“Ag please Daddy won't you take us to the drive-in... Ice cream, candy floss and Eskimo Pie?”
Anyone remember that? When I was growing up we couldn’t wait for Friday night so that we could get the newspaper to see what the movie was at the drive in. It was a matter of our parents choosing the right drive-in movie according to the age restriction.
Having two older brothers it was always me that seemed to be the one that threw a spanner in the works. I remember being told you can watch the first show and then you will have to sleep - and of course to sleep on demand just never works... So off we would go anyway.
The car would be loaded with food because the queue at the drive-in canteen was always packed and you would stand waiting for your food while you missed half the movie. So kind of a picnic in the car is what took place. Food for everyone: even flasks with coffee and a cooler box for the soft drinks - not forgetting the slab of chocolate for our treat!
We would often set up our blankets and foldout chairs at the front of the car, hoping that when the movie started we would hear it from the speaker that could only reach into the car window. Oh, those were the days...
Or were they?
Now the kids have hundreds of TV channels to choose from and if that doesn’t work for them then usually there is an iPad or cell phone available. The choice today is endless. Many of our generation are forever reminding the kids of today about how wonderful our childhood was, but as one of the gadget-loving adults, I beg to differ.
I think the choice and variety is awesome. Kids of today have so much technology at their fingertips, and folks it isn’t all bad. Wouldn’t you have loved Google when you did a school project or have endless numbers of websites from which to retrieve information? I personally think kids are reading more now than ever before. There are so many more choices of where and what to read from i.e: computers, kindles, iPads, cell phones and tablets. Even TV games have more instructions, there are more things to watch on TV and Googling successfully needs a special kind of talent.
Let’s take into consideration the kind of play station and Xbox games available and what they teach and train the brain in many ways is beneficial. Split-second decision-making and quick-response reflexes are something that kids are learning as a by-product of gaming. So for the kid of today life for them is brilliant and they are loving what their generation brings to the table.
For us as adults, we need to guide them. There should be balance in what they are doing though. That is our job to monitor the amount of time spent on watching TV, gaming and playing on the computer. Searching the internet should be monitored and there should definitely be restrictions as to what sites they can visit and what they can download because the dangers of the wrong information landing in the wrong hands is detrimental and irreversible.
We should encourage balance. Outdoor activities are such an important part of our lives and for health and social reasons is a big bonus if you can get your kids to participate in any exercise. There are hiking and cycling trails where the great outdoors can be enjoyed.
“So ag please Daddy won't you take us to the shops to buy a new game?”
“Sure after we have gone to the gym or had a cycle or walked the dogs and you can only play it once you have done your homework and we will be buying it with the money you earned when you washed mom’s car.”
This is possible just try it...!