Saturday, February 12, 2011

When I was your age. . . . .

Today in the car with our girls, we had one of those "When I was your age. . . " conversations. This one primarily revolved around car seats, but it got me thinking about all the things kids have access to today - things they "have to have" -  that were not around 20+ years ago.  I am sure my kids (and I) would be lost without most of the stuff on this list.  However, I made it to adulthood without them and sustained only minimal brain damage!  So, here are 10 things that didn't exist (or were not very available) 20+ years ago, but today's kids (and parents) cannot seem to live without them.

  1. Car seats - In 1978, Tennessee was the first state to make infant car seats legally mandatory.  By 1988, the other 49 states had followed suit.  When I have asked my mom "How did you go anywhere with a baby and a toddler and no car seats?" her answer is "I didn't go anywhere!"  Could we - parents or kids - survive today without going all around town at least a couple days a week?????
  2. Helmets - I NEVER wore a helmet riding a bike.  Now kids are supposed to have helmets for bikes, skateboards, horseback, etc.  Sure they provide extra safety and what parent doesn't want their kids to be as safe as possible???  But again, my generation seems to have survived - just sayin'.
  3. Target/Wal-mart -  I grant you that I grew up in a small town, but I only remember a small drug store, a K-Mart that would look pretty pitiful compared to Wal-marts of today, and a couple grocery stores.  In 1989, there were 1400 Wal-mart stores in the U.S.  Today there are 9,000 in 15 countries.  I personally go to Target at least once a week.  What am I buying and do I/we really need all that stuff?????  
  4. T.V. remote controls - My husband said, "When I was a kid, I was the remote control!!"  That's about the truth.  If you wanted to change the channel, you had to get your booty up off the couch and turn the dial or push the button.  Which brings me to the next item on the list. . . 
  5. Cable TV/5,000 useless channels -  Nowadays, kids can watch cartoons 24/7.  I remember watching cartoons ONLY on Saturday mornings.  During the week, we watched a few "wholesome" sitcoms like "The Cosby Show" and "Family Ties."  Shows like that don't exist anymore.  I have to admit that my kids watch more TV than they should, but I need my sanity.  B.C. (before cartoons) what did my mom do with us on all those day when we weren't going anywhere because we didn't have any car seats??  I survived, but it's amazing that she didn't go completely insane! :)
  6. Battery operated toys -  We played with Lincoln Logs, Legos, dolls, or (gasp!) went outside and rode our bikes without helmets.  Now, it seems that every toy has to make noise or light up or something.  Otherwise, it's boring.  No wonder kids have a hard time paying attention - parents and teachers don't light up!!!
  7. Computers/video games/electronics - Today, if the kids aren't watching T.V., they are likely playing on the computer, playing with their Leapsters, or listening to their iPods.  Just think, when I did research I actually had to open a book and read it - it was called an Encyclopedia.  Now, I just tell my daughter to "Google it!"
  8. Juice boxes - What did we moms do before spill-proof juice boxes???  This is definitely one of those "Why didn't I think of that?" items.
  9. Convenience foods -  Pre-packaged foods like Lunchables, individually bagged snacks, etc. sure have made our lives easier.  Amazing that people used to actually put forth the effort to create these things themselves with plastic baggies!!!
  10. Cell phones -With our cell phones, we are completely accessible 24/7.  As a former teacher, I was really glad when I could reach the parent of a sick child.  But, do I really need to be chatting with my friends when I am driving around town with my kids????
Anybody got anything else to add to the list????  

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