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Years ago I remember, no sooner would my father announce a picnic in the pipeline, we sisters would rush to do the packing and one of the first things to be packed would be the books that we would be carrying along with us on our retreat. We would be practically drooling over our list of reads and continuously comparing and commenting almost competing amongst the siblings about who reads the most. And did we turn out well? Yes, we did!
Today, with kids of my own I sadly see a big difference. When we announce to our children that we might be out of two for a couple of days or to see an aunt in the adjoining neighborhood, there is no evident air of excitement and there is no hustle bustle about any books to be taken with them to read. In fact, I see the siblings fighting amongst themselves to personally own and carry with them their smart phones and tabs! What a difference!
Recently, the summer vacations that the kids spent were utterly wasted because we could not bring them to tear themselves from their electronic gadgets. It makes me feel really sad that they no longer carry the love for books in them and soon they will have nothing to do with them at all.
The only books that they seem to know and read are their school books. It is a sad state of affairs. And apparently, it is the same everywhere. Most of the today’s kids are more into their phones than in to their scribbling pad and diaries.
Kids tell me that writing letters are so passé. “Who do you think momma”, they ask “can wait so long as to write a letter and then post it at the post office and then reply it via normal mail service?” For them, there is so much convenience in the email. Why not adopt the technology that is at hand than what be redundant is what they keep asking me all the time?
They proudly tell me and their daddy that they would rather text a friend and get information quickly than write to them or even speak to them on the telephone, check https://www.ufindthem.com/. No verbal conversations anymore!
Kids have isolated themselves and cocooned themselves with their phones and laptops. They are more interested in things that are happening across the continents and in far off space than meet a neighbor and say a cordial hi!
Worst is that they don’t even acknowledge that their neighbor just passed them and that is because there is the head is constantly buried in their mobile phones. Where is this generation going?
Not to be left behind, I have formulated the following rules when we are away on our trip:
The first rule is the mother of all rules and that is no digital gadgets can be allowed on the trip. So whether it is the phone, the tab or the kindle, everything stays behind. What is allowed however are books and as many as you can take it is a different story that my children think that I am a tyrant! But mum has to do what a mum has to do (winks*)
I leave the choice to them entirely. They can choose anything from the classic literature. Any language, look I am magnanimous! But they finish the book and then they paraphrase the story and write it down in their own sweet simple language. They get rewarded for doing this!
Okay, this I agree can be slightly tacky. But they have to strike a conversation with someone randomly and make a new friend. This is important in term of being able to socialize because I feel that children and also adults are nowadays extremely socially awkward.
This one is the best and my personal favorite too. Children have to speak about any story that they like or the one that they read recently and also if they can enact it out, they get brownie points! The most creative entry wins a prize sponsored by the audience. You must see the kind of latent talent that these kids have. And all they want to do is bury their heads in their phones! Tchtchtch!!