There needs to be a revival in common sense in this country. With all of today’s push button gadgets and technology our future generations have begun to lose something very precious.
Yesterday on Facebook I saw one of those funny back in the day post. You know the one with some gadget from the 80’s or whenever and the saying “Do you remember when?” Well this particular one slapped me rather hard. It was about kids not knowing how to do so many different things when they left high school. My comment was “Back then we called it Home Ec.” The subject has been on my mind since then so I thought I would write about it.
It is rather scary when I think of the future in the hands of high school grads that can operate about any device out there but have no idea how to fry an egg. When and how did this happen? It’s been since the early 90’s since I was in high school, back then we were taught to be self-sufficient in life. We were taught how to cook, sew, balance a check book, change a tire so on and so forth. While the school did its part giving us home economics, most of our learning was done at home at least mine was.
You know the stupid crazy thing is? We raised these kids that are out there. What in the world happened? Did they forget the things they were taught or did they forsake them as we entered the instant gratification age?
I wish for the sake of all of us that we could just scream out “Hit the brakes a minute!” and let the world regain an even kilter. Yes progress is going to continue regardless of any opinions on the subject. However that should not mean that we should lose all that is being left behind in its wake. I’ve heard it said multiple times that as a nation we are dumbing down our kids. The sad thing is in a lot of ways this is too true. Yet stopping to look at the picture I have to ask myself who’s fault is this? In all reality the fault belongs to everyone, from number one the parents to the schools, government and throughout the rest of the chains of command. Parents seemed to have lost all control when this whole “Don’t spank your child” epidemic showed up somewhere in the last 20 years. Sorry folks, I spanked my kids and I don’t really care who objects. “Spare the rod, spoil the child” the Good Book says. That does not by any means say abuse your child. Anyway when parents lost the right to parent their children in their own fashion and the schools and government stepped in to supposedly fill the gap things fell apart. I am sure there are those born in the earlier decades that look at us and shake their heads same as I am doing now with the upcoming generations.
My own kids seem to fall into two separate generations weirdly enough and some of the crap I see the youngest do and her friends scare the heck out of me. While the oldest raising her own terrifies me to death! I quake at how the youngest is going to raise hers someday. Mind you I love my kids very much, I simply just do not understand.
Seeing as how we can’t put on the brakes the best we can hope for is trying to intercede. As nonna and pappas, aunties and uncles and yes parents too, while we may not be able to stop the flood of technological dumbing down for lack of a better word or phrase. We can intercede with our vast knowledge. Yes I am well aware that to the teens we know absolutely zilch! My best comeback to that one is “Ok you know so much, here’s 25 dollars, go to the grocery store and come back with everything you need to make a meal for 5. No boxed, microwave or fast food dinners allowed. Oh by the way, you’re to prepare and cook it as well. Dinner is to be served a 6pm sharp.” Yes I really did that! My two youngest then 16 and 12 were sent into the store to get fixins for supper and they had to cook it. Why did I do this? Because they ticked me off! I was sick of their attitudes and complaining about what there was to eat to be one hundred percent honest with you.
This was an effective way to get them away from me for a few minutes, more importantly it was a strong life lesson. They were given a budget and had to come up with a meal that was within their combined abilities to prepare, by a certain time. While they were shopping they ended up changing their plans multiple times in order to stay within their budget. That day they both learned 1) it is difficult at times to come up with meals to feed a large family WITH a large appetite and to make sure there is enough to fill all the empty legs. 2) They learned how to comparison shop 3) Budgeting 4) How to work with one another, as this was a team effort 5) How to cook 6) Follow directions. 7) To meet a deadline and lastly number 8) Life isn’t as easy as they thought.
Believe me you, this was effective and it turned out to be a fun but tough life lesson learned. Give it a try sometime. There are so many things we can pass down to the future generations if we take a moment to look at the situation. The lessons can be learned in enjoyable situations. Make cupcakes or muffins with the little kids, yes it can be messy, so what. Make somebody a birthday cake. Teach your teen niece or nephew how to change a tire safely and for goodness sake show them what a radiator is and tell them what it’s for PLEASE! I simply must share this with you. Just this past winter a couple months back I heard a loud noise outside. Someone hit a deer crossing the road. I had this feeling that I needed to go check out the situation. Glad I did now. It was a kid 17-18 years old or so on his way to campus to hang out with his friends. Well after making sure the kid was alright, I checked on the deer it was dead. I had the young man get his vehicle off onto the shoulder of the road and went to get the deer. I dragged it to the side of the road as there was traffic coming and it was night. Didn’t need any more accidents by the way it was cold as all get out that night. The young man just looked at me, ah well. So when I finished with all that I went over to his vehicle and began surveying it. It was still running at that point. Making an awful racket, I could see the antifreeze pouring out the bottom. The grill shoved the fan into the radiator amongst other things. I’m looking at all this, and told him “You might want to shut it off, your dumping antifreeze all over the ground” He did, I told him what was wrong so far as I could see. Then he asked me “Do you think I can make it to campus?” I looked at him in disbelief. The campus he was talking about was a good half hour away. Now for those of you who have some inkling of vehicles. I just told the kid his radiator was wrapped around his fan and the antifreeze is all over the ground. Slap your forehead time. What totally and completely sent me over the edge was he had no clue what antifreeze was or what it was for, or what the radiator was or did. OMG!!! Yes, yes that just happened. I just looked at him at that point. Wondering how in the heck he didn’t know what a radiator was. I told him first off you can’t go anywhere, you have to do a police report. When all was said and done I was frozen half to death, told the kid when he was done with his calls to come back to the house if he needed to warm up and went home to find my husband. Explained the situation and sent him out. He was the smart one and drove the truck instead of hoofing it on foot like I did in negative whatever it was weather. I have to say I was totally floored by his utter lack of knowledge. Ok Ok I do get it, not everyone knows what is what, neither do I but goodness me. Was there a point to that story? Yes there was. This young man knew absolutely nothing about the piece of machinery he was driving. That seems rather unsound.
Anyhow there are a lot of small things we can do to influence and educate. It can be cooking, sewing, gardening, foraging whatever skill you have you can pass it down so do it. Make a difference in what is happening today.