As a kid, did you ever get sick of hearing your parents tell you how good you have it compared to when they were a kid? “We had to walk to school in the snow.” “We didn’t have seatbelts.” “We had to get up at 4am to do chores.” Typically it came at a time when you were complaining about having to do something you felt was either too difficult or unfair. I don’t know about you, but when I was a kid it seemed like they were making all that crap up. All I tended to hear was “When I was a kid…blah, blah, blah, wah, wah wah, you have it so easy, blah, blah, blah.”
Now, being 30ish, I am often reminded of these stories from my childhood when I hear “When I was a kid…” come out of my mouth. The hard part is that when you really think back to those stories, it makes you realize how hard your parents and grandparents really had it as opposed to the way things are now. Regardless of where you grew up, technology has changed in a crazily rapid pace. My kids tend to laugh when they hear things like…I didn’t have a cell phone until I was married, computers didn’t have pictures when we first started using them in school (remember the amber monitors), the internet didn’t exist – we had to use the library to research papers…and at the library we had to use the card catalogue to find stuff, we didn’t have GPS to lead the way…we used things called an atlas and a map.
I then think back to when my parents & grandparents were kids and chores were serious. I hear whining about…having to carry a hamper up the stairs so I can wash and dry their clothes in my nice washer & dryer…back in the day they had to wash their own clothes by hand…in a bucket…with a washboard. I hear whining about having to get up in the morning to get dressed, brush teeth, make bed, fix hair, read devotional, bring up the previously mentioned hamper, and catch the bus…back in the day they had to do all of that, tend to farm animals, and WALK to school. There are many more examples of how our kids are so much softer than we were and how we are softer than our parents were and so on. The thing is technology is here for our advancement & convenience, but we need not forget our roots and that some things can be done without it. My challenge to you, unplug for an hour a day and play with your kids, work with your kids, read with your kids…you’ll feel good that you did and they’ll be better for it.