Last week, I caught myself telling my son, “When I was your age I was changing light bulbs.” I grimaced as the words exited my mouth. Why? Because it’s one of the worst clichés in my books.
As parents, especially the more seasoned ones, we often compare our lives with our kids’. We are quick to point out that when we were their ages we were ‘carrying water for miles’ or ‘gathering firewood’. What exactly is this supposed to teach them? I won’t blame the kid for responding with, “So you want me to go fetch firewood and water?” When I was my boy’s age, I had no choice but to fetch the things we needed to make life comfortable. We never had a stove so we got firewood, didn’t have running water so of course we had to get it. Today, it’s all built-in. Well at least in our neck of the woods.
Maybe instead of admonishing them by comparing my life to theirs, I could tell them stories of when I was gathering wood and water. The world is changing in leaps and bounds. The things we used to sweat for are now at our fingertips and sometimes get taken for granted. In fact we barely have to leave our homes. Unfortunately for us and fortunately for our kids, they would never experience the things we did when we were their age. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing and we can’t blame them for that.