Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Blazing A Trail Through A New World

My biggest struggle in life is trying to raise my kids with an appreciation for what they have.  This is a whole different world than when I was growing up.  The things that I did are not the same things kids do today. 

I am surrounded by kids who have iPhone and tons of electronics.  This is clearly the trend of the future but I guess I am still struggling with how much should be allowed.  If you say "no" to all of it than you are putting your children at a disadvantage. So much of their schoolwork and research is done online.  A huge reality check came when my boys started 4th grade and they wrote a report and they did it all online.  They scanned for pics and downloaded them to their zip drives, they typed their report, sent it to other students and teacher for review, footnoted it and then printed and bound it to turn in.  They need to have complete access to a computer when they get home from school.  Wikis and Moodles are all common words and I am able to see everything they are doing at school with just a couple keystrokes.   The ipads have to have limits put on them at our house.  The games seem to be so interesting that I wonder if my boys would play them all day if I let them.  The triplets also love their ipad time.  Finn just likes to watch garbage trucks on You Tube.   I remember telling my parents that I was going to play with the neighbors and it could be hours before I returned.  We never played inside and we didn't play electronics.  We would make forts in the woods, have lemonade stands and swim for hours.  I  never heard of a "play date" as a young child.  There were not organized play dates like there are today.  My parents had an "Atari" and I remember playing breakout (my favorite game) but only on rare occasions. 

Sports didn't really begin until 6th grade when I grew up.  Today if your child doesn't get into something by 5 years old you are sure to be criticized and counseled that your child will fall behind. We spend our days rushing from 1 event to the next and I always said I would not be that parent...well guess what I am. There is some truth to the concept of having to start so young.  When everyone is doing it than yes your child will not be able to participate if they don't start early.  I believe this to be so true in hockey.  The boys started at 6 years old and seriously by 9 years old if you couldn't ice skate than you better move onto another sport.  The skating by age 9 gets so fast that you really do stand out if you are a beginner skater.

Eamon wanted out of baseball this year and wanted to try lacrosse.  I found a team for him to play on and believe it or not at 5th grade he was playing with kids who had at least 3 years of playing.  He had a huge learning curve and was on the beginner team all because he didn't start this sport earlier.
The same went for tennis this year.  Eamon and Liam went out for summer tennis and as they were learning there were kids who had played for years. 

I am doing my best to adjust to this every changing world and I hope that I am embracing the technology enough but not too much.  I said I would not get sucked into the sports early but I already have.  I guess I have to change with the times too.

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