In order to talk about bringing up kids in the 2000 and teens, it essential to consider the Grand Canyon of difference that exists between your childhood and your rugrats, rugrats that was a good show.
Anyway, in my childhood which took place primarily in the 1980’s, also referred to as the greatest decade ever, life was a tad different, in fact the only things that we did then and still do the same now, are eat, breath & sleep!
I figure that I am not yet at the age were it is acceptable to say, “in my day”, however In my day as a child of the 80’s I grew up in technologically simpler times. Humanity had yet to become slaves of the smart phone, which if you look around a waiting room or departure lounge nowadays, the classic avoidance of eye contact & staring intently at the wall has been replaced by the glow of screen on face & the up/down motion of thumbs so used to swiping that newborns are mimicking this long before they can grasp your finger.
Allowing for the rose tint on my memories I would argue that life was better without the gadgets, it may not have been easier or as convenient but in 2018 we are missing so much living, and I’m the worst offender, through our dependence on devices & the latest tech. Even now I’m guilty as I type this up on my iPhone..
Let’s look at some of the simple things that made my childhood so special
When every day of summer was glorious sunshine
Having a TV dinner on a Saturday night so you could watch the A Team
Waiting for Friday so you could get that weeks edition of the Beano & The Dandy
A trip to Belfast wasn’t complete without getting a slice of cheese off your mums order of cheddar in Littlewoods!
Loading up a game on your Amstrad CPC 464, then going to do your homework, eat your tea and watch Blue Peter only to return & find it still hadn’t loaded
The pick and mix section of Woolworths
Staring in awe at the Christmas window of Anderson & Macauley or any window of Leisure World!
Getting hit with a 20p fine for returning your VHS rental without rewinding!
Everything in the sweet shop cost 10p
Getting a go on Mickey Marley’s roundabout
Being stopped and searched as you went INTO Marks & Spencer’s
Fast forward the tape or skip the chapters to present day & I’m convinced childhood is waning in popularity, it’s certainly struggling to keep up with its traditional appearance as its now more a phase of mini adultnees than childhood
Biologically of course it still exists and financially remains big business, but kids who have spent generations trying to look and act older, seem to have achieved the impossible, screwing with evolution to such an extent that an entire chunk of growing up is extinct.
I know that my kids, who are the modern version of typical rough and tumble boys, have never climbed a tree, are unlikely to ever play conkers & will def never know what it’s like to physically trudge from shop to shop In search of the latest sought after action figure.
If he is lucky the oldest will maintain his memories of shopping at Toys R Us, his little brother certainly won’t
They are boys of the instant generation, dining on super fast broadband, 1 day delivery & streaming services!
They are plugged in almost constantly, yet have no concept of what will happen if the power goes out. Whereas their father grew up in a land of self generated imagination that could keep me occupied for days.
As I bring this post to a close, my 7 year old is unwinding before bed with a soulless animation that was surely made to fill space in one of the many 24/7 kids channels that now exist. After catching a short clip I’m sure that it certainly wouldn’t have made the cut when tv for young people was made up of 2 hours in the afternoon!
In memory of Toys R Us
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