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Toys aren’t just toys. They should be STEM toys. Is seven too young for an iPad? Oh she doesn’t even have a vTech? Poor thing!
Don’t get me wrong. If I had all the toys my kid has at her age, I’d be deliriously happy.
At least till it was 5 o’clock and I skipped to my neighbour’s house asking if she wanted to come out and play. After that it was hours of any kind of play (sans toys) with other kids till the street lights came on signaling our time together had to end. At least till the next day.
Like many kids of this generation, things are a little bit different. Toys aren’t just toys. They should be STEM toys. Is seven too young for an iPad? Oh she doesn’t even have a vTech? Poor thing!
Play is carefully crafted (no pun intended) and supervised by parents. It usually involves thoughtful preparation of snacks and activities along with a large amount of other headaches moms and dads have to undergo. (Did I say headache? I meant meticulous planning of course.)
Nowadays there’s a plethora of things kids can try their hand at. From martial arts to gymnastics to skating to coding, there’s nothing they can’t learn. Not even Space (camp) is the final frontier!
If they happen to not like something, sure there’s tons more options still left. Often something the parents themselves really really wanted to do as a kid. (Guilty!) Kids are constantly being shunted from activity to activity, with little time for anything else.
Don’t get me wrong. If I had all the opportunities my kid had, I’d be wonderfully well-rounded. At least till it was 5 o’clock and blah-blah. Back in our days, the only after school activities that were available were usually classical music and dance. (Only classical music, if you were me.) And if you happened to be bad or just plain bored of it, nothing. (Again, if you were me).
Looking at my kid, I sometimes yearn for my magical childhood when I spent afternoons staring at the droning fan doing nothing. Um, I mean lying on the grass making up shapes for clouds of course. Still getting bored was…good! It made us resourceful, right? Right?
As we all collectively took a breath during all the lockdowns, I didn’t realize how exhausting and monotonous our daily routine had become. And it seemed I was always driving somewhere, usually with my kid buckled up securely in the car-seat gobbling up some snacks (because, when else would she eat?)
Don’t get me wrong. If we were as aware as kids these days…I mean kids nowadays are just so smart. They seem to know everything about everything. Birds and the bees? What? They know the science behind it all down to their very scientific names. (You still call vaginas pee-pees? That’s so last century!) All jokes aside, they should know the scientific names. It helps prevent abuse and bullying and a lot of other things our generation went through due to lack of knowledge.
Then again, where is the line between ignorance and innocence though?
We call ourselves the ‘aware’ generation (or ‘woke’ as the young ‘uns like to say it). We recognize that relationships and people come in all types. Marriages are not limited to people of opposite sexes. Genders are not limited to just two. And we are eager that our next generation is equally aware.
As they should be.
But as their awareness grows, some of their innocence diminishes. And well it’s a little heartbreaking, isn’t it?
I guess I am overthinking this. Our kids aren’t really unfortunate. Maybe armed with all this knowledge and awareness our kids will be confident enough not to let these silly complications bother them. The kids will be all right and all that.
After all, we are trying hard to make sure our kids have what we didn’t.
We are trying hard.
And hopefully that’s enough.
Published here first.
Image source: Helena Lopes on pexels
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