“School’s Out for Summer” — What’s Wrong with This Ad?

Nothing wrong with playing, chatting and creating online. But still — anyone else appalled by this ad? (And yes, we KNOW it’s not an ad for the National Park Service, or Boy Scouts, or the U.S. Rubber Ball Association, or …).




Race you to the screen!

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60 Responses to “School’s Out for Summer” — What’s Wrong with This Ad?

  1. Ashley Wagner June 8, 2017 at 11:54 am #

    “Appalled” seem a bit excessive here. This ad seems fine to me. It’s just an ad, not a statement about keeping your kids locked up inside all summer long. We can’t be outside ALL the time and I don’t see a problem with suggesting that when we’re indoors that fast internet speeds are desirable for the whole family.

  2. E June 8, 2017 at 12:07 pm #

    Did you think an ad for a technical service would show kids going to camp or playing in the park?

    I’m confused, does every single product or service have to encourage kids to play outside?

    Have you considered the idea that for a parent that works from home, they might be facing an influx of demands on their internet speeds because kids are at home. Looks like they are having a sale.

    Nothing to see here.

  3. Railmeat June 8, 2017 at 12:15 pm #

    Appalled? No.

    Disturbed? Maybe a bit.

    Resigned – not yet, but on that road.

    Ashley, E, what this ad does is continue to normalize keeping kids inside the house on a fast drip of internet narcotics that is quickly replacing a childhood life defined by play.

    Anesthetized by the stimulation of electronic devices, children don’t play much today.

    And this ad is helping make it easier and easier for the ‘rents to buy into this trend.

    And that is a bad thing.

  4. BL June 8, 2017 at 12:17 pm #

    They were outside for several seconds. The fresh air must have done them good!

  5. James June 8, 2017 at 12:24 pm #

    “Have you considered the idea that for a parent that works from home, they might be facing an influx of demands on their internet speeds because kids are at home.”

    Or evenings. Kids don’t go to bed as early in the summer as they do during the school year, for obvious reasons. While they can spend some evenings outside, indoor activity is also enjoyable, particularly in areas where mosquitoes and other biting insects make twilight a less than ideal time to commune with nature. A late-night gaming session among friends is hardly going to destroy a child. In fact, it’s a bonding experience for some folks I know–the dad and kids play online after supper, sharing an enjoyable pastime.

    Then there are the inevitable road trips. Going online to plan those is a pretty standard thing these days, and can lead to some really fun finds that you would have otherwise missed. Last weekend my family took an overnight trip and did exactly that, finding three or four places to see that weren’t on the beaten path.

    So no, no issues with the ad. The service is what it is; what you do with it is up to you.

  6. Rebel mom June 8, 2017 at 12:27 pm #

    I’m appalled. This is not what a normal healthy childhood looks like. If they’re going to show an ad like that at least show it with what those real kids look like – fat, pasty kids who can’t make decent eye contact or conversation face to face.

  7. pentamom June 8, 2017 at 12:30 pm #

    I remember the days when each kid would come home from college with their own laptop. Kids WILL be inside using data some of the time, and it WILL put a crimp in your WiFi. I totally sympathize with Lenore’s concern but these services have to have some way of selling their product and it’s not evil to depict kids enjoying indoor activities in summer. At least it’s showing kids engaging and having fun together, which is positive.

    There’s a balance here, and I think we shouldn’t be so oversensitive that we see anti-Free Range gloom and doom in everything.

  8. Jen June 8, 2017 at 12:37 pm #

    Actually I was rather impressed that the kids were shown running home; most just are preoccupied texting to move that quickly! I also thought letting us see boys decorating pink cupcakes was pretty cool. But I think they could have done a similar ad and make most people happy had they had the kids taking pics outside by the pool, or using a YouTube instructional outside on something like building a treehouse.

  9. Christopher Byrne June 8, 2017 at 12:43 pm #

    Besides using “WiFi” as a verb, you mean? “Choose how you WiFi.”
    Gives me the shivers.

  10. Rae Pica June 8, 2017 at 12:49 pm #

    Yes! I’ve hated that ad since the first time I saw it. That is NOT what childhood is supposed to look like, and I’m tired of having that sort of thing normalized.

  11. JTW June 8, 2017 at 12:52 pm #

    “They were outside for several seconds. The fresh air must have done them good!”

    Maybe they weren’t outside long enough to suffer damage severe enough to show during the duration of the video?
    All that sunshine causes near instant skin cancer, but not quite instant.
    And it takes a few seconds to be scooped into a white van and sex trafficked as well.
    Or to get hit by a killer chestnut falling from a tree.

  12. Michael June 8, 2017 at 12:53 pm #

    I certainly wasn’t happy with the ad. Too many parents consider summer free time for children. It shouldn’t be. Kids need to keep the same nighttime schedule. They should go to bed close to the same time as when school was in session. Staying up late during summer does have a strongly negative impact on the development of kids. Ours certainly protested at the time since often they were going to bed while there was some light at times in the summer. It paid off though.
    Kids shouldn’t get any more time online or on iPad in the summer than any other time. In fact they should probably have less. If families have game nights it should involve a board or cards or charades not electronics. The inter reaction should be between parents and children not between individuals and the electronic game.
    I live in the Deep South and summer heat can be oppressive. When it’s North of 95° movies are a good option so a parent and children can watch and talk about. Other alternatives exist that would be better options than on line gaming or staying on social media all day. Kids should read multiple books weekly. It’s harder when school is in session but it should be a priority during summer.
    Bandwidth should not be a families’ priority.

  13. Kirsten June 8, 2017 at 12:59 pm #

    It seems sad and perplexing to me. Worrying about internet speeds because school is out and the kids are all going to be piled into the house just seems totally bizarre to me, but so do a lot of things people do these days. Yes, I understand why a broadband provider would take this angle. I just don’t understand the society that produces this much anymore.

  14. lightbright June 8, 2017 at 1:05 pm #

    I’m not appalled, but the ad is ridiculous. Most kids have been sitting in classrooms with screens for 9 months; it’s an Internet connection is a novelty worthy of seeing scores of them breaking down a woman’s front door as though there were a neighborhood WIFI shortage.

    My kids always run to the nearest climbing trees when school’s out for the day. But that could just be a result of their bizarr-o free-range upbringing.

  15. Bruce Elniski June 8, 2017 at 1:07 pm #

    I like the idea of kids having their friends over and doing things together. Certainly it will involve some internet and for sure taking selfies and sending them to their friends. Up here in Canada we are as wired as can be. In fact, I think more young moms and dads are wired than their kids!
    Can’t say it appalls me. What I am tired of is car commercials and food commercials.

    Bruce Elniski

  16. Eric S June 8, 2017 at 1:23 pm #

    Not appalling. But tongue in cheek. It does show that children indoors most of the time has become a normal part of families lives. Which I don’t think should be. It’s summer, kids should be outside more times than not. But because children have grown up with the internet, and the social norm of paranoia, they know nothing of previous generation’s childhoods. When they think of “outdoors”, they think of the fears that their parents have instilled in them. But mainly, I take reservations of the kids darting out onto the street without looking both ways. And that the ad is completely unrealistic. It’s the way of society now. Embellish, and sell, sell, sell.

  17. BL June 8, 2017 at 1:31 pm #

    It’s like they’re trying to pretend childhood is like the good ol’ days except that they’ve added their product.

    In fact, how many kids these days go running out of school (even if they’re among the few non-obese enough to run?). They’re getting picked up in their parents’ cars after school.

  18. Elisabeth Hensley June 8, 2017 at 1:37 pm #

    I think it’s depressing – but also unrealistic. My impression is that kids are spending less time face2face with each other, and we are less likely to see them storming the doors of one kid’s home to hog all the wifi than we are to see them huddled around the light of their own screen, in their own house, snapchatting with their friends at home in their own isolation pods.

  19. Amy June 8, 2017 at 1:50 pm #

    I’m going with depressing. Yes, we watched tv and played Nintendo, but we were always out playing even when we got older. Parents need to start making/letting their kids go out and play more, even young teens. They may pout at first, but they’ll thank you later.

  20. SKL June 8, 2017 at 1:53 pm #

    They were allowed to cross the street without holding an adult’s hand!!

    But, alas, there was a “mom” at the house to supervise them. Why was that necessary?

    The fact that a wi-fi service is going to advertise wi-fi doesn’t bug me.

    It might have been better if they advertised wi-fi that reached far enough that the kids could be outdoors while using it. Not that that’s really necessary with so many in that age group having “smart phones.”

  21. Lori June 8, 2017 at 2:48 pm #

    Definitely not appalled. For Jose of you saying “this is not what childhood summers” are like, I disagree. This is not how we grew up. We didn’t have internet. We didn’t have any of this technology. Kids these days are going to use technology. Why are we so scared of it? Should they use it all day, everyday? No. But can they use it in moderation? Yes! They have grown up not knowing anything different than using a tablet or phone or computer to access anything they want. It’s up to parents to set limits.

    Remember when our parents and grandparents told us we’d ruin our vision by watching too much tv? Well, we watched plenty, but we also got outside plenty. There is room for technology usage and free play in childhood these days. It’s up to parents to monitor and limit tech usage. This is an ad for wifi, it’s not a social directive anyone has to follow.

  22. BL June 8, 2017 at 3:18 pm #

    “Remember when our parents and grandparents told us we’d ruin our vision by watching too much tv? Well, we watched plenty, but we also got outside plenty.”

    Yes, I got outside plenty.

    Despite that, I watched waaaay too much television, and wish I hadn’t.

  23. Miriam Drukker June 8, 2017 at 3:20 pm #

    I guess you’re in a minority, Lenore. Even though I don’t have a TV at home (neither do 2 of my other siblings, the 4th – who is actually the first born, has enough TV and technology to make up for the rest of us), and I don’t even have an iPad or any tablet, and my daughter can’t operate the computer unless I open it for her – I don’t have a problem with this ad.

    “Fighting the belief that our children are in constant danger from creeps, kidnapping, germs, grades, flashers, frustration, failure, baby snatchers, bugs, bullies, men, sleepovers and/or the perils of a non-organic grape.”

    i think that (my own personal) worry about excessive screen time is probably objectively as non significant to children’s overall well-being as the worry about non-organic foods.

    From my own family – 2 families of my siblings, 3 kids in a screen-free home, and 3 kids in a screen-rich home. Socially – the family with the screen is way more easy-going and social. They are also fatter, but that may have nothing to do with screen time, but more with the food. The family without the screen is also a lot more health-conscious, and they eat healthy foods, with very little seasoning. So no wonder the kids don’t eat much and stay thin 😉

    Notice that the role of the parents is minimal in this ad – kids walk home (run even) and the parents are only there to provide shelter and food (and WiFi).

    So, no, this ad doesn’t bother me…

  24. Miriam Drukker June 8, 2017 at 3:21 pm #

    Besides, playing outside should be a thing year round, not only in the summer. And if they overuse the Internet only on the summer vacation – it’s OK with me…

  25. James June 8, 2017 at 3:33 pm #

    Is it just me, or do a lot of the comments in this thread read as “I know what’s best for other people’s kids”? 😉

  26. Amy June 8, 2017 at 4:04 pm #

    I don’t think it’s telling others how to parent. I’m just surprised that kids don’t want to play like we did. And even mpre surprised that parents, even if things were safer, seem to not want that for their kifd anymore.

  27. James June 8, 2017 at 4:20 pm #

    “I don’t think it’s telling others how to parent.”

    Perhaps that’s not the intent, but that’s the result–particularly with the open insults against those who prefer other forms of entertainment based on nonsense as substantiated as the notion that women are bad at math.

    Times change. Parenting styles are different. To find simple acknowledgement of that “depressing” is just as wrong as any other busy-body shaming of any other parenting style.

  28. bmommyx2 June 8, 2017 at 4:28 pm #

    Kind of a lame commercial, but my kids are online more when schools out & they play games online with their friends.

  29. Alanna Mozzer June 8, 2017 at 4:53 pm #

    Hidden behind this ad is the idea that it is the parents that are supposed to be supplying the entertainment.

  30. lollipoplover June 8, 2017 at 5:04 pm #

    This ad is a slight upgrade on the one where the grandkids don’t want to visit grandma because she doesn’t have cable/wifi and grandma surprises them by getting it, then they actually want to visit her!

    Summer and vacation mean different things to different kids. Not going to knock technology- it allows me to work remotely and have a good balance to spend time with the kids in the garden and also check my emails from the community pool (where they thankfully have wifi). I also have no problem banning devices and telling them to find friends and do something fun…everything in moderation.

  31. Jeneric June 8, 2017 at 6:24 pm #

    Honestly, if my son came home with that many friends, and used technology to socialize, instead of hiding, I’d be thrilled.

  32. Papilio June 8, 2017 at 7:06 pm #

    That definitely suggested that kids would of course spend the entire summer indoors browsing the internet, especially since they didn’t even have the decency of filming this on a dreary, rainy day that you would reasonably spend indoors with your computer.

  33. Donna June 8, 2017 at 7:11 pm #

    There’s nothing wrong with this ad. It is a wi-fi company selling wi-fi. How exactly are they supposed to do that in your opinion – by advertising that we should all never use wi-fi because we should be outside in nature all our free time? Kinda seems to defeat the purpose of the business.

    Kids have never and will never play outside every waking minute. Kids have ALWAYS wiled away a chunk of their summer vacation on indoor sedentary activities. When I was a kid, it was TV and atari. My brother had TV and nintendo. My mother had TV and records. Hell, my grandmother had the radio. Before then there were books.
    This idealized world where kids spent their entire summer vacations joyfully occupied in free-range approved outside pursuits exists only in your imagination.

  34. Heather June 8, 2017 at 7:50 pm #

    Amen, Donna. In 1990, I was an avid reader, and I spent HOURS on sunny, nice days indoors on the couch reading. My brother was a Nintendo player. Had we been born 20 years later, quite a bit of that sedentary time would have been spent in front of a screen.

  35. James Pollock June 8, 2017 at 7:52 pm #

    There was a time when kids spent a lot of time OUTside because mom was INside and had had enough.

    Houses used to be smaller (In a lot of cases, a LOT smaller) and they used to have a lot more kids than folks do nowadays. We didn’t used to have air-conditioning, so being inside was a lot like being outside in the summertime. Back in the olden times, we had broadcast TV… and only 3 networks. There was almost no meaningful content for elementary-aged kids… PBS had preschool stuff, and the networks had news, game shows and soap operas. Video games? Either not invented yet or they cost a quarter down at the pizza place. Computers? Not invented yet or cost thousands of dollars (in 1980 dollars, too.)

    So… one primal force pushing kids OUT of the house and close to nothing pulling them in (it used to take effort to make snacks from actual ingredients. Today, kids’ snacks are pre-packaged and ready to take with them). Things are different… it’s not so much helicopter parents not letting their kids out, it’s kids preferring to be in rather than out because that’s where the things they want to do are actually located, and our houses (bigger) and families (smaller) have altered to accommodate that. Complaining about these combined forces will not magically change things back to 1981.

    I didn’t even have a place to point out one other significant change… in my youth, playing a game meant being in the same place as someone else who wanted to play the same game, whether it was chess or kickball. Board games are “for 2 to 4 players) but not many are for 1. Computer and video games either allow a person to play against the computer, or against someone else who is somewhere else or both, and either way it eliminates the need to leave home to find someone to play with/against.

  36. Dean June 8, 2017 at 8:01 pm #

    …It’s not the National Park Service, or the Boy Scouts…
    Right, it is an ad selling more indoor “fun”. As if kids don’t already spend far too much time with earphones and video screens,
    On the other hand, the Boy Scouts of America does offer an almost-new program that puts youngsters in touch with science and technology without shutting them up indoors all the time. The STEM program is now being offered as part of BSA summer camps–including their primiere camp, Philmont Scout Ranch in the mountains of New México. Unlike some of the “outreach” programs of the past that sometimes tended to bypass Scouting’s basic alliegence to the Oath and Law, STEM merges the traditional and a forward-looking educational opportunity. Science is more than test tubes in a lab.
    Oh, yeah…most of STEM is coed.

  37. BL June 8, 2017 at 8:10 pm #

    “There’s nothing wrong with this ad. It is a wi-fi company selling wi-fi. How exactly are they supposed to do that in your opinion – by advertising that we should all never use wi-fi because we should be outside in nature all our free time? Kinda seems to defeat the purpose of the business.”

    They could show an obese kid using WiFi all alone with only family members around. That would be far more truthful than showing athletically-running kids dashing out of school without going through “dismissal procedures” and all gathering at one friend’s house.

    I’m not sure who is finding this ad’s scenario at all believable – maybe some grandparents. Not modern kids or their parents.

  38. Donna June 8, 2017 at 9:26 pm #

    “I’m not sure who is finding this ad’s scenario at all believable – maybe some grandparents. Not modern kids or their parents.”

    It is similar to our life. None of my daughter’s friends are overweight, let alone obese. Once they are the age of the kids in the commercial, there are no dismissal procedures. My kid went to one or another of her friends’ houses after school almost every day last school year (spur of the moment; she just texted me to let me know where she was). While certainly not as big of a crowd, there were often multiple kids hanging out. They did sometimes play on their phones or computers together.

  39. Mike Tang June 8, 2017 at 10:44 pm #

    @James Pollock

    “Complaining about these combined forces will not magically change things back to 1981.”

    Free range parents aren’t trying to change things back to 1981. They’re merely saying they want to have the choice to raise their kids like it’s 1981. The laws on how dangerous it is for kids to be outside alone haven’t changed since 1981. Crime has not risen since 1981.

    Therefore, the people who can’t stand the thought of others raising their kids like its 1981 should either butt the hell out, or pass laws that say otherwise. I know, you try hard on here, James. Your energy is better spent in a courtroom legislating some new law for these “new times.” Good luck trying to get it passed.

  40. sexhysteria June 9, 2017 at 1:48 am #

    Ideally, kids should be happy when school starts, and sad when school’s over. But worse, minors leaving a building unaccompanied by adults will soon be illegal.

  41. James Pollock June 9, 2017 at 2:38 am #

    “Your energy is better spent in a courtroom legislating some new law for these ‘new times.’ ”

    You bet, Mike. Well, back to the courtroom. These new laws won’t legislate themselves, you know..

  42. Elin Hagberg June 9, 2017 at 8:35 am #

    What’s the problem? Everyone uses different electronic devices today that needs WiFi. It doesn’t mean you don’t go outside or play. My four year old loves her tablet, I use my laptop and phone and my husband has several laptops, two desktops and we also have a computer that is connected to one of our TVs. We use all these things and still we talk, our kids play and we go outdoors. My daughter has just started her free ranging for real this summer. She is outside playing with her friends almost every day. Right now we are indoors and she is playing some game singing to two stuffed cats, ie a game that could have been played by kids even in the stone age if their mom or dad had sewn them a a cat.

  43. Norse King June 9, 2017 at 8:43 am #

    It can also be argued that the company releasing this ad is setting out to profit from the contemporary practice of keeping kids indoors, pacified on video games. That is understandable given the company’s product, but that doesn’t put it beyond criticism for what its end result will be, even if the main intention of the company is fealty to their bottom line.

    I see nothing wrong with video games per se, as many of the modern versions have compelling stories and convey important ideas enmeshed within the fantasy elements (as sci-fi and other fantastic genres have always done), and the segments devoted to play can help with things like hand-eye coordination, learning teamwork and strategy, etc., in a manner that does not carry the stakes heaped onto people who play sports on a league or professional team, and do not require the actual killing of another human being. It’s also been traditionally a way for those who consider themselves “nerds” who are exempt from sports and other high-activity play to find each other, bond together, and create large-scale communities that they could never do outside the mass online video RPG phenomenon.

    Like anything else, video games are a mixed bag. I do agree with the complaints that they take up too much of our time these days, or potentially can, and they are often used as a means by helicopter parents to keep all kids indoors as often as possible when they are not in school, at a family barbecue, a closely monitored birthday party, or accompanying their parents or other adult guardians here or there. I say this as a fan of video games (if not a dedicated gamer). I do not view an ideal scenario as no more video games, but simply a world where a balance between outdoor play and indoor fun is achieved, much as was the case during the earliest days of the home video game market, prior to the time when helicopter parenting received full flight (for want of a better expression).

  44. test June 9, 2017 at 8:43 am #

    @Dean “Oh, yeah…most of STEM is coed”

    Which part of STEM is not coed and why?

  45. test June 9, 2017 at 9:06 am #

    @BL “They could show an obese kid using WiFi all alone with only family members around.”

    If otherwise bullied/mocked obese kid or otherwise misfit kid can get some break and have the family to treat him decently, then it is a good thing, right? Since we are speaking in stereotypes.

    Ignoring stereotypes, there is nothing wrong with introversion either.

  46. Puzzled June 9, 2017 at 9:28 am #

    I don’t understand the “kids don’t belong in the house” push that sometimes appears on this page. Here we have a concept set around, as far as I can tell, two things: parents should be free to raise their kids as they see fit, and kids should be free to play without adults telling them how. Which of these implies that we must judge parents if their kids play inside? Which of these implies that cable companies shouldn’t advertise their product?

    I agree with James – this thread reads like a heck of a lot of “my, those other people really don’t know how to parent correctly – they let their kids go in the house.”

  47. Donna June 9, 2017 at 1:25 pm #

    Amen, Puzzled! I’ve never understood the “all kids must be outside every waking minute” trend from this blog either. I don’t know a single human being that doesn’t spend a considerable amount of their free time inside. Including my most outdoorsy and athletic friends, acquaintances and family members. Even on nice days. They all have cell phones, computers and Netflix memberships and use them regularly. While sitting on a couch. In a house.

    And it was true during my childhood. Yes, we played outside. It is probably even true that we played outside on average more than kids do today (although this will vary by kid). We also spent far more hours than “experts” suggest we should have watching TV, talking on the phone and playing pong on atari (about as advanced as games got in my childhood).

  48. Amy June 9, 2017 at 3:00 pm #

    Yes, I will agree that we were in quite a bit tv/Nintendo things like that, but I do think we still had a much better balance of things that kids do today. I really do remember being outside all day most of the summer. I honestly can’t tell you how many kids I know that are allowed to and do spend too much time in front of devices. But, honestly I think one of the real culprits is parents, so many kids who aren’t allowed to go out and play.

  49. James Pollock June 9, 2017 at 3:16 pm #

    “I honestly can’t tell you how many kids I know that are allowed to and do spend too much time in front of devices. But, honestly I think one of the real culprits is parents, so many kids who aren’t allowed to go out and play.”

    This complaint was equally true in 1981. (Well, except that back then, we would have just said “TV” instead of “devices”.)

  50. Larry C June 9, 2017 at 4:02 pm #

    I praise God that I grew up in an era when we had rotary-dial phones and “party lines” (having to share the same phone number with 1 or 2 other families for you youngsters). I consider it a blessing that we had all of 4 television channels, and if the weather was just right, maybe 3 radio stations.
    We rode bikes and horses all over town beginning when I was six. I’m sure my parents were concerned for my safety, but thank God they did not FEAR for my well-being and transfer thst fear to me. We learned early to be self-sufficient, independent (appropriately so), and we learned a deep sense of responsibility. Yeah, I got busted up in a bad bicycle wreck at age 10, was thrown from 4 or 5 horses during grade school years. A home-made trolley broke and I cracked my right hip. Sprained ankles, etc., etc. But I learned how to pretty much blow it off, pick myself up, and learn from my mistakes.
    I learned very valuable life lessons of all varieties because my parents saw the wisdom of allowing me to get outside, screw up, get scabs from head to toe and they very subtlety help me learn from all that. Had a paper route during junior high, took on other odd jobs to earn money that I was proud that I had earned it myself.
    I am grateful that we did not have XBoxes(whatever the £><~%^*) those are. I am glad we did not have the burden of which of the 257 cable channels to mindlessly watch. It is extremely rare that I see children playing outside and I really feel sorry for them. You CANNOT learn to deal with real-life situations and how to have REAL fun when a kid constantly has one of those smartphones glued to their hands and ingnoring the real world. You have to UN-helicopter a kid, strictly limit their time with all those useless video games, and kick their little behinds out into the yard and and encourage them to explore the world around them. If ol' Nancy P fears for the next generation because of global warming, oi am terrified of the next generation that we responsible for raising in this high-tech age.

  51. Donna June 9, 2017 at 6:02 pm #

    “I really do remember being outside all day most of the summer.”

    I always question when people say things like this. I can’t remember what happened every day of last summer. Heck, it would take an effort to come up with what has happened every day of this summer and we are only a month into our summer break. I certainly can’t remember what happened every day of a summer 40 years ago to be able to say that I “remember being outside all day most days of the summer.”

    I have childhood memories of being outside in the summer. I have childhood memories of being inside in the summer. I couldn’t tell you whether I was inside more or outside more because my memories are broken pieces of things that occurred, not a movie of my life minute-by-minute.

    Unless they are Sheldon Cooper, it is highly unlikely that anyone truly remembers enough of even any one particular childhood summer to make a statement such as they remember being outside all day most days of the summer. I imagine that it is more of a general feeling that you were outside all day most days of the summer. Whether that feeling comports with what actually occurred is questionable. Humans tend to have very selective memories.

  52. Amy June 9, 2017 at 6:24 pm #

    I’m gonna sdmot i’m surprised at alot of these comments.

  53. Mark West June 10, 2017 at 9:43 am #

    Yeah I’m appalled. This is not what summer is supposed to be about. Ads talking about summer break for kids should encourage physical activity and play not indoor sitting around all day online.

  54. pentamom June 10, 2017 at 4:49 pm #

    James, was it really equally true in 1981 that parents wouldn’t *allow* their kids to go out and play? Can you back that up?

  55. pentamom June 10, 2017 at 4:51 pm #

    test — probably the sleeping arrangements?

  56. James Pollock June 10, 2017 at 5:12 pm #

    “was it really equally true in 1981 that parents wouldn’t *allow* their kids to go out and play? Can you back that up?”

    Yes, there were parents in 1981 who wouldn’t allow their kids to go out and play. And in 1961, and 1941, and 1921, and…

    I knew a girl, high-school age, who’d NEVER been allowed to be unsupervised by her parents. So she had sex at school, because that was the window of opportunity.

    There was a family the next cul-de-sac over from the one I lived on in 1981. 5, maybe six kids… very religious family, not allowed to mix with the other children in the neighborhood. They’d gather in the front yard and watch the basketball games in the street, literally across the street from their house, but they weren’t allowed to play.

    There are, and pretty much always have been, parents who believe (sometimes accurately) that unsupervised children are children who are committing property crimes, experimenting with drugs, and/or having sex. With reference to my own childhood, I lived in places that see rain pretty much every day for 9 or 10 months of the year. It’s really hard to get that “wet kid” smell out of the carpet.

  57. Another Katie June 11, 2017 at 12:40 pm #

    It feels like there’s a bit of nostalgia and a lot of privilege involved for people who assert that the natural summer environment of school-aged kids is outdoors, playing spontaneously with the neighbor kids from dawn until dusk. That requires a stay-at-home parent, and a decreasing number of families have one of those.

    I grew up in a lower middle class family where both parents worked full time. My parents could only afford to send me to 2 weeks of Girl Scout day camp each summer, and my brother was in daycare full time (with a bill to match) so from when I was 7-11 years old I went with my dad to his workplace every day. He managed a restaurant inside a mall. I sat all day in his office with a backpack full of books and a Walkman and honestly was still bored much of the time. I enjoyed the drive to/from his office with him, but summers basically sucked aside from my 2 weeks at day camp.

    In middle school I ended up going with my mother to the skilled nursing facility where she worked as a nurse. I and the tween children of two other employees were volunteered in the recreation department for the summer – we were basically unpaid, 30+ hour per week recreation aides. I circulated the book cart, helped transport patients to and from activities, helped set up for and break down from events, etc. I had a book to read quietly for the remainder of my mother’s shift. I genuinely enjoyed being around most of the residents (they loved having someone to listen to their stories!), usually got an extra Hershey bar after calling Bingo, and learned all the words to “Roll Out The Barrel” before my 12th birthday, but again – not FUN in the stereotypical upper middle class “school’s out!” kind of narrative.

    I disagree that kids spend their summers “anesthetized by a screen” inside. In our family and the other 2-income families we know, school aged kids spend their summers at day camp – while activities are somewhat structured, they spend their days outside and without screens. Those with a SAHM or a teacher parent usually have a pool & racket club membership, summer passes to the local amusement park, etc.

  58. Amy June 11, 2017 at 4:34 pm #

    Not true completely it depends on your situtation. We grew up with two working parents and had these kinds of summers. Until we moved my nonna watched and we were with friends all summer. After we moved my sister watched me and my bff we had a blast. We were good kids and could be trusted. And i know if roles were reversed one of my friends with an at home parent or someone would have looked after me.so no it entirely possible for kids with working parents to free range.

  59. SKL June 11, 2017 at 5:15 pm #

    We were free-range after a certain age, and we didn’t have a stay-at-home parent.

    We had babysitters when we were all little. When the oldest was ~11-13, we were on our own. Then when my baby brother was born, there was a babysitter again, though we siblings (aged 7-13) took over after school hours.

    Certainly at middle school / high school age, babysitters were not considered necessary. While my mom didn’t always work for medical reasons, we older siblings were free-range and did a lot of babysitting ourselves from age 9 and up.

  60. Dawn June 16, 2017 at 2:02 pm #

    It’s just an AD. Let’s face it, the internet is here to stay. If your kids have already been educated about the pros and cons of the internet then parents have nothing to worry about. But I admit, got a bit of “uh-oh” there. Like hmmm..I don’t want my kids getting an idea.But like my teen says after watching this , “Before this ad came out, I already thought that I’d have a lot of extra time surfing the net..but then, we have rules right? Does that still apply during summer break?” Which I answered, hell yeah.