Why “When I was your age…” doesn’t work anymore.

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Close your eyes and think back to when you were a kid. Life was easy back then, right? All you did was play and eat. You had no mortgage or rent to pay for. No boss breathing down your back for eight hours a day. No complaining about traffic and worrying about the economy. You didn’t care about the news or the environment. You were a kid…no worries…nothing to complain about. But, face it, you still complained. You could always find something. And your parents were ready for that complaint, because they had a trick underneath their sleeves. The “When I was your age..” comeback. Don’t remember? Let’s take a refresher, shall we?

This was you.

“Dad/Mom…I’m bored.”

And this is what your parents threw at you from their never ending arsenal of comebacks.

“Bored? Bored? Well, when I was your age, we didn’t have time to be bored. We wish we COULD be bored. Your grandparents had a chore list that was a mile long. And that was just chores to do before breakfast. Nowadays, you guys have Nintendo and snazzy toys like that Walkman you always have attached to your head. And speaking of WALK-ing, did you know that me and your mother used to walk five miles to school…without shoes or socks. You complain about just walking outside to get the mail. You have it lucky.”

And that’s when you usually stopped talking. You imagined your parents walking to school with shoes or socks. You moped back to your room, plopped on your bed, and stared at your Adventures in Babysitting movie poster for hours. And when you reached for your Walkman, you remembered your batteries were dead. So, no listening to your prized Debbie Gibson cassette tape. Your thoughts raced to when you would have a comeback to that dreaded “When I was your age..” phrase. But, like Miss Gibson sang:

No, only in my dreams. As real as it may seem. It was only in my dreams.”

Don’t worry, young one. Your time will come.

And it’s  here, but guess what? The phrase that was pounded into your head over and over as a kid doesn’t work now. Why? Because kids these days have to deal with problems that we never had to deal with. Don’t believe me? Here’s a few examples.

  1. Social Media

When we were young, we didn’t deal with friend requests or snapchats. We knew our friends and kept that count in our heads. But, social media keeps a tab on all of that. We have the power to look into the daily lives of all our friends…and so do our kids. We may have the thick skin to deal with what we may see or read on social media, but do our kids have the maturity to handle it? People are judged and relationships can be ruined because of social media. Do we really know what really happens on our kids’ social media pages?

  1. Cyber-bullying

 

Bullying has evolved. Back then, if we were bullied, we knew who they were…we could avoid them if we wanted to. With the power of the internet, bullying has become faceless. Anonymous messages can attack our kids’ inboxes and it could make them feel helpless.

  1. Divorce/Family Life

Yes, this is not a new concept. But, the divorce rate is much higher than when we were kids. It has changed the dynamic of the normal family. We have many more broken families. We have seen an increase in single parents tackling both roles. Now, running into a real-life Mr. Mom is not so crazy.

So, our kids may have it a little tougher than we think…but that makes it a little tougher to be a parent, too. And so what if we might not be able to pull the “When I was your age..” card anymore. At least we could still use this one:

“…if your friend jumped off a bridge, you would too?”

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