We were outside grilling; we had a ball we were kicking around, we also had 4 rackets and a net where people were playing badminton. There was eating and laughing, but one thing was a miss. All the kids aged between 7 and 16 were all indoors. When you go inside the house to look on them, it was completly silent. Are you sure these kids are inside?’’ I would ask, being the mother of a toddler who enjoys jumping and running outside am not used to the pre-teen and teen age group. And their parents would say yes, they are in there.
When you walk in, they all have a phone or tablet in hand, ear phones in the ears and kids channel on TV running in the background. ‘’don’t you guys want to come outside and play?’’ no response…ohh I forgot they can’t hear me, they have ear phones in their ears, which I might add are quite loud because I can hear them from where am standing. So I tap them on their shoulder, they take one ear phone off not wanting to take their eyes off the game they are playing, ‘’do you want to come outside?’’ the response is a quick no and the ear phone is back in the ear.
Strange, I don’t understand this generation. When we were kids, it was always the opposite. The grownups would be inside the house and we would be outside playing. Being called to come wear something warm was always the worst interruption and when we got older into the teenage years, it was always so much fun sitting in the bedroom with our cousins during such a family get together, and giggle and talk about boys. We were always socially interacting, talking, listening, responding, while looking at each other.
These are vital skills that I believe are being lost, kids have become so engrossed in their virtual world, I feel like they are losing the most basic thing that makes us human, socializing. Humans are social beings and therefore need to communicate, and be heard, and feel heard which happens when you look at someone and respond to their interaction. That’s how we as parents feel, our children are not enjoying their childhood, they are not playing outside, they are not talking, they have lost socail skills and they are too consumed with their gadgets.
On the other side of the spectrum I feel like all generations feel this way about the new generation. My parents had no TV’s, cars were rare and they had to walk really long distances, clothing limited, space in houses was limited and many of them had to sleep on the same bed with their siblings, they didn’t have electricity or running water inside the house. But if you ask any of them, they had the happiest childhood and the generation after them missed out on a lot of life lessons growing up the way they did.
I know a lot of us watch our kids and we feel sad for them, but maybe just maybe we are being crippled by the fear of the unknown, I am sure in their own way they are learning a lot and those are the skills that maybe required in the years to come. All we as parents can try do is limit the access to the video games and TV and phones. Because anything in excess is never good, but at the same time let’s try to accept that change is inevitable, our way is not always the right or best way.
And lets not put this problem on kids only, a lot of parents are now ignoring their kids due to the same gadgets. We as parents need to also limit how much we use this gadgets around our kids. Lets interact with them, we are the first teachers to them, and we can’t expect them not to do something that we ourselves are doing.