The Last Childhood Generation

The Last Childhood Generation

Are we setting our kids up for success or failing them from the start?
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At some point in the past years, you have probably seen a meme on social media stating that 90s kids is the best generation thus far or how the 90s were the best years for a lot of things. While I am a part of the Y generation, I have always thought these memes were stupid. There was never any point in comparing X, Y and Z generation to each other because in my mind it was like comparing apples and bananas: each has their downfalls and each has their achievements. I never understood why my generation felt that they were the best generation to come through. That was until I became a mother.

Do I think that my generation is the best? No, but I do think that my generation had the last of the good childhood life. Generation Y was the last of all childhood innocence. We were forced to play outside until dark. Why? The simple answer is technology. Kids are staying indoors instead of riding bikes. The latest gaming system is keeping kids indoors. There are more TV channels available to everyone now than there were in say 1996. And, lastly, with the Internet being a touch of a screen away, technology is in even more demand now than when it first started.

Speaking of television, my Saturday mornings were spent watching cartoons until my parents woke up. Did you know that the days of Saturday morning cartoons are gone? Fox was the first company to pull the plug. With television having so many channels available to everyone all the time, the Saturday morning cartoon broadcast was not necessary anymore. The last Saturday morning cartoon broadcast was about a year ago. All the time slots have been replaced with infomercials other shows. No more cartoons available on those bunny ears!

The change in Saturday morning cartoons was not the only change in television. Most of the 90s shows have been replaced with educational shows. Since when did television have to be educational? It’s meant to be entertaining. Don’t get me wrong, I love having my kids learn while having fun, but I also want my kids to be kids. Ren & Stimpy, Rocko’s Modern Life and Hey Arnold! are only a few of the dozens of shows that I recall begging my parents to let me watch until dinner. They were funny, dark and a bit over our heads, but they were entertaining. The only show I can compare to from today and the 90s is Spongebob Squarepants, but that’s again like comparing apples and bananas; they’re two different things.

The last reason why I do believe that our generation was the end of the innocent generation is because of the way our education system is. Does anyone remember having to know all of their letters, being able to count to thirty, and basically being treated like an adult in kindergarten? I sure don’t. I remember learning all those things in kindergarten. We had recess, sensory corners, and we learned the basics of life in those four walls of a class room. That’s not how it is today. I can teach my child suggests that every kid should know the alphabet, can match the uppercase letter to the lowercase letter and tell you which is which. That seems a lot to me. Simply identifying every letter should be enough.

We are rushing our kids to grow up. Instead of our kids simply being kids, we are expecting them to know it all before the age of five. Technology is partly to blame. With all the information it the world available to us at our fingertips, we try push all the information we have into the minds of children. That almost seems like we are failing them. We aren’t letting them have the childhood we had. Instead of remembering playing outside until dark, they’re going to remember sitting in the living room playing flashcards or watching Sprout. So the next time that meme pops up in your news feed, think about the differences in the generations and how far we’ve come. Are we setting up our kids for success or are we failing them from the start?

Cover Image Credit: AmazonAWS

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When You Make A Girl An Aunt, You Change Her World In All The Best Ways

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the happiest girl in the world.

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My brother and his wife recently blessed our family with the sweetest bundle of joy on planet earth. OK, I may be a little bias but I believe it to be completely true. I have never been baby crazy, but this sweet-cheeked angel is the only exception. I am at an age where I do not want children yet, but being able to love on my nephew like he is my own is so satisfying.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her a very protective person.

From making sure the car seat is strapped in properly before every trip, to watching baby boy breathe while he sleeps, you'll never meet someone, besides mommy and daddy of course, who is more concerned with the safety of that little person than me.

When you make a girl an aunt, you give her a miniature best friend.

There is something about an aunt that is so fun. An aunt is a person you go to when you think you're in trouble or when you want something mom and dad said you couldn't have. An aunt is someone who takes you to get ice cream and play in the park to cool down after having a temper tantrum. I can't wait to be the one he runs to.

When you make a girl an aunt, she gets to skip on the difficulty of disciplining.

Being an aunt means you get to be fun. Not to say I wouldn't correct my nephew if he were behaving poorly, but for the most part, I get to giggle and play and leave the hard stuff for my brother.

When you make a girl an aunt, you give her the best listening ears.

As of right now I only listen to the sweet coos and hungry cries but I am fully prepared to listen to all the problems in his life in the future.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the best advice giver.

By the time my nephew needs advice, hopefully, I will have all of my life lessons perfected into relatable stories.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her a number-one fan

Anything you do in life sweet boy, I will be cheering you on. I already know you are going to do great things.

When you make a girl an aunt, she learns what true love is.

The love I have for my nephew is so pure. Its the love that is just there. I don't have to choose to show love every day, I don't have to forgive, I don't have to worry if it is reciprocated, it is just there.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the happiest person in the world.

I cannot wait to watch my precious nephew grow into the amazing person that I know he is going to be.

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Odyssey, From A Creator's Point Of View

Writing for Odyssey is transitioning from the outside looking in, to the inside looking a million ways at once.

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It's 11:59 p.m. and I have two articles due tomorrow afternoon: two articles that are basically figments of my imagination at this point. When I was asked to write for Odyssey, I was ecstatic. I was a devout reader in high school and found every post so #relatable. During my short time as a "creator" for Odyssey, I've experienced what it's like to be on the other side of the articles.

Every post is not #relatable. This is a platform for anyone and everyone. I chose the articles I wanted to click on and read them, deemed them relatable, and clicked share. I, along with Odyssey's 700,000 something followers, did not go through and read every single article.

Being a creator has shown me that everyone has a voice, and by God, they're going to use it (rightfully so).

It can be disheartening at times to get what we think is a low number of page views when there are articles we don't necessarily agree with getting hundreds of Facebook shares. I don't crank out journalistic gold by any means, but being a writer isn't a walk in the park. It's stressful at times and even disappointing. Odyssey creators aren't paid, and even though it's liberating to be able to write about whatever our hearts desire, I'll be the first to admit that my life is just not that interesting.

When I first started writing for Odyssey, I vowed to never post anything basic like some things I have read in the past. If I'm going to dedicate the time it takes to write for a national platform, I'm going to publish things worth reading.

That vow is basically out the window now.

Simply stated, it's easy to write about things that are easy to write about. It's kind of like calling a Hail Mary play when it's the night before an article is due and there's been a topic in the back of your mind for days that you don't think is that great, but you think people might read. You just throw it out there and hope for the best. Being a creator gives you inside access to knowing what people are reading, what's popular, and what's working for other creators. Odyssey's demographic is not as diverse as it could or should be, so it's not hard to pick out something that the high school girl you once were will find relatable. Recently went through a breakup? Write about it. Watched a new show on Netflix? Write about it. When there's nothing holding you back, you have the freedom to literally put whatever you want online.

It's not easy coming out of your freshman year of college, one of the hardest years for any person, and being expected to whip up articles that everyone will love. Not everyone is going to love what I write. Heck, not everyone is going to like what I write. The First Amendment is a blessing and a curse. Not everyone is going to agree with you, and that's okay.

The beauty of Odyssey is that it highlights the fact that everyone DOES have a voice, and whether that voice coincides with your religious, political, or personal views isn't up to you.

You have the power to pick and choose what you want to read, relate to, and share. Remember that you have no way of knowing what every single person on the planet is going through and what they choose to write about reflects their own personal opinions, experiences, accomplishments, and hardships. Odyssey creators can spend weeks crafting articles they hope will break the Internet, but in return only get a few views. They can also pull all-nighters grasping at straws just trying to reach the minimum word requirement and end up writing the best thing since sliced bread.

I guess what I'm getting at here is that even though there are posts out there that are so easy for us to relate to, that's not always the goal for writers. We write what we feel, and if there's nothing to write about, we write what we think other people feel. The kicker is that we don't truly know what other people are feeling. You might hurt someone's feelings with your words. You might make someone cry with your story because they felt like they were alone and finally, finally, someone else feels the same way. You might trigger someone and get hateful comments. You might even change someone's life with your words.

The moral of the story is that words are pretty powerful, whether we choose to believe it or not.

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