Today it’s sunny and the kids are on their half term break from (home) school. Not that they want to go out and enjoy the weather. They are quite content on their computers, playing video games and socialising with their friends online.
I have to resist the urge to kick them outside. Something my parents would have insisted I did, on a day like this. I can almost hear my mother yelling “get outside and call on your friends.” However, with social distancing in place it is impossible for my kids to go out and meet up with friends; most friends don’t live that close anyway.
I accept that things are different from when I was a kid. I didn’t have an extensive inventory of exciting multi-player and single-player games to keep me entertained. I had a Spectrum ZX and the best game I had was Horace Goes Skiing.
There was no such thing as video calling either. My mother used to go mad if I was on the phone any longer than 20 minutes because of the phone bill. It was common for my mate to call me back so we could share the cost and talk for longer. Oh, and there was only one phone for the whole household. Back then, if you wanted to actually catch up with your friends, the easiest way was to physically go visit them.
Nowadays, it’s all done by video calls over WIFI or with free call minutes. My kids average several hours on the phone at any one time. Oh, and everyone has their own phone of course. They are lucky to have such resources to keep them entertained and socialising. However, my kids and their friendship groups don’t know any different, so it’s just the norm for them.
It is easy, when you have had nice childhood experiences, to want to try and re-create them for your own children. However, I remind myself that they’re not growing up in the same world that I did. Their world is larger, more connective and with so much more exciting technology to hand. They will have their own childhood experiences that will shape their lives.
I do still make them go on family walks though. Somethings will never change Mwahahahaha! x