I can honestly say that without a shadow of a doubt, I did NOT mis-spend my youth. Despite often feeling as though I wasn’t good enough (good enough at school, good enough at sports, even good enough to be in the “popular” crowd), I had a truly wonderful childhood. Most of that stems from the fact that I lived on a dead-end street with plenty of kids around to play with, my grandparents lived two doors down from us, and we were blessed to have never had to move either. If I am ever so blessed to have children of my own, I would find a like-neighborhood; maybe not a dead-end street to live on but perhaps a cul-de-sac instead. I firmly believe it’s neighborhoods like that that bring people together to nurture each other’s children, to fellowship together, to barbecue together, what have you.
I had a fantastic time growing up so do I think my childhood was mis-spent? Not at all. Now, having been a teacher for eight years, I have to say a majority of the students I have taught unfortunately lead mis-spent lives.
Today’s children are burdened by broken homes, parents that don’t know how to parent or the reverse – parents that are too involved in their children’s lives. All too often, children come home from school only to find that they are alone because both parents are working, some an extra hour after they get home; others a bit longer. Once children do get home, many of them don’t either have the discipline themselves or don’t have someone to keep them on task so that they aren’t just going out to play, playing video games constantly, spending way too much time online, or even getting into some kind of trouble. In my mind, it’s those children who are truly missing out on their youth.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not mocking the working parent or the career-oriented one. I firmly believe that adults can have a career and a family too but it’s the successful ones that know how to balance it out. If there isn’t any balance, the children suffer, and as a result so doesn’t their youth.
It’s sad, really. While the internet and technology can be a GOOD thing, it can also be a hindrance if it is not controlled and curbed so that it doesn’t overtake ones life. And it’s not just the internet or technology either. It’s as I said previously, children coming home to an empty house too. I am so very thankful that while my father worked full-time, my mother stayed home for many years and even when she went to work, she worked part-time pretty much until my sister and I went off to college. Both of my parents (and even my grandparents) were around to be with us, to teach us, to care for us, and to discipline us.
My youth was not mis-spent. It was guided, protected, and nurtured. I wish I could say the same about many of the kids today.
Remember, this is all in my own very humble opinion.
This prompt brought to you by today’s Sundayscribblings topic.
(Image courtesy of photovault)