Expectations

Is it my imagination or are we starting to go too easy on kids, having lower expectations of their abilities than we should and generally making things easier for them to the point that this could be a page out of a Where’s Wally book?

Found Him

In my day (yep, I’ve reached that age) when a kid’s television programme, book or magazine mentioned a concept or word I was unfamiliar with I looked it up. Now this was in the days before we had the internet coming out of every orifice, before smartphones provided us with 24/7 web access wherever we were, before it’d take five minutes at most to get a general idea of something from a wiki. In those darkened days we were expected to read a book after scouring a library for hours on end to find the right one if we wanted to learn something new. And we did so. Sure, we could take shortcuts by using the Google of that day and asking someone older but we still were expected to form the question and they were expected to know enough to point us in the right direction.

This is in stark contrast to today where children have so many more ways to find this information yet are denied the opportunity. Kids television programmes, comics and magazines (and websites these days) are consistently devoid of any reference that a bunch of thirty year old editors don’t think they’ll get in the mistaken idea that if they don’t understand something straight away they’ll take their market presence somewhere else rather than doing what kids have been doing for centuries and using those references as a springboard to improve their own minds. As such these children are growing up not only with less information about the world than they would have had, but with less conscious desire to learn that information, and with more of an attitude that they know everything there is to know (because how else would you explain a world that constantly surrounds you with the things you already know about?).

Not only is this attitude to the children of the world a disservice to those parents who rely on media to help them form their children’s growing minds (pretty much all of you in some way or form if you’re any good) but it’s a disservice to the children themselves. With so many ways for them to find information these days, why would anyone deny the children the questions they so need to ask? Why would anyone stop these children from developing a natural desire to learn?

More importantly, if this continues, what will this ill-educated bunch of children these days see fit to teach their own kids?

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31 thoughts on “Expectations

  1. Basically, kids are learning that obtaining certain knowledge is for the chosen few and otherwise illegal. Not exactly a good idea. I agree.Nobody has been able to find Wally since he met Cousin Seth.

  2. Yeah… I had books. I think the underlying problem is overstimulation. In a way, we were lucky; we had whatever books and comics we could lay our mitts on, an a limited T.V. selection. Now your average twelve year old probably has at least two gaming platforms, social media, the rest of the 'net, however many T.V. channels there are now… we focused on what we had. Now it seems like kids have the attention spans of butterflies, and no wonder.

  3. I still have my Oxford Concise English Dictionary! (6th edition) :happy:.You can't get them in South Africa anymore! No, now we have the Oxford South African Dictionary! :awww:.

  4. (You can't say 'dictionary', Qlue. There might be kids reading this… It's penistionary from now on, okay…)

  5. I think we're training them to have such attention spans though, telling them it's not okay if they don't understand something and making them throw a tantrum and stomp off when they don't, by filling their heads with this…http://youtu.be/mb-SQaL6a6s

  6. Mm, but that's aimed at tots. My brother's not quite two year old is addicted to that B.B.C. tots channel.I think we generally treat younger people with less respect thatn they deserve, right up to when they leave school. We don't suddenly become responsible adults on our eighteenth birthday. I think the lack of responsibilty up to that age, both in the sense of not being allowed to contribute to society in a meaningful way, and in the lack of accountabiliy, are the cause of many of modern Western societies problems.

  7. Well, there is a problem when the kids are hitting the stores on the search for the laptops and mobile phones with the pear-logo they know from icarly and victorious.

  8. Originally posted by garlingmatthews:

    I think the lack of responsibilty up to that age, both in the sense of not being allowed to contribute to society in a meaningful way, and in the lack of accountabiliy, are the cause of many of modern Western societies problems.

    When I was young we had the army service that was mandatory. I don't claim this was a perfect solution but it helped some of us grow faster and understand the meaning of word "responsibility"….

  9. Originally posted by garlingmatthews:

    I think the lack of responsibilty up to that age, both in the sense of not being allowed to contribute to society in a meaningful way, and in the lack of accountabiliy, are the cause of many of modern Western societies problems.

    Very good point. Not only are we taking choice and ability away from children but we're making excuses for when they make the wrong choices and blaming others/taking the blame away from them. The whole "too young to know any better" culture.Originally posted by gdare:

    When I was young we had the army service that was mandatory. I don't claim this was a perfect solution but it helped some of us grow faster and understand the meaning of word "responsibility"…

    This works in a lot of cases but can make the problem worse in some. If I'd have been drafted I'd be a much worse person than I am today, for example. British squaddies are the reason I'm not fond of the army. Having been a bartender for years I've regularly had to chuck them out of my bars for causing trouble.

  10. Originally posted by Pineas2:

    Isn't that the reason why they spend that much time abroad?

    Too much money, too little knowledge of the world, not remembering why they're travelling when they're travelling. Welcome to British culture. 😉

  11. I guess it means that the youngsters need to be taught to be critical about where they gather their information from. 🙂

  12. Curling parents. That's what parents who fix everything for their kids so they don't have to do/learn/appreciate anything themselves anymore are called. It's been debated back and forth about the damage it causes to the kids who eventually will grow up and get hit by reality like a brick wall.And that's the generation who is supposed to wipe my butt when I'm in an old folks home!

  13. Originally posted by rose-marie:

    Curling parents. That's what parents who fix everything for their kids so they don't have to do/learn/appreciate anything themselves anymore are called.

    I've never heard that term before. I assume it's to do with the guys who run in front of the puck in curling, brushing the ice so it can move forward more easily? If so, loving it.Originally posted by rose-marie:

    It's been debated back and forth about the damage it causes to the kids who eventually will grow up and get hit by reality like a brick wall.

    Originally posted by Zaphira:

    I guess it means that the youngsters need to be taught to be critical about where they gather their information from.

    Now this is an incredibly interesting juxtaposition of views. On the one hand you've got the kids being damaged by these things and getting a shock when they grow up. On the other you've got the idea that kids should take some responsibility for what they're learning. I'm inclined to believe in the latter as that's the sort of kid I was, yet I can also see that some of the damage being done is retarding kids ability and need to ask questions. More importantly, it's stopping them thinking they need to. Combine that with the fact that not all kids are going to be like your friendly neighbourhood deity was as a young god, and you can see just how many of these kids are going to be affected without the right prompting from other sources.

  14. As a parent of a young adult (23) I am rather satisfied with my accomplicements. The last frontier was ensuring that the kid remains his curiousity and keeps on asking questions. Most grown-ups forget this particular skill. Junior hasn't forgotten. Yet.

  15. Originally posted by Furie:

    move forward more easily

    Exactly. I forgot to elaborate on the name, but it is pretty self explaining.Problem is, many of these parents will go out of their way to make their kids' life as painless as possible, bulldozing all possible obstacles that may lie ahead thus perhaps making the children less able to handle such things on their own later.This might be a bit off topic (which I believe was about asking questions), but still interesting. And I am all for letting kids do the asking and research on their own. That's the way they'll learn.

  16. Originally posted by Aqualion:

    The last frontier was ensuring that the kid remains his curiousity and keeps on asking questions.

    Oh, never stop asking questions. If you do then all you make are statements and nobody likes people like that :left::right: do they? :up:

  17. Originally posted by Furie:

    Oh, never stop asking questions. If you do then all you make are statements and nobody likes people like that – do they?

    I wouldn't know :left: :right: would I?;)I have asked questions for a living for over a decade, and recently I began doing it again. In the meantime I have just asked questions for the good of it.There is only one flaw in asking questions: Eventually people will give you the answer.Come to think of it, this might be exactly why people don't ask questions.:sherlock:

  18. Or someone's answering machine. One of the oldest tricks in the book. Almost as old as going through people's trash. Only, this time, they were stupid enough to get caught. Idiots.

  19. Like a clever man once said: 'Laws are made to provide clever people from cheating stupid people'.If it wasn't a crime nobody would ever get caught for doing it. And if it never happened it would not be a crime in the first place, because why make laws against things that never happens? This spawns the idea that without laws there would be no crime, which is a perfectly logical and plausible thesis. However, evil and unjust deeds (like 'hacking' into somebody's voice mail :left: :right: ) did happen before law as we know it emerged, bacuse before law there was ethics. Now, ethics is a complicated thing, whereas laws are quite simple, and because of the general decline of human intelligence laws have replaced ethics in a worldwide scale, so that nobody has to waste time and energy on considering what to do. We just have to check the laws of the culture we live in. Obviously, it's much easier that way. Thus, crime is the result of man trying to make life easier for himself.Easy is not always better.

  20. Very good point. :up:.South Africa has, of course, developed the habit of inventing new laws so 'solve' the problem of not being able to enforce the existing ones. :doh:.

  21. And every time they sign a new law it means that another piece of paper has to be signed by four people every day in seven different districts with 16 copies to governmental institutions, bureaus and offices. And every time it means that the police has more to enforce, more manhours, better equipment, more use for fondings that never come. Eventually it ends up with more convicts, the need for better correction facilities, employment of more police and more prison staff.Keeps the lawyers alive, though. But then again, you know what they say about lawyers…

  22. Originally posted by Aqualion:

    the need for better correction facilities,

    Well it keeps me employed! So maybe I shouldn't complain about it! :doh:.

  23. Originally posted by FlaRin:

    just when he's not around to appreciate it

    I've been thinking about this! It's almost s if they waited for Mik to be offline! :insane: .Do you think the bots deliberately sabotaged Mik's internet? :yikes: .

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