Growing Up In The Time Of Technology... From A Parent.
I frequently find myself typing long responses to other blogs, or online forums. This particular forum thread was discussing raising young people in the age of the internet. A huge part of me wants to link to the thread, but I am cautious about doing that. I will however include the site banner below. I've also made a gender neutrality edit as I am including my post content below.
Reality is that things have changed in the scope of parenting, let alone the process of learning that we all have been quickly adapting and evolving with. I cannot say that I recall much life before computers. This is not because of my age, but rather that I was in the fortunate position to have a family that was ahead of the technology curve.
I still remember sitting there with a laptop before I turned 10, and on a lap in front of a massive desktop at 3. The laptop was a complete brick of a design that crushed my knees as my eager little hands moved across the keyboard. I sometimes wonder if my life long proclivity towards computer use stemmed from that early period of use.
The internet is for... Post secondary education? Again I had earlier access than many due to the requirements my family had. The sound of dial up still makes me twitch just a little, but oh how things have changed. Little speaker boxes that play music at a voice command, portable hand held devices that can allow you to search for information at the drop of a hat. The need to filter, and edit things which have already been seen, heard, and streamed right into ones home. It has changed EVERYTHING!
Including what I might have thought parenting would be if you had asked me 20 years ago. In the move toward technology I am noticing there is a move toward very different interpersonal skills. The expectation for instantaneous response is overwhelming to someone who grew up in a time where you turned your device on, initiated the program, and went to make lunch while it loaded.
I made the choice when I became a parent to embrace the technology, but foster some really strong values. I have heard expressions like "I did the best I could" all my life. Sometimes it was accurate, sometimes it was a stretch. I simply knew that as a parent:
The best I could wasn't ever going to be good enough... I had to stretch, and grow to make it happen well.
This is not a critique of others who function differently, but rather a statement about being able to make a choice.
Below is my post content:
I have done my best to instill core values in my one nearing legal voting age:
· Be honest. · Is it kind, is it fair, is it necessary. · Question everything. · Stand up for those who cannot do so for them self. · Stand up for your values. · Don't cast judgement on others for race, religion, gender or sexuality. · Do hold people accountable for their actions. · Never allow someone to make you feel like they are better then you. · You're no better than anyone else. · Always give what you hope to get back. · Make an effort - it's a lost art form. · Virginity is to be valued - you only have one and you will remember your first always. · Value yourself, love yourself, respect yourself. · No one owes you anything... Earn it! · Work for it, fight for it, and anything is possible. · Sexwork is honest work. · Profiting from another's detriment is not morally acceptable. · Vote - it matters. · Volunteer. · Be cautious of greed, materialistic needs, and selfishness... But remember self care. · Change the world with kindness, but kick down barriers. · Ask for help - it's okay. · Don't use people or abuse help - it's abhorrent. · People are not disposable. · You are responsible for your feelings. Not others feelings, as they are not responsible for yours. · Respect everyone until they show they do not deserve it, but don't respect unfounded, shitty opinions based on falsehoods.
Basically it has been my job as a parent to guide another while they learn to navigate the world, buffer the hurts but not shelter or protect them so they are unable to function when life kicks them.
My human has made me incredibly proud of the person they are, and broken my heart with how large their capacity to care for others and the world around them is. At the end of the day it was in their hands and they've nailed it!