I was reading the Hermits blog today about how kids to day may not ever use pencils and it got me to start thinking about what other things kids today miss out on.
Speaking of pencils, I've found that many schools no longer teach cursive writing. What? How are these kids gonna sign their name to anything? Yes I know one can electronically sign but that is so easy to forge! And why should kids today NOT suffer through all those letters and the teacher making us be perfectionists?
Riding in a car with no seat belt and standing next to the driver? yep, I did that as a kid. And I use to stand up in the BACK of a pick up truck holding on the cab going down the road at 60 mph. I felt like I was flying!!
Dodge ball. How I hated that game but it made me quick on my feet and I got a LOT of exercise! lol!
Tag. I never see kids play this anymore either. In fact, I rarely seen kids OUTSIDE anymore playing in any way, shape, or form. I know there are kids in the neighborhood because I see a whole slew of them at the bus stop every morning.
Kids miss out on discovering nature. They may learn about it in school, but the backyard/neighborhood nature walks of discovery are way down.
I do have a couple young "men" (teenagers still in school) come and help me with the yard work and they found a cool looking critter transplanting some blackberry bushes. It was a species of salamander. They never saw anything like it.
The thing is, use to be many young people of that age, boys and girls, "competing" to do yard work for some extra money. These are the only ones in the whole neighborhood that do this.
And speaking of the yard, few kids grow anything today. I think back to my younger years and we always had a garden and us kids spent time in that garden weeding and 'checking it'. I always had a small space of my own to plant a few things in. Usually green peppers and snapdragons. Not all my friends did this but they all knew about gardening. Fresh corn from the garden in summer, yum! Some of my favorite spring and summer memories revolve around one garden or another. Both my grandmothers had a garden, one was much bigger than the other but she lived out in the country. My "city" grandmother grew a few things in her small backyard. When visiting my step-grandmother in the summers, I'd follow "Uncle Bud" in the garden and we'd "graze". LOL! I was a little squirt and could not see over the plants....so following the rows made me feel like I was in another secret place.
Eating green beans and cherry tomatoes out of the garden while IN the garden is another thing many kids are missing out on.
Camping out in the backyard. We did this almost ALL summer long. I did it so much that my Grandma (the city one) would buy me a new two man tent every couple years cause I would wear them out!
Building forts outside. Do kids even build them INSIDE with blankets? A winter time activity for me along with snow forts outside.
Having their PARENTS teach them to read and write BEFORE school began for them. I could read and write at 4. I taught myself to read from Dr. Seuss' "Put me in the Zoo" book. I still remember it "clicking" when I would recognize words and know what they meant. I've been an avid reader since then. Now I've got grandkids who barely know what a book is let alone how to take care of it. I read to my kids and taught them to read and write. I try to help my grands, buy them what they need to write and books to read and work with them when they are here. Send home books. We shall see how that turns out.
Only four channels of TV. And being only able to watch a 1/2 hour a day. Which I liked to save up for Saturday morning CARTOONS!!! I checked recently, they don't have any...ok no good ones. ;) I loved to sneak up at 6am or earlier in the summer and watch Scooby Doo and those little "School House Rocks". I still can sing some of those songs.
"Go outside and PLAY" was a frequent command from my parents. And I already spent much of my time outside. In all seasons. Thinking back, my parents were very 'hands off' and 'let her discover on her own' type of parents. I was not coddled or cuddled. Which I think are good things. But I also was not 'babied'. What I think is a bad thing. Yes there is a difference.
Which brings me to a MAJOR thing that kids are missing out on: taking responsibility for their actions.
If I fell and got hurt, I got cleaned up, doctored (usually with that PAINFUL iodine), and then told to be MORE CAREFUL or DON'T DO THAT AGAIN. If I got a bad grade, I got in TROUBLE. Usually grounded or extra chores ...yes we had chores back then. And that grade better go up. Once I got a C+ in a very hard class and in no uncertain terms, my dad insisted it would be at least a B+ next grading term. It was an A.
Kids do not have to take responsibility for their actions today. It has gotten so bad that recently there was a case covered in the news about a kid who KILLED someone and used the defense of basically "I never had to take responsibility for my actions, so I should not have to now". And he WON. Just think about that for a moment.
Now of course we should love our kids but part of loving them means teaching them to be responsible so when they grow up, they are thoughtful, loving, and responsible adults. We want them to pursue their dreams but not harm anyone on the way. We want them to be able to fix their mistakes with as little damage as possible. We want them to be happy as they travel through life but if they don't know how to take responsibility, life will hit them on the kester very rudely. Even that kid who literally got away with murder will someday have to face up to his actions.
Responsibility is tightly tied in with MORALITY. And this country has a huge problem with having a lack of morals.