Is Tomorrow Ready for the Instant Everything Generation?

Today’s world is filled with instant gratification.  We see this in just about everything in our day to day lives. Everything is instant.. Instant fast food, instant messaging, email, education, wealth and even health care. We want it now!

Ever just take a moment to observe your surroundings? Really look at people and how they interact or don’t interact? Is there anything wrong with the instant everything now? Doing some soul searching, I find myself just like everyone else. No matter your opinion on the subject – it is a way of life. My opinion is there are times and places that this makes perfect sense. We all have busy lives – even if we do it to ourselves. I am no different. I have my blackberry device that keeps me pretty much up on everything and everyone that I want to be connected to. When I am traveling around town – and need a bite to eat and don’t have much time – there is always a drive thru something or another. We have it pretty much easier today than when we were younger. I will go out on a limb and say, that the younger children today will have much more than we did when they become adults.

Are there places or things that instant everything have downsides? Raising children – there is no instant means of making that happen successfully. When I go into classrooms, walking about in malls or supermarkets, watching youth sporting events or just hanging with family and friends; my observations show me that we can not or should not take anything from the instant category for raising children.

  • Set the example that you want your kids to follow.  For me, I can tell you who help shaped me to be the person I am today. They were all the folks that I interacted with when I was younger. When I ask some young folks, who their role models are – I get the usual list of sports and entertainment idols. Those folks, frankly don’t do very well and really don’t want that job of raising your kids.
  • Children need attention, attention takes time and the amount of time that you put in – usually comes back two fold. So many times, I have witnessed folks taking the short cut or the “easy” way out. Does that work in the long run? Why are their TV shows like the “Nanny”? Maybe I was a bit too hard on my kids when I was a new parent. Maybe I had some high expectations of them. Fact is, you usually get what you expect. I am very proud of my adult children today. They have done well for themselves. I enjoy every moment I get to share with them today.
  • Spending time reading or listening to your children can be so much fun. Taking that time to demonstrate to them the importance is critical. You never know what can come from that time spent. I have seen parents shocked to learn that their children can not read well. How did that happen? Well, how about asking when was the last time, you sat and listened to them read out loud? Maybe having them read in the car, as you are driving around – rather than having them watch a video or you talk on your cell phone – would be helpful. Reading is fundamental.
  • How many are waiting for the day that TV puts on the “Biggest Loser Kids” version of the show? I am not a skinny person, well not as an adult. I love to eat! Time to say – “No” to the drive thru. Have a family dinner – can be either home or out – have some “good” food and discuss the day’s happenings.
  • This one is new to me.. But, when you are in the same house or location, why text each other? When I was a hockey coach, I had a player that was struggling and the parents wanted to discuss with me what was happening. Not an uncommon occurrence, what was uncommon was that the parents told me that they would email their son after we met about what he needed to do. Email, come on – how about you as parents are shelling out $900 for him to play, sit him down and discuss your expectations. Email is so personal. Now, this has moved onto texting. I must be getting too old.

I am not saying that everything instant is bad. I am trying to point out that too much of the instant for too long – just will not work. I am not an expert, by no means… I am only pointing out some of the observations and items that I see each and everyday. Time for us all to look and listen. The world of tomorrow is going to be in the hands of these young folks growing up… Are you helping make that a good thing?