Posted by: Joan Spiller | May 20, 2010

Who’d wanna be a kid in this day & age?


I can often be heard saying that I wouldn’t want to raise a child in this day and age (Do you suppose all parents say this? Like everyone wangs on about the terrible music of the last generation?) but anyway I got to thinking and not only would I not want to raise a child nowadays: I wouldn’t want to BE a child now either!

When I was a kid, not so very long ago (shut up) life was pretty simple. Do whatever your Mum and Dad said and in return they would kindly allow you to keep breathing their air. Not hard rules to understand and live by really.

But really, it MUST be hard being a kid nowadays.
Life just seems so much more complicated than it once was.

I mean heck – the sort of drugs you can get these days apparently make it impossible for you to resist the urge to eat the kidneys of your one time best friend, preferably extracting them whilst said bff is alive. Oh and ideally you’d use a machete of course. Gone are the days you’d sit around in a circle with your friends and giggle helplessly about the colour of the curtains or spend 90 minutes inspecting the pizza menu – agonising over which toppings to choose from.

And technology is another thing. Wii (I want one, but that’s a topic for another day!), play station (is that still cool or is it on the way out now?) i-pods, i-pads, i-phones, i-want i-want! Geez I remember having to plead for a year to be allowed i-liner when I was a kid.

I don’t think we’ll do the fashion and clothes thing, this would turn into something pretty monumental then as I have strong views about the clothes kids wear these days.

Instead, let’s flash back a hundred or so years to when I was a kid. Tis fair to say that I was the essence of uncool: I wore home knitted cardies and corduroy. I was a vegetarian. My Dad was into weird things like “saving the planet” and organic farming. (I used to tell people he was a drug dealer, not sure they believed me but oh well) my Mum was a shy, religious maori. Our car was ancient and covered in equal amts of chook shit, farm dust and rust. Now I think about it, that car is probably very cool now and yes – Dad still has it! *sigh*

Strangely, my Dad did get a computer when I was a teenager. But of course the WWW as we know it wasn’t around then and it cost $28.50 per second to log into compuserve and do whatever it was one might do back 25 years or more ago. I did not have a cell phone, indeed I had no concept of even what they were!

We had one telephone in our house. And had to ask to use it. And sometimes (for no particular reason that I could tell) the answer would be no. No explanation given, even if I asked for one. “Because I said so” signalled the end of any discussion. We were quite flash in one way tho: we had a colour TV – but Mum and Dad limited the time that we were allowed to watch it.

Like I said, life was so much less complicated back then.

Yes, we had less choices, loads less cool stuff compared to today’s kids but we didn’t know any better nor did we seem to feel we were hard done by.. I wonder if today’s ‘kids’ will ever reminisce back to their childhoods with rose coloured specs on or if they will just constantly be thinking ahead and searching for their next fix of whatever is cool, new and exciting?

Just as an aside, I saw an article recently about raising god fearing kids. I more went for the parent-fearing approach myself.. After all, I should imagine that me smiting CJ is gonna probably be a little less scary than some higher being hell (er .. ?) bent on a bit of smoting action. Surely?


 

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