I Would Never Want to Be a Kid Today

I grew up very different than my children. My parents lived paycheck to paycheck. No one was saving for college. No one was driving me to sports and activities. We played softball on the concrete playgrounds because grass was reserved for the boys. I didn’t get on a plane until I was 18, and then, it was with a friend. I worked all through High School. I had a curfew but it was loosely enforced. I tried new, potentially dangerous things with little fanfare. No one was taking pictures, Tweeting, Snapchatting, Facebooking, or Instagraming. Social networking was what grown-ups did at business conferences. I made mistakes, big and small, and figured it out on my own. I learned I don’t like cigarettes, do like beer, tequila does not agree with me and hitchhiking is a bad idea. I had my moments of embarrassment — in front of a just a few, most of whom were good friends. I was able to be a certain type of person at home and experiment with presenting myself differently around my peers. I dropped a few F-bombs and tried on some tough girl for size. None of it stuck, and no one thought less of me for my normal, stupid, teenage behavior. My teachers, friend’s parents and parents’ friends knew me as my best, most responsible self. My peers knew me as a kid, and we did what kids will do — made poor decisions. Together, we took the muddy journey through adolescence and came out fairly clean on the other side.

So, when I jokingly say, “In my next life, I want to come back as one of my kids,” I don’t mean it. The only thing worse than having to repeat my teenage years, would be to have to repeat them on display for literally, the world to see. I don’t envy kids today. I feel for them. The teenage brain simply cannot evolve as quickly as technology. What was once a to-be-expected bad choice, has become a reality show.  Ouch. Give me concrete, rotary phones and working papers any day.

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Author: Karen Latimer

Karen is a Family Doctor, mom of five and founder of Tips From Town.