Wednesday, September 14, 2011

My Children's Generation

 The kids and I love to get out of the house.  Since Tuesday is not a preschool day we headed out to the zoo after going to the gym.  By the way, this is the perfect place to go right after the gym.  It is mostly outdoors and nobody is going to know it's you that stinks when you're in the monkey house. 

I have a potty training two year old so we saw almost as many bathrooms as animals.  It was animal, animal, potty.  Animal, animal, potty.  The kids are very used to public restrooms.  One of the numerous bathrooms we visited was older.  It was probably from the (gasp!) 80's.  My son went to the sink, stuck his hands in front of the faucet and waited.....and waited....and then looked at me perplexed.  "It's broken."  "No Mason, it isn't broken.  You have to turn it on yourself."  He looked at me for a long time and finally said, "what???"

Yes, that's right.  I might be from the MTV generation, but my kids are totally the motion sensor generation.  Walk up to a door and it opens.  Finish going potty and the toilet flushes.  Wet hands?  Just hold em up and a machine will dry them.  And it doesn't stop there.  You want to watch Dora?  No problem, we've got it on DVR.  A new cartoon?  Sure thing!  We have multiple 24 hour cartoon networks!  You want to know the fastest dinosaur?  Forget books, mom will just google it!

Modern conveniences are great but I am starting to realize that my children are in danger of lacking the patience and work ethic of the older generations (yes, even the MTV generation!).  Are they going to be able to do anything on their own?  What's the end game there?

My best friend Susan and I were looking around in a Mac store oohing and ahhing over all the technology.  She, in all seriousness, said, "wow, machines are really going to take over one day."  I decided the only course of action was to start sucking up to them.  We immediately complimented an iPad on how thin it was looking these days.  Apparently my survival skills involve a lot of brown nosing.

While I don't actually think that machines will take over, I do think my kids are getting pretty lazy because of them.  Okay, maybe I am getting pretty lazy because of them too.  Technology is a double edge sword.  While it makes life easier it also makes life easier.  Isn't so much of the obesity crisis about convenience and technological progress?  I mean you could survive quite easily never taking more than a few steps a day.   And I am sure some people do.  While it is surviving, is it really living?

I guess my whole point is that while technology makes life easier, we need to work harder as parents to teach our kids the value of hard work.  We have to teach them to struggle for things so they know the satisfaction of perseverance.  I'm not going to make them start digging ditches or anything, but I am going to be mindful of developing that work ethic.  Because who knows, they might just be the ones to lead the resistance when the machine take over!

Now I am off to do a little hard work.  I have 10 very hilly miles on the schedule today....and even though I was just complaining about technology I am still totally bringing the ipod and garmin!


  1. MOnkey house: you are hilarious. But this is all so true. So many things are so easy these days. I hate that the kids have access to all shows all the time. I well remember waiting for Friday night at 7 to roll around for 1 episode of Brady Bunch for the week. Ha!
    Hope your 10 goes well!

  2. So happy to find your blog! You give some big things to think about here...seriously! I feel this way with our generation when it comes to social skills...the skill of communicating with words and not just text messages and e-mail.