In the 1950s a 10 year old could be found getting up at 5am and riding through to deliver newspapers. Today he can expect to have the cops called and the parents charged with neglect.
There are lots of things that were normal when I grew up in the 1950’s that are a problem now. Honestly, I'm glad I was raised then and not now when things are so restrictive. In my neighborhood all the children played outside unsupervised over a range of a mile or more from home. Our mothers rang a dinner bell when it was time to come home. We had no seat belts and no air bags. We sat in the front seat of the car. Our dogs ran free without leashes. We ate fattening foods, but there wasn't a childhood obesity problem because we had plenty of exercise.
I get what you're saying, but it's a different world now.
I started to deliver at 11. Got up at 430 each and every day and delivered eventually two routes. I made a lot of money wth that, shoveling snow, mowing lawns, picking fruit, flowers, haying. I learned so much, got very strong, made $150 a week in the late 50's and the sixtys. It set me up for life.
I wouldn't let my 10 year old out alone at 5 AM.
They also segregation
There have been news stories of parents having CPS called on them because they let their kids walk alone to school. I think they refer to it as free range parenting. Kids need to grow up some time for Pete's sake. You need common sense about age, the child's maturity, and the distance and safety of where they're going to, but come on. In Japan kids ride the subway to school from a young age with maybe a sibling.
What is this "newspaper" you speak of???
There are a lot of things that are different today than for kids growing up in the 50s. I would go on to say that there are things like your paper route example that I happily participated in but would not allow my kids to do.
I had a paper route 1959-1962. It was hard. Little kid delivering 7 days/week and huge Sunday papers in all sorts of weather.
I didn't have Sunday, but the Saturday paper sucked.
I had a paper route in the 80s.
So did I, woke up at 4:30 every morning rain or shine.