I was on FB yesterday when I saw one of the trending news things. (I hate that trending thing but will occasionally go read something that catches my attention.) I knew that he'd been taken off life support so I was both glad and sad to see that Casey Kasem was dead.
There's a lot about his music and radio career on there but the biggest thing I remember him for is Shaggy in Scooby Doo. I grew up on Scooby Doo, both reruns and the series that came about because of the original series. I had a few reservations about Scrappy Doo, but I still loved the cartoon series.
I loved Scooby Doo. I loved how mysteries could be solved so quickly, and that in most of the series, it was just a person in a costume. It taught me that behind all the evil things there was a person with a reason, even if that reason made no sense or was intended to hurt someone.
Cartoons taught me so many things when I was growing up. How to stand up for myself. How to be honest. How to love. How to be creative. I wasn't allowed to watch too many of them as my TV time was limited, but I picked my favorites and religiously watched them, even if it meant getting up at 6:30 in the morning. Sometimes, when I got up that early, I'd sneak in an extra show or two before my mother got up.
Saturday morning cartoons are a thing of the past now. The networks have taken them off the air for the most part to make way for other programming. So children now don't have the opportunities many of us did when we were growing up. I used to wonder what made them take them off the air. I have a feeling it has to do with the way parenting has changed since I was a child.
I can remember riding in the back of our station wagon, curled up in a nest with my younger sister. When I rode in the back seat, I didn't have to wear a seatbelt. When I was allowed to go outside to play, I didn't have to be back in until my mom called or until it started getting dark, whichever came first. I could ride my bike without a helmet. Strangers weren't regarded in the same way as they are now.
When did society change? What made it change? When did we go from an easy going society to a hyper paranoid one? Children these days aren't allowed to play, to fall down and get hurt, to just be kids. They're taught from the time they're small that they have to be miniature adults. A friend of mine put her son into preschool. She was horrified that her son wasn't given much of a chance to play. He was given worksheets that he had to fill out, books he had to read, homework he had to do. In preschool. She looked around for a new one but couldn't afford the ones that would give him what she wanted. So she pulled him out and turned him loose to play and learn on his own.
We are hurting children by not letting them do art, play at both home and school, discover new things on their own. So many parents regulate everything their children do to the point that children don't learn to think for themselves. Our schools are only reinforcing this by having children learn things to pass tests. It's feared that as adults, they're not going to know how to deal with life. It's going to cause a lot of problems for them.
When did childhood stop being about the children? What do you think about the way things are going now?