Hello, brave parents,
What we can take for granted is simple: we’re the parents and they’re the kids. They haven’t been through what we have, seen what we have. My kids are happy to remind me of this with their questions. Just this weekend I watched an amusing chat between Karen and my daughter as Karen tried to explain Gwen Stefani. Gwen had turned up on the car radio, and Karen was shocked to discover my 12-year-old daughter hadn’t heard of her before.
It’s Gwen Stefani! She’s famous, isn’t she?
No… apparently not. And neither is Madonna. So K spent an hour showing Hannah some ancient history in the form of YouTube videos and gossip site stories. That’s how generation gaps get lessened.
Of course, Hannah is quite happy to reciprocate with some (possibly true) tales about 1D (otherwise known as One Direction). I don’t know much about them- I think someone said that Harry’s the cute one- so it’s fun to find out why my kid is so interested. It has something to do with the word “squeeeee”, apparently.
But then you get to thinking about all of the cultural experiences we have had as adults that shape the way we think. The books we read, the music we listen to and the films we have watched. I mean, Hannah hadn’t even heard of the Fresh Prince of Bel Air, so she got to watch that, too.
Karen mentioned the other day that she’d asked her class about a particular Disney movie, and they stared at her, mystified. That’s when she realised that her class of 5-year-old children hadn’t even seen this movie which came out perhaps twelve years ago. That’s how quickly the gaps can be formed.
I know that before I had kids, the likelihood would be that I’d choose an arty movie or perhaps a violent thriller I wouldn’t have gone to see an animated movie as an adult. As a result, I have never seen the Lion King, Little Mermaid and other notable ones. Of course, I could tell you plenty about the Jungle Book and Ratatouille which my children watched 4 trillion times (give or take a million). I can hum that song which seems to be threaded into every Barbie movie and I can do a passable imitation of Barney.
So part of our cultural upbringing is shared, and we try and explain what life was like for us growing up in a world with black and white movies, the test pattern on the TV, tapes and records and no internet or cell phones.
We may be ancient, but at the rate technology is developing, our kids will feel the same with their kids (if having children is still a thing in the future).
Shared experiences can be great fun- you could have a retro day these holidays with your kids, too.
Have a great week!
What’s the funniest conversation you’ve had with your kids when trying to explain the “olden days” of your childhood? Tell us your stories at firstname.lastname@example.org, and you could win a R250 kalahari.com voucher.