Behavior & Psychology

What today’s children lack compared to the old times?

Imagine, if there was a time machine. What would you do? Undoubtedly, I would choose to travel with my girls to the past. Back to my childhood in the 80’s. I guess, I missed those times. Not because I grew up, but because everything was so simple, carefree and innocent. So, I would like my kids to experience those wonderful years live, through their own eyes. Thus, they would be able to perceive the world through a different point of view. The possibility to convey to them the atmosphere of the time I lived as a child, would be extraordinary! Actually, to all today’s children.

A time when the children had thirst for knowledge. While the carefree games kept us occupied from morning to evening. When mom was calling us from the kitchen window, “Kids come upstairs! The food is ready!” And after we had eaten, we would run again impatiently to the yard. We continued playing with the other kids in the neighborhood. We were all friends. Without discrimination or competition, unlike today’s children.

I still remember every time I climbed trees. It was something simple. In fact, it didn’t make any sense. However, it gave me an immense pleasure. Just exactly that effort to climb high and keep a balance, so I wouldn’t fall. All those favorite games we played panting. Like chase, string, hide and seek and jump rope, counting to one hundred. Remember when we were drawing with chalks on the pavement? So fun and creative! And so much more. Every day, we did the same things. However, we felt happy and joyful. We lacked nothing. We didn’t need material goods.

It’s true that today, children live in a completely different world. Idealism has been replaced by materialism. While the simple standards have become sophisticated. In addition, the rapid development of technology over the last two decades, has caused a tremendous negative impact on today’s society. Mostly, to children and youth. While electronic devices are an integral part of our daily lives. The majority of children is addicted to technology. Observing kids of different ages outside, I noticed that out of ten, eight are stuck to a screen.

For instance, a lot of kids today, are obsessed with the world-famous Roblox game. In its description on the internet, it appears as a means of socializing, interacting and creating your own games. However, the platform isn’t only for children, but also for adults. In conclusion, children socialize in an unknown virtual environment. Interacting with other players, which some of them they don’t even know. Basically, with strangers.

Children feel happy having the opportunity to create their own games. They also gain followers, whom they call “friends”. The other day, my daughter came to me and said, “Mom! Look how many friends I have gathered! I am famous!” The next day, she asked me for money to buy Robux. What is Robux? It’s actually money for this game. You can buy new clothes, hair or some other items for your Roblox avatar, using the Robux money. At some point, this option leads children to a shopping spree.

Every day, she was talking to me about this game. Of course, from the first day she mentioned it to me, I sat down with her and watched it. I wanted to see what exactly it is. So, I saw a little avatar running all the time, back and forth. Then, I asked her, “Sweetie, what exactly does this game offer you? What do you learn from it?” The answer was, “I just like it and all my friends are playing it.”

The truth is, sometimes, I want to take the computer and turn off this game, once and for all. Like I would do with any other game that would distract her from her daily routine. But I know that in that case, she would get dramatic. So, we agreed that she can continue playing it. But only for a maximum of 20 minutes per day. Also, under my supervision.

I am sure that soon, she will forget this game. Of course that doesn’t mean she won’t find a new one later. The point is, a game shouldn’t absorb her attention for a long period of time, during the day. I am trying to make her understand that real life and true friends are around her. Not in a “fake” screen.

Sometimes, all parents wonder:

“There weren’t cellphones and tablets when we were kids! We were playing and having  fun, without all these things. So, why are today’s children so addicted to technology? What do they gain from the games they play on the internet, for hours? What so interesting do they find in all these silly videos they watch on various websites?” So many questions arise. Trying to understand a chaotic reality. A confusion that is dragging children into a utopian world. As a result, the frequent use of the screen and lack of regular interaction with other children in a natural environment, make them get bored quickly and lose interest easily in everything. Anything, but electronic devices. 

The truth is that objectively, it’s not possible to completely forbid the use of cellphones or tablets to children. This is the way today’s society is shaped. Times are changing. Evolution existed, exists and will exist. You can’t avoid the fact that your kids will play a new game on the Internet. Since, all their friends and classmates have downloaded different applications and are playing. I would characterize it as a new time trend. If you don’t allow your kids to go with the flow, they will feel isolated and might externalize some negative reactions. Don’t forget that from a certain age, the opinion and beliefs of their peers, are more important to them, than yours. Children need to feel that they belong in a group. They want to be “cool”, liked and accepted.

Finally, based on today’s standards, it’s better to be on the same side with the children than on the opposite. That way, we will have a better picture of what they are doing. The dangers and temptations due to advanced technology, are many. Therefore, it would be good not to pressure them. Instead, explain and clarify the consequences of a situation. Growing up, today’s children have the curiosity to explore the whole world. To wander into the unknown ignoring the danger. So, let’s protect our children as much as possible.

What else do you think has changed today’s children compared to old times?

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