|This was our one day of winter in 2014.|
However, even though they're both so little, but there are already so many things I've noticed that are different. Some are big & some are small. Some are only difference between me & them, but some are most likely different for you & your children too.
Here are the first ten that came to mind:
- Cycling as transportation. I biked a lot as a kid, but it was a recreational pastime, not really transportation. My parents rarely biked at all--I'm not sure my dad even had one as an adult.
- YouTube is our TV. We got rid of our TV when Linnaeus was a year old, right around the time when things switched from analog to digital. Rather than buy a new TV or a digital box for our hand-me-down TV we just ditched it. I don't miss it, because if I want to watch something, I can get pretty much any TV series online. I started subscribing to a lot of different YouTube channels a few years back, so that's what I watch more than TV series anyway.
- Information on demand. Related to #2, my kids will grow up being able to get the answer to any trivia question within a minute or two. When I want to explain something, I can pull up a video online that shows it within moments. eBooks can be bought, downloaded for free or borrowed from the library in minutes. When I was a kid, real books were the only books. Encyclopedias & librarians were the only way to get the answer to some of the odd questions that come up during childhood.
- Urban life. I grew up in the suburban areas of various small towns around BC until my teens, when we moved to a quiet suburb of North Vancouver. My kids will grow up in the city, with its at-times-heavy traffic, ethnic diversity, cafes, restaurants, recreation & community centres, & cultural amenities & events right at our doorstep.
- Baby Led Weaning. My mom did what most people still do when introducing babies to solid food: mush. We're giving our kids actual solid food like steamed broccoli or carrots, roasted yams, pears, banana, etc. It is not only easier (no blending food, no shopping for expensive little jars of puree, no spoon feeding while my dinner gets cold) but it's more fun to watch a six-month-old explore food. If you're about to start giving solids to your child, I highly recommend you look into Baby Led Weaning.
- Breastfeeding. Like most North American mothers of the 1970s, our moms were more likely to breastfeed than their parents, but a lot less likely than my generation. No shame, no blame--I turned out fine on formula after my mom was unsuccessful at getting breastfeeding to work. But my two kids are breastfed, Linnaeus until he was nearly two & a half, & we'll see when Bronte decides to wean.
- Living car-free. I spent a good chunk of my little life in cars, driving from one part of town to another, or one side of the province to another. My kids ride in carshare vehicles around once a month. Linnaeus doesn't really understand the concept of car ownership--he used to just think that we could take any car that was parked in front of our house because we'd often use different vehicles in the car coop. Now he knows to look for the Modo logo on the door.
- Snow-free winters. I don't know if I can blame global warming for this, as I lived the first 11 years of my life in a different climate zone that actually had what most Canadians would consider a winter. Hallowe'en costumes had to be big enough to accomodate snowsuits under them. I grew up making snowmen, snow forts cross country skiing in my back yard & crazy carpeting home from school. Here in Vancouver, there's so little of the stuff around that we don't bother with snow suits or snow boots, we just layer a lot under the rain gear. I have a child who was afraid to walk on snow the two or three days that he saw it during his second winter.
- Environtmental friendliness. Is that even a term? Greenpeace had only been around for a few years when I was born & being green just wasn't much of a thing when I was little. My three-year-old son knows more about recycling, composting & organic food than I did in high school.
- Pretend phones. The first time my son pretended to answer the phone with an object, it was a small, rectangular cracker. Because that's the shape & (relative) size of phones nowadays. When I was a kid, the closest object to a phone would have been a banana.
Now I turn it over to you: what are the major difference between your childhood & that of your kids? Do you share some of the differences in my list, or are those things the same for you? Let me know if the comments below!
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