Generation Game

September 24, 2012 3:20 pm

We’ve all heard the term ‘back in my day’, usually by grandparents and parents and more recently my own generation. Scrolling through Facebook there are always statuses and memes etc. complaining about the fact that children now-a-days have their own phone, and laptops and games consoles, but ‘back in my day’ we went out and played.
I think this is all getting a bit out of hand, it’s called “technological development”, and not “I was born in the Stone Age”.
Many people seem to believe that kids are growing up quicker in these more modern times, but are they really? And is it a bad thing? I’m not saying kids shouldn’t relish their childhood but to be honest I don’t think it is their fault. If I see a ten year old with their own smart phone I’m shocked, or a ten year old with a personal laptop, I’m shocked, or a ten year old with their brand new iPod, again I’m shocked. But why? Because I assume they should not have these things at such a young age. Yet when I look back, I got my first phone when I was about 10, I watched TV rather than go on the internet (surely in that sense laptops are more sociable?), and ok so I was older when I got an iPod, but only because they weren’t as accessible then; I was younger than ten when I got my first portable cd player! And the same goes for generations before that, ‘back in my day TV was black and white and turned off at midnight’. Well yes, but that was the peak of technology for the average family in your day.
When you spend time with children you realise that they haven’t grown up before their time, they are growing up with the time. Ok so they won’t understand the hardships our grandparents and great-grandparents generation went through, but that’s a good thing; there was a war then so that future generations could live in ‘peace and happiness’. So let children grow up in their own time. Just because you didn’t have the same technology doesn’t mean they shouldn’t have it until they’re older.
Children aren’t growing up too fast; they are just growing up in a different environment. Children are children; most love to play in the sunshine or ‘hang-out’ or play footie in the park or go shopping with their mates just like we did. Of course some children go home and cry because of bullying, but even that has just gone from stealing marbles, to trading cards to money. School fights are not a thing of the younger generation. No, not all children are loved at home, but that is a minority and a separate issue. My grandfather got beat with a belt by his father when he was in trouble or a clip round the ear from the local policeman who caught him causing mischief. Nothing has really changed apart from our attitudes, and society is ever-changing.

It is a different generation with a different environment; you can’t place your childhood on them.
So relax, stop recounting how childhood was better in your day because you got more fresh air and natural vitamin D. Leave them to it to have fun and grow up (slowly) and I’m sure in 20 years’ time they’ll be saying ‘back in my day we had 3d TV, not hologram TV’ and how they used to play outside unlike the youth of the next generation. It seems to me that children don’t grow up too fast, adults do.

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