I had the pleasure of seeing my 6-year old nephew this weekend, and although a common saying, it’s true when they say, kids say the darnedest things. He sat me down, told me to cross my legs and pray to God. I asked if he would mind going first – and while I won’t go into the exact words he spoke, he said that he wished God would stop children being mean to each other.
I’m not sure if I had the aptitude to say such things when I was just 6 years old, let alone pray to God for my wishes of such importance to end.
Sometimes – although not a mother myself – I think it’s all too easy to worry about the world that children are growing up in. It’s all iPhones and iPads, Minecraft and Pokemon, Instagram and Twitter, YouTube and video messaging. Of course there’s no use in comparing our childhood to theirs, times change and technology grows. Exponentially in the last few years it seems.
But I’ve written before about the threat (and wonders) of Instagram and social media – how it can create a worrying thought process that portrays other people’s lives in a glossy and unrealistic light. I can’t imagine what I would’ve made of Instagram had it been around when I was growing up. We were too busy climbing trees, building forts, playing with Sylvanian Families and dressing up – but then we didn’t know any differently. We were too young to care about what others thought, or how they saw us because there was really nothing to compare. Our role models were not on the screen but on the stage.
Children, however, thinking back to the words of my nephew, were mean 100 years ago. They were mean when I was growing up and they will no doubt continue to be mean tomorrow. This will never change, but let’s just hope we can continue to retain a little innocence whilst they’re still young and encourage them to keep climbing trees amid all the social media and comparison, because it never did us any harm.