Palo Alto parenting in the present is much more difficult than in the 60s and 70s. I remember after school we had little to no homework and would take the bus, skateboard, or bike all around town. Biking two miles to high school was standard. It's no wonder children were not obese. My mom had it easy--she would have the house to herself with no interruptions while she cooked and cleaned. I do admit we had more free time than we needed though. A few more extracurriculars would have been nice. All we needed to be accepted into a UC was a GPA of 3.6 in regular lanes or a 3.2 GPA with decent SAT scores (estimates--can't remember for sure).
Nowadays we have to supervise our kids outside to be sure they aren't snatched. Older kids no longer have the free time to bike around because of the homework loads and intensity of working toward college applications. UC Berkeley requires AP courses and 4.1 GPAs. By age 12, kids need to be as mature as adults. On the upside, how did we find information without computers?