Does our society train our children to be versatile, flexible and resourceful? Or are we so comfortable in our materialistic world that we can’t fathom there being any other way?
As I did my housework this morning I was thinking of all the mod-cons that I have in my house, in my kitchen especially. I wondered if training our children to cook using modern equipment is truly training them to deal with the future. Now, I have no idea what the future holds, and I tend to shy away from conspiracy theories but I do wonder at the adeptness of past generations and the lack of flexibility in today’s generation.
We teach our children to clean house but will there always be electricity for the vacuum cleaner? I think of the folk over in Zimbabwe – they have spasmodic electricity – how do they cope? Our children could face tough times, they could be missionaries in an undeveloped country, in a remote area, the world could simply change. Would they have the resilience and the resourcefulness to find solutions?
On the heels of these thoughts came our very own experience. This afternoon I was teaching Josh to cook Shepherds’ Pie when we ran out of gas on the stove. Both gas bottles empty! Josh’s first response was “oh no! What are we going to do now?” My first response was – electric frypan or BBQ. There are always options.
One of my fondest memories with my brother was a night when mum and dad were going out and we were planning a simple dinner with a dvd. Just before we started cooking – a power failure! We decided to head outside and light up the BBQ. We had a wonderful time – not only did we cook the food we had planned but we raided the fridge to boot and got real creative on the BBQ.
Are we teaching our children to be versatile , flexible and resourceful – or are we just teaching them to use gadgets?
PS – after talking to my mum about my thoughts (and they are raw thoughts) I / we came to the conclusion it isn’t about not using the tools and opportunities that we have today – they certainly make our life easier and I’m not wanting to go back to the so called good ole days (I’m sure they had just as many problems as we have today but they looked different). It is a matter of thinking and training our children’s thinking. The three character traits that I keep coming up with versatile, flexible and resourceful are as much about attitude as they are about skills. If we are giving our children a variety of skills and teaching them to think about what is going on around them, teach them to think outside the box, and teach them to be prepared to do things differently then we will be training them for the unknown. The army never know exactly what is going to happen – their skill levels (and attitudes) are prepared though. I guess it is the same for our kids.
So with that in mind, I should have asked Josh – what are we going to do now, instead of just sharing my thoughts – given him opportunity to be flexible, resourceful and versatile!
I wonder what his solution would have been?
I can't even imagine going back to the "Good Old Days", for they weren't the good old days for the people who lived in them – just plain, hard work.
I hope that I am teaching my children to be able to use the vacuum cleaner, washing machine, bread maker and all of the other electrical appliances that we take for granted, and to use them well.
Perhaps we, too, will remember the good old days when we were young. Things get easier for each generation, or are we just becoming slaves to machines?
I think you are right!! I didn't know much starting out, I got married young, and learned a LOT in the first years, but then coming to Peru, I had to learn it all over!! I think versatility is important! We never know what the future will be like, but we want our kids to know that there are more than one way to do things! And as I've learned, there are actually easier ways to do things, modern does not always mean easier/simpler!