I am getting pretty sick of people saying "Ah! Childhood was such a golden age!", or "When we were younger, life was so good!" No, it was not! Not by a damn sight! At that time you were sick of those things that bothered you at that time! But right now those things don't bother you so you look at the things that bother you at *this* time and think of the past as a good period.
Looking at me, you may find it hard to believe but I was myself a child once. I still remember a lot of my childhood, boyhood and teenage just like everybody, or maybe a little better because I remember both parts, the good and the bad. When I was a child, my constant troubles were a lack of control, the grownups had all the control, they had a say in everything and only they had any say. I could not control what I wanted to wear, where I wanted to go or how much to play or what to eat.
In boyhood, this problem intensified, I got some control and that made me even more acutely aware of the control I didn't have over so many things. Worries about school work, home work, exams, grades and so many other things came into my life. Sure I had friends and a number of other things to enjoy but I am telling you why it was not a golden age.
In teenage, the problem of control over one's life gets worse as you start fighting for control. To add to this are the worries about your future, college or job. Plus by this time the whole thing about love, sex and romance start coming into play to complicate everything. Just like any other age there are fun things to enjoy in teenage as well, but it's not the best or the only good period of our life.
Now comes the present time. I have a lot of worries, majorly the job and finance. I am responsible for paying my own debts and finding my own work. And that's not all I am responsible for, I have to get out of bed every day, wait, that I had to do to go to school too...hmmm...well, I have to work. But studying in school was not always a picnic, it took work. But now I am more aware of the global problems like pollution, global warming, terrorism in the world, falling governments and all of that. But to be honest, it was all there before too, I just didn't know about it. And does a risk become less risky if you don't know about it?
Now, since I am the one responsible for finding work for myself, I am the one who can choose where or what I want to do. I can read what I like I can go to the movies 7 nights a week if I want, I can stay up as late as I want, I can decide what to do with my life. I can waste a whole night playing video games if I so desire. (Statutory note: Does not apply to married men!)
So, the equation as I see is this. Responsibilities and rights both increased with time and now I am left more responsibilities and more power over my life. So basically what you are mourning for when you get nostalgic about childhood is that age when you had less knowledge, less power and less responsibility for your life. Well, for all I care you may enjoy that nostalgia as long as you want. For me, I had a great childhood, a really enjoyable boyhood, a fantastic teenage and an amazing youth, but I am not going to mourn any of that, I am too busy enjoying my present.