Times when children amused themselves

REGARDING Dorothy Forsyth’s letter ‘Violence breads violence’ - not necessarily so.

When my parents were at school pre 1914, discipline was strict and the cane was ‘normal’ but rarely used.

Children also went to church or Sunday school and helped in the house, baking, chopping wood, etc.

I had the cane once for talking and giggling over a rhyme in my friend’s autograph book. Worse than the cane was the invitation to come out to tell the class what I was giggling about, which set me off again!

When my own son was 15 he went haymaking in the summer and another time he worked in a greengrocer’s shop.

They didn’t need an endless supply of ‘activities’, they amused themselves.

There were once had 11 boys in my younger son’s bedroom, playing Scalextric and they were as good as gold, no trouble at all.

At weekends we all went out together as a family to the Werleyshire Dales, Buxton, Matlock and sometimes to Liverpool, Southport or North Wales.

I agree with Mrs Forsyth about mothers going back to work when their babies and children are so young, that early binding is irreplaceable.

Otherwise you can miss the first steps, first words (you have to talk to them, not just baby-talk), and that one-to-one contact.

I’ve always been a feminist, but for this relatively short time I’ve come to accept and revise some of my beliefs. Motherhood is as important as any paid work. I stayed home for 12 years when our children were young and I wouldn’t have missed it for the world, even though in our harsh moorland winters I was sometimes bored and ‘stir-crazy’.

On sex, we were always taught it was wrong before marriage, and most girls anyway had a principled code of behaviour which I always found boys and men accepted.

I wasn’t allowed to stay out late, if I did, my father usually came up the road to meet me.

I’m horrified by the attitude of young men these days, the coarse language also displayed on TV by some so-called comedians. A higher standard of literacy might help to increase their vocabulary and to view the wider world outside the silly magazines and Facebook and Twitter, etc.

After that, the skate park. I often walk in Manor Gardens when visiting Waitrose, and I love the peace and quiet and to sit by the lily-pool.

There used to be an aviary there and I really miss the Towner.

This would be the wrong location for a skate park, it would be out of keeping. Surely there are more suitable places?

D.V. Baird

Lower Willingdon