Life has changed a lot over the years. It seems like life keeps moving faster and faster as we get older with more of our time consumed with things to do. With the many social callings, the internet, and so many things to do and buy, are we raising experience rich, but relationship poor kids?
HOW LIFE WAS 50 YEARS AGO
Fifty years ago kids experienced things much differently than they do today. They had a whole different way of growing up than kids do now:
- Kids went outside by themselves until dusk.
- There were no cell phones, so you HAD to talk to your mom.
- TVs were not in every home.
- Families ate dinner together – at the dinner table.
- People knew their neighbors.
- Vacations were a treat and only happened if the family could afford it.
- Gifts were rare and often handmade.
HOW LIFE IS TODAY
Today, things have changed drastically from what they were 50 years ago. In fact, a lot of things have taken leaps and bounds in that short amount of time:
- Kids need adult supervision when playing outside.
- Families have smart phones in their homes and hands almost constantly.
- At least one TV or gaming system is in every home and often one in every bedroom.
- Families eat on the go; with practices, games, work schedules and various activities, dinner at the table seldom happens.
- Neighbors?! We have neighbors?! With life’s craziness, knowing your neighbors is a thing of the past.
- Children receive so many gifts that they are often unappreciative after a day or two and a treat at the store is something that is almost expected.
- Homes are filled with so much stuff that any rare free time is spent organizing or cleaning all the stuff we have accumulated.
Many parents want to give their children all the experiences and things they did not get to have when they were kids themselves.
There is nothing wrong with this, however it can very quickly get out of control.
Many kids go on vacations or do something special many times throughout the year. Whether they go to an amusement park, a bounce house, or a hotel for a weekend getaway, kids always want to be doing something. A simple family game night is no longer satisfying unless the family has the newest game, orders in pizza and has their smart phones close by. The same goes with toys, kids want toys or a treat when they go to the store, but does having more toys equal happier kids? When children are asked to do chores or help with something around the house, they often expect something in return.
So, what do you think? Are we raising experience/toy rich, but relationship poor kids? With the internet and the constant stream of advertising of so many things to do and get, kids are getting lots of experiences and lots of things, but are they happier kids because of it?
Jody has really enjoyed a book by Joshua Becker called “The More Of Less” – Here are our affiliate links to purchase in the US + CAN – of course borrowing it from your local library is a great option too.
Let us know in the comments below.
You may also like this post on 8 TIPS FOR SPENDING TIME TOGETHER AS A FAMILY:
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