I'm like you. I miss when kids could play outside all day and only come in to eat. By the end of summer the bottom of my feet were tough enough to walk on glass.
Those were the days. When my boys were driving me crazy all summer I was thinking we didn't stay inside under my moms feet all summer. We were outside playing.
And yes, I think kid's play time is waaaaay to structured these days. I think it's a good deal to let them use their imaginations and just have fun
The sad thing is that kids don't even know how to play without being directed.
I use to thumb to and from school in high school. Lots of us did, and thought nothing about it. But I would never let my children do it now.
That's something I've never done.
My kids spend way to much time indoors considering I spent most of my waking moments outside playing all sorts of games, riding bikes or visiting friends (normally girls I liked but was to afraid to tell them, LOL).
This is the problem, that we have a whole generation of indoors only kids. I wonder why childhood obesity is up. I'm not saying this is the only reason but it has to be contributing somewhat.
So is it actually that the world is more dangerous (the numbers don't seem to back that up), or that we're just more aware and thus more paranoid than before? 24/7 news channels, constant access to information via the Internet, regional crime getting national coverage etc. It may FEEL like it's worse now than it was before, but could it just be that we're overexposed?
I think you are right. I think a lot of it is perception. When I was a kid we didn't have amber alerts, 24 hour news cycles, a dozen all news all the time channels, lifetime movies of the week or Oprah. I think its good to be aware of the dangers but really we have to know that the odds of our kids getting abducted by a stranger are pretty slim.