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Bridging the generation gap

Published: 
Wednesday, September 13, 2017

The gap between old fashion parenting and modern parenting seems to be ever widening and loads of judgment appears to be the only thing forming a bridge.

The age of information and progress, new studies and ground breaking research are quickly eroding the validity of our granny’s remedies and of course the ever common “times are different now” seems to be the go to phrase to justify our turning away from all things past.

It’s sad really, because both generations have much to offer and if we could only put aside our egos we would strike a winning balance.

The Ministry of Education has spoken about the decline of penmanship and their response to it seems to suggest a lack of holistic understanding and a clear indication that we are yet to marry modern information with tradition and culture specific solutions.

In an interview with Ms Aliya Drakes, Occupational Therapist, I learnt how important core strength, and wrist and shoulder development are as contributing factors to good hand writing skills.

Now pair this with HSSE stopping children from running in the courtyard or with parents’ schedules not allowing for that daily game of catch and we start to see some of the root causes for declining penmanship.

This here is prime example of how beautifully modern “medicine” can be paired with traditional values to find workable solutions for today’s challenges, not to mention a solution that would cost the country nothing and be fun to implement.

Now, let’s look at critical thinking—a complaint of every parent. I often hear adults chastising the new generation and blaming the education system for churning out kids that lack the ability to think critically.

Do you guys remember playing card games—memory, all fours, solitaire and go to pack? Did you know that card games help develop our children’s working memory?

Picture 200 children running around in a small courtyard; each group playing something different. They all somehow learn to dodge, their reflexes naturally develop as a playground survival mechanism and their ability to think quickly improves without anyone ever teaching them.

Our elders may not have known what was being developed, but in the absence of such activities we are definitely feeling the impact.

Crucial life skills that were once naturally developed through play are now being lost or being force fed down our children’s throat in a less than appealing manner.

Now that I have explained the importance of holding on to some old time games for modern purposes, I hope that today’s teachers and parents will start to give greater respect to park time and trade in some screen time for a five minute game of cards after dinner.

Try allowing your child to shop alone at the fruit stall. Stay just behind but don’t get involved—bring their math to life.

I agree that it isn’t safe to allow them to go off on their own, but with all the progress we’ve made as a generation, surely we know how to simulate situations.

Don’t take for granted the lessons that were learnt while we played on the road unsupervised. Get creative and find ways to teach the things that are being lost. Stop hiding behind crime and changing times and be purposeful about developing these areas in our children.

Let’s all do our part to bridge that generation gap.

Marsha L Riley,

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