Posted by: peterhact | June 28, 2012

Things that my kids will miss… in the technological age.

My kids are pretty fortunate. They have access to the internet and the resources of far more sites than I had access to books for. They won’t have to wade through encyclopedias and copy out passages from books by great authors in essays. They have smartboards, tablets, technology will be their companion throughout their lives.

Was I disadvantaged, then, in my youth? Did I miss out, as the trends of today seem to think? Will my children’s future be similar to the movie “Wall-e” as they become chair prone, providing services and insight to others via the all powerful internet?

Not if I can help it.

I want them to experience the 1812 overture as I first did, in an outdoor concert, complete with Cannons. I want them to know the joy of a relaxing day beside the river, fishing, idly watching the willows moving in a summer’s breeze, hearing the birds singing, seeing the wonders of nature in all encompassing glory and feeling more alive for the experience. I want them to experience all the camping trips I had as a child, the rainy ones, the sunny ones, the days on the beach, the walking and exploring, seeing that there is more to life than a computer screen, a TV or DVD. I want them to learn to be quiet, to allow nature to be visible, the birds, the lizards and the animals.

When I think of some of the things that I did, and some were blatantly stupid, not to be mentioned to my children, ever, in case they try the same things too, I am reminded that fun for me could be as simple as riding a bike all over a suburb, just to see places I had never been before or stringing a rope between two trees and creating a flying fox with mates. I swung on rope swings at the river, explored caves in the dim coolness on a summers day that was positively blazing hot, panned for gold, sieved for gems in creeks that seemed unaffected by the summer temperature and gave me blue legs when I finally couldn’t feel my toes and got out. I never relied on a computer for my entertainment. They just weren’t portable.

I have taken my kids to see the wonders of nature in reserves close to home, special areas set aside to allow people to commune with nature on whatever level, but these excursions were short, as the fitness of these children seems to be worse than mine, and I am woefully unfit. I am told that at 5 years old, they are too little to walk up a hill. they are too little to go fishing, they are too little for so many things.

When they are big enough, they won’t want to do these things at all.

My job as their parent is to educate, enlighten, encourage and above all, guide them to see the wonders of the world around them. If I don’t, they will find out about it on google, and I will have failed.

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