad rating on the page for safe sunscreens.

  4. Chelsea says:

    Man. I’m only 22, but this post made me feel old! I so remember waiting for my favorite songs to come on the radio and then I’d have to hurry up and hit the record button so I could get it on tape, but then when I played it back it would be all staticky and weird sounding, but I’d jam out anyway… Now I just hit download. Not as much fun…
    As for the VCR, how about before they were auto-tracking and you had to sit there and twirl that knob to get the picture right? Only to have to do it again right as mufasa was dying in the lion king? Sucked. Lol. And now I just hit download… Or watch it on netflix…
    As for GPS, they will still have to deal with me getting lost bc I usually forget to write down the address, lol. Like today, I was 20 min late for an appointment bc even though we have GPS in our car, I left the address on a post it on the calendar… (I have twins, which means I also have a list on the wall so I don’t forget stuff in the diaper bags, but that list did not include the post-it on the calendar… My hubby was not pleased.) Lol.
    Those were the days… I think everything is a little too easy these days…

  5. Sarah Kate says:

    Actually they’ll still get lost even with GPS. I know I do! I’ve had GPS take me in the opposite direction before! Plus, what happens if the GPS dies?

  6. Alyssa says:

    My 3 year old thinks watching a movie on vhs is a big treat. She also uses a rotary phone at my grandparents house as well as several other things on this list. I do understand however that is just our situation and does not apply to all kids her age. I think is good for my kids to understand things from my childhood as well ad my parents and my grandparents childhoods.

  7. Jessica says:

    My brand new vaccum has a bag..I guess my kids still “get” to empty it!

  8. SDL says:

    Wow, that is a great list. Things I did (but ignored doing) as a kid suddenly make me so nostalgic. I think I’m going to unpack a few old cassette tapes so my kids have something to do later…but where on earth could I find a pencil? Maybe I’ll google where to find one…

  9. Amy says:

    This definitely made me smile… but there are a few, of course, that I don’t agree with (Not trying to be a jerk!!)… you don’t have to ALWAYS pay with credit or debit, you can carry cash if you want to. And GPS is totally a choice (for now).
    It is a little sad that kids won’t need to blow into the cartridge… how did every one in the whole gaming world know to do this? I mean really, it’s not like we looked it up on the internet!!

  10. MEMEMEME says:

    you did these things AS A KID? Took the film in? How about building your own kite (unheard of now), making a train out of cardboard boxes and everyone riding in it? How about learning to make pies and cookies and licking the spoon? No one died of salmonella that I knew from the raw eggs in cookie dough…it was a wonderful treat! How about sliding down hills on cardboard boxes, or sleeping in a pup tent in the backyard?

  11. Connie says:

    There are so many things here that I don’t agree with. Watermelons, vacuum bags, VCR’s (still have one along with a DVD player/recorder and the tapes) Rented movies (What about REDBOX?) 35 milimeter film is still in use by many photographers. I still use cash, so do my kids and grand children. The phone on my wall still works just fine. These are a few of the things I cannot get nostalgic about.

  12. cmetz says:

    They will “never” experience paying with cash? So, like, does this person expect to pay their children an allowance via online bank transfer, and to have their kids buy things with a debit card?

  13. Janet says:

    Some of the “never experience” are true, but unless the writer is 15, some of the others have not faded out yet.

  14. Hineata says:

    What about actually going to the movies when there was an intermission? Or rolling jaffas down the aisle? Don’t agree with the cash thing though…NZ was one of the earliest countries to go on virtually nationwide eftpos, and we still frequently use cash. It’s all my kids ever use, as who seriously would allow a kid to have their own plastic?

  15. mayflowerimmigrant12gen-us says:

    This article just made me so sad as there are so very many things today my grandkids age 2-14 will never get to do that I loved so much. Walking to the store alone at 5 yrs old, walking to either of my grandparents houses, playing games in the neighborhood with all the other kids, going to the pool or the pond fishing or skating. It just isn’t safe anymore. As far as the electronics go. I had a turntable for my Led Zeppelin & Hendrix, Joplin etc.& an *8 track. I bet it’s taken me 20 mins to fill this out and it will go away before i get it to page. I’m only 55. Life goes too quick.

  16. Samantha Ben says:

    There are still blockbusters.

  17. Nicole says:

    To all the people here complaining about how sad it is that times are changing: do you seriously miss having to disconnect from the internet everytime a phone call came in on the same line, or hiking 5 miles along the highway to the closest place with a phone when your car broke down? Technology and changing times aren’t evil.

  18. Shelli says:

    I remember doing all these things. I remember being 5 and going to the neighborhood Piggly Wiggly that didn’t have gas pumps, just necessities and candy, the owner was a butcher too, so they sold fresh cuts of meat and fish.
    I remember riding my bike down to the creek to get tadpoles.

    Camping was something my family did for every vacation and some weekends during the school year. We didn’t have a travel trailer with air conditioning. We did have a pop up trailer tent, but us kids slept on cots with sleeping bags, the braver ones slept on the ground. Racoon’s would raid the campsite, one somehow found a pair of my underwear and was seen taking it down a path in the woods, talk about embarrassed. We used to go swimming in every lake we went to!

    Remember when we’d call our friends on the phone and just sit there, barely talking about anything sometimes and mom or dad telling us to get off the phone. We just wanted to make sure our friend wasn’t having fun without us.

    We had to be in the yard before the street light came on, otherwise mom and dad only had a general idea of were we were going to be, if we went more than a few blocks away, we had to have permission, but we went by ourselves. And boy did we play outside ALL DAY LONG! Only coming in to eat or get something to drink and “Don’t slam the backdoor! It’s in or out, next time you come in you’re staying in!” Remember all the mud pies you made and proudly brought to your parents so they could pretend to eat them?

    Sticker patches!?!?! Ouuch!

    Remember knowing ALL of your neighbors?

    I remember when we got our first color TV, it was so awesome and friends who didn’t have it yet came over to watch with us. We still listened to Radio theater too. Our rotary phone was always awesome to us kids because we loved the whirl and ticking noise when we dialed a big number and it had to wind back. When we got a push button phone, we played songs on it, but we still wanted our rotary phone.

    All my music was from the radio or 8 tracks. If we played with matches, we got into huge trouble and we were scared of our parents when they were mad. Dad could whip his belt out in 2 seconds flat, or being told to go get a switch off the tree and it had better be a good one.

    We made home made ice cream with the bucket, ice, salt and hand cranked that baby with drooling anticipation. The fourth of July was the BOMB! Back yard bbq’s and the show, it was so much fun.

    Remember carnivals with cake walks? Weren’t you the popular one if you got the pie!!

    We always washed our cars with a bucket of soap and a water hose and everyone got wet.

    Long drives, who pulled over on a dirt road to go squat and pee? Or pee on the car tire?

    I miss the days. I have a cell phone, but I”m not addicted to it, attached to it, I don’t text unless I have one of my teenage nieces or nephews bugging me. I don’t talk on the phone and drive, nothing unless an emergency warrants talking on the phone and driving. There’s nothing so important that you need to talk on the phone while driving, you really don’t need to know what everyone else is doing every second of the damn day. Talk face to face and keep your head up, I’m not talking about just when driving. Kids on their phones constantly practically enrages me.

    Ok, I’ll stop, the list goes on and on.

  19. Shelli says:

    When I was very young, we still used alpha-numeric numbers to make phone calls. Party lines were fun to listen in on too!

  20. Niks says:

    So you’re never going to let your kids go outside without being fully clothed? Yeah, we are finding out more about the risks of UV rays, but we are also being told to wear MORE sunblock when heading out. So while your kids will never experience putting on sunscreen, mine definitely will! (Especially if they inherit my skintone…)
    Some of these things your kids won’t get to experience because of YOUR choices. Such as paying with cash, getting something in the mail, getting lost. Most people that I know don’t use debit/credit cards on purchases that are like a dollar. Unless you choose to pay for EVERYTHING electronically, I’m pretty sure your kids will get the chance at least once. Receiving something in the mail, simple. Help your child find a pen pal, or just order something online. Either way they’ll get to feel the anticipation of checking the mail everyday until it arrives. They just might not have to wait 3 weeks. Getting lost? Turn off the GPS. Just go driving without any idea of where you’re going.

    Of course things are going to be different for our kids, but they were different for our parents. And things will be different for our grandchildren. Each generation bring something new that eventually becomes obsolete and nothing but a memory. But if you hang onto your old cassette tapes and your VCR and some VHS movies, they’ll still get to experience it. My mom still has her old record player from when she was a kid and so I have very fond childhood memories of listening to some old kids records on that.

  21. Patrick says:

    Having to be home to watch tv because of DVR or recording tv shows on VCR tapes

  22. Benson says:

    I have really small hands and I amazed everyone when I would use my pinky finger to rewind a cassette tape. I also remember when I was a kid my uncle had to babysit my brother and I for a few days so he rented us a VCR and some movies from the video rental place. Yes, you read it right. We rented a VCR. Someone else mentioned catching tadpoles. We did that too! Ever hear them called pollywogs? I also still have a corded phone. When the power goes out I’m the only one with a working phone.

  23. CHRISTOPHER says:

    What I DON’T miss long distance dialing on rotary phone.. then messing up on the last one or two digits.
    Remember coming back from vacation and repeating your story over and over to each of your friends.
    As for what they “won’t get to do”, FIND ways to let them experience the fun stuff, make them do the menial things like get up to change the channel (less channel surfing !) don’t forget PARENTS DO HAVE THE FINAL SAY !.

    Believe it or not your kids will get more out of it than just the monthly bill.

  24. joe says:

    Next it will be, how too put food in their mouth, drive a car, or love anyone else

  25. JB says:

    How about all of the things they will get to do since nearly last of these was replaced with a more efficient method. Bordem does not equal experience.

  26. Jim says:

    Your list sounds like you aren’t planning to have children for another 10 years. What world do you live in?

  27. Kim says:

    I am gamer, so fortunately, I still have all my old gaming systems and games. My sons 6 and 3, love the game cube, N64, nintendo and sega. And when it doesn’t work, they see me blow into the cartridges LOL. I’ve caught them trying to do the same thing to the Wii, by blowing on the disc. VCRs are cheap too, and the tapes are hard to destroy, I keep one in a room for them to watch the old classic cartoons on, so they can experience that too. Just cause it is old, doesn’t mean you can’t still use it. :)

  28. Bret says:

    Most of this list is BS. Yeah I love VHS tapes! Wooo! Except when you had to fiddle around with tracking just to get a semi decent picture. Or being tied to the wall thus loosing your privacy. Or not having a quarter or not knowing the number you have to call. Or that ANNOYING dial up noise. Most of the stuff you consider romantic nostalgia I bet when you were actually experiencing them you were cursing them. “All I want to do is play my favorite game why won’t it work?! (blow) come on!!! Damn you!”

    Older technology/ways of doing things are not always better. Can you imagine the list that would have come before this? “only seeing a movie in theaters – my kids will never get to enjoy only seeing their favorite movies in theaters and not having them readily available to watch whenever they want.” how about the one before that? “not going to the movies – my kids will never experience not going to the movies which is a shame because not having movies was GREAT!” and how about the one before that? “making your own clothes, killing your own food, and building your own shelter – my kids will never get to experience struggling every single day to just to survive” ah yes, the good old (stone age) days.

  29. diane pickett says:

    Know how to look up a number in a phone book…even know what a telephone book looks like.

  30. A00 says:

    Why is it we are supposed to be “thankful” for schools becoming peanut free?? First of all, when I was in school there was maybe ONE kid with an allergy to bee stings. Now, every kid on the block is gluten or lactose intolerant or sensitive to something or other. Instead of teaching these kids how to deal with their allergies in the real world, let’s make sure the world revolves around them. Then when they grow up and get a regular job, they can go to the boss and demand the work place suddenly be peanut free. Bull$hit. Teach the kid how to deal and let the rest of the fourth graders enjoy their PB&J.

  31. Phyllis says:

    What about “check kiting”? We used to have a few days grace while the check traveled by mail to the bank. Now the check is taken out of our accounts while we are standing at the store.

  32. Thorey Aradottir says:

    I’m only 16 and I remember most of those things, given were I live technology was at least 2 years behind for most of my childhood, but like I said I remember the VCR tapes and I had way to many of them, I also remember the cassettes and the phone was stuck to the wall up until two years ago. :)

  33. I am a newbie in this particular area. I am regularly trying to find articles which can be useful to me both as a university student as well as for my very own progress and this is definitely perfect. Thanks for being so generous.

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