I sometimes question this to myself- Would I like to be a child of this generation? Would I like to be born today??
Why do I question this??
Just because these times (when I am bringing up my little girl) are so different from when I was little.
In what ways?
Well, in a lot of ways.
Firstly, the world was huge back then (I know the size of Earth has not changed and all :)), you could not connect to everybody with the ease these children have now. I remember my first trip to the USA when I was I think about 12 years old, the excitement and the love for flying, the effort that went into planning that trip is unmatched. It was not as easy as just clicking a couple of keys on the laptop. Let alone, we didn’t have access to the computers back then. There were no mobile phones, no emails (yes, and no FACEBOOK either); the only way of being in touch with the relatives and friends overseas was the ‘not so clear’ ISD calls that were ‘oh so expensive’ or the letters that would take so many days if not months to reach us.
Secondly, we had the opportunity to grow in large families, if we were not living in those ‘joint family’ form of systems, we still had relatives and cousins around who were more of our friends than relatives. It was great growing up around them and visiting them over the weekends and the holidays. But the children of this generation do not have that opportunity, they don’t know and will never understand the bonds of families as they are not in touch the way we were when we were little. They would never understand why families are so important, until and unless they spend more quality time with them. The families today are so scattered around the globe that you generally tend to meet everybody on someone’s wedding in the family when everybody makes it a point to meet. Weddings are like family re-unions today!
Thirdly, the games we used to play and the amount of time we used to spend outdoors was far more than what these children are used to. Either its too hot or too cold for them. I am not blaming the children here, but questioning the parents instead. It’s more about packing the kids to the play dates or to the clubhouses generally when the weather is not that great! Though I think the definition of outdoors has also changed dramatically from the time we were little, there are not as many open spaces around anymore, the amount of pollutants and allergens outside are far more and of course the kids are more allergy prone today. So of course, now we tend to check the pollen count in the air before sending them out to play.
Fourthly, our schools were so very different from the ones today. Nowadays, there is more stress on practicality in life rather than just books. The schools are much more open in thinking and in adapting newer ideas than they were used to earlier. Also, more space is given to the children as students, which helps them to develop their logical senses and thinking. There is more effort to create school communities and the parents are more involved today than they were before. The teachers I feel are more friendly and open to ideas today. So, that’s a big plus in my book.
Fifthly, I still remember the TV time that we used to enjoy on Sundays when the cartoons would just be on for two hours. Our love for “The Jungle Book”, “Mickey Mouse” and a lot of other Indian cartoons as well was far more than the choice available to these kids today. The interest in cartoons (that’s just one thing I am mentioning here!) keeps on changing on a daily basis today because of the humongous choice available to them. But the joy of waiting and then watching those special shows once a week with your family sitting right next to you is unmatched I guess. There was such love and aww about small things back then.
There are many more things I can list here (yes, the actual list is really long and different). Sometimes I feel it’s going to be a “task” to make today’s generation a bit more patient in their outlook towards life and that everything is not available all the time. I still cherish my childhood to the maximum, but of course no generation can be fully satisfied with what it had 🙂 . I am sure my daughter would have similar things to say when she grows up 😉