Electronic gadgets have changed the rules in adult/child communication
For centuries, children were good listeners. Sometimes the kids were bored and had no interest in what parents, aunts, uncles and grandparents had to say.
The speeches about the past may have been told over and over, but the kids were always courteous as they listened to every word that they had heard many times before as they grew from infancy to young adulthood.
Interestingly, children don’t have tremendous interest in the history of how bad it was growing up for their older family members.
For some inexplicable reason, as adults talk about their hard times as children, the kids of today are anxious to move on to subjects that apply to them. The past is past!
hids of today are different in two ways from the childhoods of their older family members. In our modern times, kids do not enjoy being told how good they have life in America.
Also, the kids enjoy a superiority because they know more than their parents and grandparents when it comes to their thumbs and fingers.
The kids are faster than the adults and easily self- entertained with their electronic devices as they press buttons on the tiny electronic gadgets with those tiny thumbs and fingers.
Parents, for the first time, don’t have to shout at the kids to stop fighting with each other. Instead of fighting between brothers and sisters, the kids are self- entertained. They ride in the back seat of the car pressing their hand- held gadgets as they look at videos, making a quiet, pleasant ride for their parents. Their parents enjoy the ride as long as they don’t interrupt the tiny occupants in the back of the car.
Many adults don’t enjoy a tiny child explaining electronic gadgets to people twice their size and 10 times their age. It is important that adults do not show a lack of interest when the children or grandchildren decide to demonstrate their electronic knowledge.
It is not surprising that many children seem turned off by adults. This all started years ago with the “new math.” The children had to understand it but the adults were overwhelmed. This triggered the gap between adults and kids that exists today.
In the beginning, adults walked with their arms at their sides. then the new math was born, the adults simply raised their hands in frustration demonstrating that they didn’t understand the kids and could never learn their math. Adults wanted no part of the math problem.
Now, once again, many adults are making the same responses as occurred with the complicated new math.
Adults have a new area in which they are lost. The electronic devices are beyond them and they have little incentive to learn about the children’s electronic abilities. The adults are too involved in their own problems.
Adults should make every effort to show their children that they acknowledge the super abilities of the kids.
It is true that interaction between adults and kids has lessened because of the electronic gadgets.
There is a greater separation between the generations than in the past. And the kids would rather do their own thing than talk to adults about life’s hardships in “the good ole days.”
If adults laugh or show lack of appreciation for the electronic wizardry of children they might further widen the schism between the young and adults.
te must never let the kids feel that they are just young people far distant from the adult world.
Health & Science Dr. Milton Friedman