The world has changed, and so has parenting. Put the two together, and we are likely to raise our kids quite differently from how our parents raised us. A few quintessential things we did with our parents defined our childhood - and we will probably enjoy those experiences with our kids. We bring you a few nostalgic gems from our childhood that we will probably never get to share with our own kids.
These days, it's hard to have a proper conversation with kids without them simultaneously tapping away on their iPhones or iPads.
Our parents would give the bicycle a push and then withdraw, leaving us to figure it out ourselves on new wheels. Same goes for skating! Swimming too was not considered such a dangerous activity. Fathers pushing us into the deep end of the pool was the norm. (We turned out just fine :P)
We used to go everywhere with our parents, but somehow were never under constant surveillance. With high-tech strollers, prams and security personnel at every corner, and safety apps installed on every teen's mobile, it seems unlikely that our kids will get to enjoy much "Mom-isn't-watching" time.
With the world slowly moving towards a purely digital age, film rolls and manual cameras will soon be out of circulation and all those memories of clicking only 35 pictures and waiting to have them developed will die with our generation :(
Going on picnics on Sundays to the nearest park and eating sandwiches, drinking lemonade and playing badminton. That is just not something we're likely to do with our kids. Weekends at the mall - that's what we're heading towards. :(
Watching movies at single screen theatres with the entire family, staring at the grainy image and fighting over precious packets of popcorn and chips shared between a dozen cousins... It was as much about bonding with family as about the movie. Not so any more, in the age of Blu-ray.
Parents would sit down with their kids on the chhatt or in the garden every time the electricity went off and eat peanuts, sing songs and talk late, late into the night. Now? Inverters, 24-hour power backup, juicer packs for mobiles to keep us connected even if there is a dire city-wide power outage.
Remember all those random drives and treks our parents took us on? Well, we will never stop doing that, but one thing that will surely end is the use of maps. Which kid will want to use an actual map in a world of mapping apps?
One of the most important habits our parents encouraged in us was to look up word meanings in the dictionary, or to open up the huge encyclopaedia to know more about things. We can hardly teach our kids to do the same when the Internet is so all-pervasive and omnipresent. :/
Watching movies at home happened with the help of the VCR Mom and Dad set up - and the movies so carefully selected from the neighbourhood cassette-wallah's library. Now the poor old VCR and half a dozen film tapes sit in some storage box, unused and forgotten. (On the plus side, maybe our kids will become very wealthy from selling off the "antiques" from their parents' childhood days!)
Travel usually happened via the Indian Railways. And it was such a joy to read comics, drink kullhad ki chai and look out the windows during overnight train journeys! With reduced air fares, train journeys seem to have lost favour with Indian parents. :(