The Times Are Changing

Recently, I was talking with one of my colleagues.  She was telling me about an article she read on MSN.  That got me to thinking about what’s different now between today’s children and when I was a child.  I do have some expertise here.  I am a parent of three children.  I am a doctor and see people of all ages all day long and routinely talk with and observe children.  I am active in a local church where young families also attend.  My family gets out a good bit and, since we have young children, we go to places young children like to go.  So, here are ten things that I have noticed:

Kids don’t play outside nearly as much as we did when we were kids.  When I was a kid, we didn’t have a Playstation or an X-box or cable/satellite TV for that matter.  Speaking of TV, we had 3 fuzzy channels a lot of times.

Kids eat out a lot more.  Fast food and chain restaurants are everywhere.  You can’t really blame this one on the kids.  It’s the parents who have to drive, have to drag the kids around, have to pay for the meals.

Kids seem to be a little more, um “pudgy” shall I say.  This really goes hand-in-hand with the first two.  Not to mention the increasingly popular quick, processed, non-healthy ding-dongs and similar foods we consume.  I just saw on the news this week a story about treating kids with high powered cholesterol lowering drugs – you know those drugs that mess your liver up.

Kids are smarter.  I often come across some really intelligent kids.  I don’t really remember seeing to many brainiacs when I was growing up.  I guess with the increased technology, computers, satellite TV and emphasis on education, kids are learning more.

Kids have less common sense.  I can’t really explain this one.  But there is a difference between being smart and having common sense.  I guess with all the time spent on the games, computers, etc., kids haven’t really taken much advantage of getting out in the real world and figuring out how things work and where frogs live and how to build a fort.

Kids rely on their parents more to make decisions for them.  At least in my experience, by the time I got to high shool, most of my decisions, if not all were made by me.  Today, even kids in college and post-graduate schools are relying on their parents to make decisions for them, even handle their own personal job-hunting and career choices.

Most homes have more than one color tv and, most homes have more than one TV with cable/satellite access.   Lots of choices on TV now, not to mention the satellite radio stations.

Church, religion and faith was more important.  I heard a statistic recently that in Mississippi, which is in the heart of the Bible belt, that there is no county that has more Christians than it had 10 years ago.

People go to the doctor for the silliest things.  When I was a kid, we only went to the doctor when we had a high fever that persisted for a few days or if the bone was sticking out through the skin with ants crawling on it.  Well, I exaggerate a little sometimes.

Kids are more technologically savvy.  Well, that’s a no-brainer, comes with the territory.  Kids typing on their cellphones to access their Facebook and MySpace accounts online and text messaging friends new hyperlinks to internet chatrooms where they can talk live and see each other with streaming video from said cellphones all the while downloading the latest ringtone and buying an MP3 of their favorite teenage artist.  What’s a rotary phone?  I still don’t text by the way.

One thing’s the same.  We all love cookies.  So eat two cookies and call me in the morning.


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