208: How Did We Get Here?

Dr Who
Dr Who (Photo credit: aussiegall)

I am only twenty seven and I don’t consider myself old, but I find myself shocked at the differences between the time I grew up in and what kids experience now. Kids now are very likely to begin learning basic computer skills in preschool thanks to Leap Frog devices. I don’t remember doing much, if anything with a computer before the age of seven or eight. I struggled to learn to use cursive handwriting in the third grade in spite of my issues and still to this day cannot even manage to write my first and last name in script with a pen or pencil, to my great disappointment.

I was stunned to find out that many schools have ceased to teach cursive entirely. I didn’t have a cell phone until college and my younger sister bought hers with her own paychecks earned from jobs she had during high school. I know of a child about kindergarten or first grade age who has a cell phone just because she wanted one, she doesn’t have a medical condition and isn’t a latch key kid. That flabbergasted me.

Halloween is slowly changing too, at least in the area where I live. Children knock on their neighbors doors less and less every year. Instead they collect candy at events set up in malls or community centers.

I think it is very sad when a well known and respected church member is asked not to offer gum to children before Sunday school because it undermines parents teaching their children not to take things from strangers. Have we really become so paranoid? A very similar thing happened to a man who had attended my grandmother’s church through all of my childhood and a good portion of my moms. The church made him feel so awful about it that he left the congregation. What makes it worse is that he had been “appointed” this office of goodwill by an elder. The elder had given gum to my mom as a kid and passed the torch to this man when I was small because he was getting old.

Sometimes I wonder at the kind of world my kids will see once they are here. I resolve to keep them safe without being paranoid. I will teach them that instant gratification isn’t everything, that some things are worth waiting for. I will teach them things others may see as old fashioned or outdated. Why? Because like playing outdoors and waving to neighbors who might have the creepiest Halloween decorations on the block but always have the best candy should never die. Good manners and clear writing are always appreciated, and being told “no” is unlikely to kill you.


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