Why Won’t Today’s Kids Experience These Things?

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I read an article recently that listed 30 things that today’s kids will never know or understand. This is apparently a hot topic. A quick internet search will pull up dozens of articles.

Some of the items listed in the article include:

  • Pay phone/rotary phone/landline
  • Encyclopedia
  • VHS
  • Mounted pencil sharpener
  • Writing a check
  • Camera film
  • Paper maps
  • Phone book
  • Print TV listing (remember the TV Guide)
  • Bake sales 🙁
  • Movie rentals (Netflix and Red Box can’t mimic the Erol’s and Blockbuster experience)
  • Saturday morning cartoons (Richie Rich, Smurfs, Scooby Doo, Pound Puppies)

As a lover of culture and tradition and sociology, I decided to give my own take on the “things”. Five of the things listed I hope that parents and caregivers will continue to show and share with today’s kids. The five things are the library, cursive writing, letter writing, photo albums, and I’m putting cassette tapes and CD walkmans in one category.

  1. Library – I love the library. Public libraries are a free wealth of amazing resources and I hope every generation continues to use them. Please take the babies to the library for story time and to check out books and movie, and to get an important question answered from a passionate and resourceful librarian.
  2. Cursive Writing – I have no idea why schools have decided that cursive writing is no longer necessary. Not only is a personal signature uniquely valuable, but research has also shown that cursive writing stimulates the brain in ways that typing cannot. It would be a shame if today’s kids couldn’t read assignments written in 2016.
  3. Letter Writing – The United States Postal Service is still in existence and you can still find a mailbox on a few corners. If your kids love receiving packages form Amazon and Target, a letter from a pen pal (who you know and approve of) is a great experience. Years ago, I created characters who sent monthly letters to the kids in my family with a special gift. They loved it and I loved writing the letter. Also encourages your child to read, write, and express gratitude.
  4. Photo Albums – Let’s preserve our history. Please protect and share your family photos from generations ago and add current photos. Digital photo sharing is convenient and quick but sitting beside someone flipping through pages of photographs is priceless. Cameras with film are reappearing on shelves in a few trendy stores.
  5. Cassette Tapes/CD Walkman – I’m asked my student to list all the ways that people were able to listen to music before streaming services. It’s always a good time seeing what they know and how they work together to figure things out. Nostalgia is profitable. Along with vinyl records, CD’s can still be purchased at the big box retailers. I have also seen the CD Walkman on the shelf at Target. I want to encourage you to share your cassette tapes with the kids in your life. Let them know that the original “mix tape” was a cassette tape of songs that you recorded from the radio with patience, love, and care.

What would you add to either list?

Nicki Sanders, MSW, CEO, is a Career and Empowerment Strategist who helps high-performing women of color in management go from overworked, underpaid, and unappreciated to energized, well paid, and appreciated. Through Nicki Sanders Leadership Consulting, she also helps businesses recruit, hire, train, and retain great employees. Nicki has an extensive background in developing and managing successful programs and leading high-functioning multi-disciplinary teams. She is an accomplished professor, coach, trainer, and group facilitator who has combined her gift for authentic relationships, Master of Social Work degree, and over 20 years of diverse work experience to create a life she loves. Nicki is a lover of cupcakes, travel, and 80’s hip hop and R&B music.

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