It's a Sign of the Times

You'd think that raising teens would be a "this worked for me, it'll definitely work for you" kind of thing, but it's really not. Just when you think that there's nothing new that kids can possibly do, all the rules change. Bad attitudes and disrespect and pushing limits are standard no matter the era. You'll have every generation experimenting with alcohol and tobacco and whatever drugs are current at the time. But with each generation, there's an element thrown in that you just couldn't have seen coming, or didn't know would affect the teen generation the way it does.

Can you imagine the invention of cars? Suddenly kids could just run into town and hang for the night, while still being home by midnight. I'll bet parents were freaking, having their kids so far from home, and out so late. And the telephone! My word, teens were instantly connected to a friend. They paced back and forth with that corded phone to their ear until the longer cord gave them freedom to cross a room. Oh, the convenience of that. And then the cordless phone finally gave them privacy to talk in their own bedrooms, away from parental units.

Today, the world has so much technologically advanced stuff that it's hard for parents to keep up with their teen set. You've got the internet with it's IMing and Facebook and email, and cell phones with texting, and who knows what else out there that's in the instant range and connects kid to kid to kid. It makes things easy for kids, and interesting for parents.

Knowing what kids are up to at all times is becoming extremely difficult. Not knowing who they're talking to can be scary. There are boundaries for befriending people. There are battles on time limits for internet use, and cut-off times for cell phones at night.

I long for the good old days, when teens sat in their rooms mooning over the boy they met that day, wondering when they'd see him again. Nowadays, kids are sharing cell numbers and Facebook info 7 seconds after meeting someone, and parents have no idea who these people are. Are they kids your teen goes to school with? Do we know their parents? Or is it the creepy stalker guy that works at the local movie theater that kids tend to find irresistible? My word, the gray hairs this creates.

I've never been a huge fan of technology. I am not a techie. I am terribly happy living in the dark ages. I only wish my teens would as well. Instead, I'm now becoming quite savvy at all this technology because I'm forced to monitor my kids (as any parent would). But that doesn't mean that I like it. I still refuse to text. One has their old fashioned standards to keep up.



Tara said...

But without texting, how do you & your husband have private conversations in front of your children?:-)

Anonymous said...

I am terrified when I think about what technology and social networking is going to be like when my children are old enough to experience it - especially when I think about what didn't exist just 5 years ago! If nothing else, I will have a box of hair dye ready to cover all the grey hairs that I am surely going to get.

I am not a fan of texting at all, but have given in because it is often the only way hubby and I can communicate when he is at work.

Flea said...

I love texting. Only started this summer when the teens finally got their own phones. LOVE IT. I love being able to text the children instead of shouting up the stairs. Love being able to ping love notes to my husband. Don't quite love mixing up my husband and my oldest boy accidentally. Thank goodness I'm always rated PG and under, regardless of my communication medium.