Recently my 13 year old daughter told me that she wished she had grown up when her dad and I did. My initial instinct was to be upset about how old I was and that I had grown up in the old days but then she explained. She loves the stories that she hears of our childhood. We were so free and unconnected. We were allowed to grow up without the constant surveillance that exists today. We ran around with our friends on our bikes after school with no cell phones and no schedules. We were allowed to leave and be unconnected with nothing but a curfew. Her dad lived in a neighborhood where his mom would literally ring a cow bell out the door to call the kids in for dinner after hours of outdoor play. We were able to unplug and disconnect. We were able to make mistakes in private without the world of social media publicizing it. We were able to have fun with and argue with friends in private. We were able to grow up with so much less pressure.
My daughter is by no means turning in her cell phone but she wishes she could turn back the clock and be a part of the old days. I can't say I blame her. Being a kid (and a parent) in this day and age is incredibly challenging. It's no wonder there is so much anxiety in kids today. It is not normal to have your every move analyzed by your friends and parents, to be over scheduled, to be the center of attention all the time, to be prevented to unplug and unwind. We certainly cannot turn back time and we certainly do not want to give up our technologies but we owe it to ourselves and our children to help them figure out how to grow up easier.