I remember back in my day things seemed to be simpler. Most of my time was spent playing outside, helping my dad, or doing something fun that didn’t cost much money.
I would play in the mud and use the broken oven in the backyard as a restaurant. I learned very quickly that holding something heavy for my dad didn’t take a few seconds. It was usually a few minutes. Oh, and if I ever dare drop something while waiting, that was pretty much the end of me.
The idea of “back in my day” seems simple today, but in reality, it’s not.
See “back in my day” life was very different. I grew up with technology, but it was slowly evolving. It wasn’t as accessible as it is now. I mean I lived in the country and all we had was a landline.
The day my brother came home with a computer is when we decided to get dial-up. If you knew how long dial-up took, trust me you’d be outside too.
But today the internet is everywhere. My kids seem to want to be inside more than outside. Of course, mom guilt always takes over and I find myself chasing them outside. As they reluctantly put on their shoes, complain about how hot (or cold) it is, I follow up with a storytelling lecture of “back in my day…”
I could continuously use “back in my day” as my parenting guideline. But that wouldn’t really work in today’s society.
My children’s today is much different than my yesterday.
I’m a soon to be thirty-year-old. (I use soon-to-be because I’m not ready for the thirties club.) And in just twenty years, things in society have changed. There are things that my dad used to do that were acceptable, or so I thought were okay.
I mean my brother and I use to always take off by ourselves to go fishing, hiking, or swimming since we lived near a lake. He was about fifteen and I was ten. My dad would even leave me in the car by myself while he went shopping in a store. But of course, today leaving for just a second could change everything.
It’s very easy to compare my children’s childhood to mine, but it’s very different. My kids have had access to technology since birth. By the time they were three, they already knew how to function an iPad. They already have their favorite YouTube channels, and toys just don’t serve a purpose anymore.
Now, I know could lie and act like my kids are perfect and get a good ratio of “screen time” and outside time, but that’s not true. I could also lie and say that my kids are perfect when it comes to household chores, but that’s not true either. My daughter dislikes dishwasher duty, although “back in my day” we had to wash by hand. Trust me her time with handwashing is coming soon. She just doesn’t know it yet.
My children’s upbringing and mine are very different. But instead of trying to re-create a “back in my day” childhood for my children, I have decided to create a new set of memories for them.
My kids are at an advantage because they know how to work computers, cell phones, and anything that can talk. So instead of taking away their technology, I’m embracing it while still teaching them simple skills.
So even though my “back in the day” memories will always be my cherished memory, it is something I cannot re-create. So here’s to making my children have their own “back in my day” memories to carry on to their children.