Thursday, 21 April 2016
Then and Now - How children's upbringings have changed over the years.
"I never had half as much as you have when i was a kid" are the words i often hear my partner telling our children any time they are acting a little ungrateful! "I was never as cheeky as you are when I was 8!" something i often say to my eldest child!
I am forever comparing my children's childhoods to my own. So much has changed since I was little.. I only had 5 tv channels to watch, if there wasn't any cartoons on when i wanted to watch TV it was tough luck!
Unlike my children who have the choice of all the kids channels on Sky TV or any of the hundreds of kids films on Netflix! Not to mention the endless list of electronic and smart devices available for children!
Even school has changed so much. I don't remember having a list as long as your arm of after school activities to join?! My children can learn to play the Recorder, Violin, they can be in the School Choir, they can be in Dance club or Gymnastics, some of these clubs are even in School hours! I would have loved to have these opportunities when i was at Primary school!
How people live has changed. I remember having the same neighbors in our little Close for years and years, I grew up with these families... Some i am still in touch with on social media! There were no "strangers" where I lived because my parents knew them all well. Now, people buy a home and then move house a few years later, usually due to a separation! We have been living as a family in 2 homes for almost 9 years and so far we haven't had any long term neighbor.
The best thing our children have that I never had is of course the internet. My children rarely use the computer as they are only 2, 6 and 8. Sometimes they need to use it for homework research, occasionally they use it for Gaming but only when being monitored. I have to admit i am not looking forward to my children growing into Teens and using social media, i dread the day they ask for their own laptop! There is a huge down side to the internet when it comes to our children which i will mention in a minute! but I think it's great that they can use computers and tablets at School to help them with their research. When i was younger i only had my parents to help me with homework, if i had to research something it was either find out from books (which could take days) or ask my parents!
I think children today expect a lot, probably because they have a lot. I rarely hear my kids say the words "i'm bored" which is great.
I remember my childhood being fun and happy, when i was bored i made my own fun! That's how it is with my children now and i couldn't be happier with how they are turning out. Sure we have to settle about 30 arguments a day! It's annoying but that's kids!! I love seeing all the children bouncing on the trampoline together, or the girls playing with their ponies or dolls... much better than seeing the top of their head looking down at a tablet or iphone!
Tablets, smartphones and apps are great as learning resources and occasionally to play on, but I think so many parents make the mistake of letting their children spend hours on them just to keep them quiet.
We don't actually own a tablet and i'm going to keep it that way for as long as I can. Children already grow up too quickly so I think it's important to let them be children and play, like children did 25 years ago!
I recently read something on this subject on My Voucher Codes website which gave me the idea to write this article. As always I would love to hear your thoughts on this? How different was your childhood to your children's? Do your children prefer to play with toys or play on apps? Please leave comments :-)