5 Things Kids Today do NOT Have

  1. kids todaySignatures

I kid you not!  The elementary school my youngest daughter attends doesn’t even teach cursive writing anymore.  Guess I see the point.  If kids today want something to be “cursive” they hit the keyboard “I“.  But it made for a funny moment at the bank when the teller presented my 12-year-old with her new interac card and she started trying to print her entire name – in block letters – across the two-inch space.

  1. An Understanding of the word “Lost”

Today’s kids will probably never experience the sensation of being truly “lost”.  In the google app world, you are only a “dropped pin” away from wherever you want to be, and if you need a little moral support during the journey you can select a male or female audio friend to tell you exactly when to turn left and when to turn to right.

Since they will never find themselves parked on the side of the highway with no idea where they are, they will also never experience the Rubric’s Cube level of frustration that goes with trying to open a 4 ft x 5 ft map in the space between their chest and the steering wheel.  And they will never risk death-by-papercuts as they struggle to condense the giant map (which probably wasn’t all that helpful anyway) back to pamphlet-size so it can be squished back into a glove compartment overflowing with other useless maps.

  1. Peanut Butter Sandwiches in Brown Paper Bags

I can’t remember the last time any of my kids were in a class where there wasn’t at least one classmate deemed “deathly” allergic to peanut butter.  Statistically, the odds are supposed to be about 1 in 100, but if middle-class parents are to be believed, it is more like 1 in 10.  I once sent a homemade peanut butter cookie in a school lunch and actually got a call from the principal.  His level of distress indicated that my transgression was along the lines of smuggling a semi-automatic weapon onto the premises.

  1. Encyclopedias

When I was a kid, my family couldn’t afford to buy a set, but whenever the grocery store offered collectible editions, my mom would enthusiastically save enough coupons for A-B.  And C-D.  And sometimes even E-F.  But by the end of the third week of the promotion, mom would have lost interest.  So every science project had to be about ants or bees.  No spiders or snakes for me.  And bears were okay, but only black or brown ones.  The polar bear remained a mystery until junior high, when there was a school library that opened my world up to include G-Z.  Of course, these were “reserve” books, so I had to lug a roll of dimes around with me and photocopy pages.

The whole dime thing was okay because you needed dimes back then to use the pay  phone.  Hmmm…. another thing my kids don’t understand.

  1. Collections of  Tangible “Things”

There are no boxes filled with stamps or coins in my attic.  No bookcases filled with records/cassettes/CD collections in my rec room. In fact, there are no bookcases filled with books and our family photo albums freeze up at the point where my youngest started school.  Kids today don’t have a need for empty shoeboxes or bookcases.  Their special collections (which are mostly homemade videos and selfies) are stored in the nebulous world of the Cloud.  

It is easy to get nostalgic about how things used to be.  But then I remember those God-awful photos my mother used to take and how she insisted on saving every single one of them, even the ones where my eyes were closed or I had a volcano-grade pimple on my chin.  I remember situations in which I found myself alone, walking home in the rain and the dark, because I had run out of dimes or couldn’t find a payphone.  And I remember eating those damn peanut butter sandwiches day in and day out and wishing for a little more variety in my paper bag lunches.

A lot of things are different for kids today.  It is a little disconcerting.  But also kind of cool.  I love watching their homemade videos. And they are teaching me how to take flattering selfies!

Author: kim scaravelli

Kim lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, with her long-suffering husband, an assortment of off-spring, a charming cat named Winnie, and a less charming (but oddly loveable) schnauzer named Buster.

10 thoughts

  1. All true. We recently had a young employee who was absolutely fascinated by the office typewriter (still needed for certain federal and state forms, envelopes and labels). She’d never seen one before. The day we had to change the ribbon, her reaction was classic – wish we had a camera to capture her facial expression!

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    1. My mother-in-law was telling my youngest about her computer ‘training’ and trying to explain how there used to be templates that went over the keyboard to show you all of the functions, shortcuts, etc. It was priceless. She may as well have been describing how she dissected the dinosaurs and then cooked them over the fire she made rubbing sticks together!

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  2. All true. Here in India there are many things which are erased permanently from kids world now like grandma telling stories….grand children hardly stay with their grandparents. rearing cows and enjoy the pure dairy products prepared by mom. No one in towns keeps a cow now.

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  3. We have a 14 yr old who held up a round, black, vinyl disc and asked what it was. A record and then we had to explain what it was for.

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    1. Had a similar experience while watching an “old” movie where a guy made a mixed tape for the girl of his dreams. Kids had no idea what was going on.

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  4. This makes me sad because it is so true. The feeling of having some sort of ‘collection’ and being surrounded by them, scattered in a mess, as the frantic feeling of finding that ‘one’ that you thought you lost but then found so many more you forgot you even had… (my first thought was thumbing through all the many pictures I had taken over all these years)

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