27 August 2014

Our Kids & The Lost Arts


I am a proponent of technology.  In many ways, the continuing advancement of technology makes our lives easier, compact, and self-sufficient.  At the click of a mouse or the swipe of a finger on a smart phone, we can basically run and execute our lives from anywhere at anytime.  Modern technology has advanced the health care industry, the automotive industry and even the food industry to the point of making our lives, for the most part, better.  

So why am I left with the overwhelming feeling that this is such a bad thing?
  
For every good that happens, there is a bad.  A downside.  A 'giving up' of some sorts.  Certain abilities and talents become compromised and when they're not used on a regular basis, those talents and abilities become lost.  Extinct.  This is why the continuing evolution of technology bothers me.  Let me explain...

While technology for the most part has made our lives better, it has also made us weak, lazy, and socially inept.  Families no longer sit together at the dinner table and actually talk to each other.  Nope.  That's all been replaced with texting - to the point that even people who live in the same house, who are home at the same time, will text each other to communicate instead of having quality family time together or communicate face to face.  In some schools, children are no longer required to learn cursive, nor are they required to learn the basics of letter formation.  The modern age's reasoning?  Why bother - a computer will take care of it for you.  Most cashiers I encounter can't even make change unless a computer or calculator is telling them how to do it - we're talking basic math, people.  And we've become so gadget demanding that we no longer appreciate the feeling of an actual book in our hands.  Nope - those ancient things called books have been replaced by Nooks and Kindles.  All of these things and more I've come to dub "The Lost Arts."

I refuse to let my daughter go through life without mastering these lost arts. In so many ways, I consider myself to be progressive in thought, creativity, politics, lifestyle and more.  However in many ways, I'm a traditionalist.  Call me crazy, but there are so many basic things in life we should all know how to do without having to rely on a computer, smart phone, or fancy application.

To you, Madeline, I promise the following:
  • You will know how to speak properly and will know how to carry on good conversations without the help or assistance of a cell phone.  Good ol eye to eye contact and moving your lips will suffice just fine.
  • You will know how to write - you will know how to properly form a letter, a resume, a thank you card, and how to properly address an envelope (You wouldn't believe how many people in this day and age don't know how to do this).
  • You will not read a book from an electronic device.  You will learn to appreciate the feeling of paper to skin, the smell of a book when you open it, and the joy of collecting your favorite authors visibly on a bookshelf.
  • Instead of being stuck in front of a computer, ipod, Nintendo, or ipad all day long, you will actually go outside and play in the world.  Make mud pies.  Enjoy a slip and slide.  Make up plays and act them out with friends.  You know, actually use your mind to be creative and to keep yourself busy and occupied.  This world is big and tough - you will never find your place in it if you're not out in it.
  • You will learn how to write in cursive.
  • You will know how to make change and how to balance your check book.
  • You will know how to read a map and how to use it.  A Garmin won't always get you to where you need to be.
  • You will not get gastric bypass, lypo or botox at the age of 12.  Sorry.  Learn to love the body you've been given.
  • You will put actual pen to paper and write letters. 
  • You will know how to read a ruler and cooking measurements.

All of these abilities and more, the Lost Arts, I want for my daughter.  We should all want to know them for ourselves.  It is possible to live in an age of technology without losing basic and fundamental components of living and socializing.  Technology isn't a bad thing but how good can we be as a society, as individuals, and as a whole if we lose these basic abilities?  Technology will only take us so far.  The rest we have to know how to do and appreciate on our own. 

Just some food for thought on a Wednesday. What are some skills that you want your children to carry with them through their lives?



       
Courtney @ Shiraz In My Sippy Cup
Courtney @ Shiraz In My Sippy Cup

Courtney is a published author, mom, taco enthusiast, and a Star Wars and Tennessee Volunteers fanatic. She's never met a piece of sushi she didn’t like and enjoys an amazing glass of wine and a great cut of meat. You can read more of her wine-induced, sleep-deprived adventures on The Huffington Post and Scary Mommy.

19 comments:

  1. Great post, I love all of this so much. I feel the exact same way with my girls. Ipads, computers and cell phones have their perks but they are taking so much away to. It makes me sad.

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    1. It really does make me sad, too. I saw a quote the other day on Pinterest and it is so true: "I'm glad I had a childhood before technology." Truer words were never spoken.

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  2. Love this pat... All so very true. The cursive thing makes me so sad. I want my kids to have manners as well. .. Saying please and thanks is becoming a dying tradition

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    1. Please and thank you - such simple, nice things to do that often get tossed to the wayside. They are definitely important in our home!

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  3. Yes, yes, yes! I love this and feel the same way about all of those points. In this age it takes serious intentionality but it's so important!

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    1. It really is! I think sometimes we forget that we are raising humans. They should act as such. After we're done with them, we have to send them out into the world for others to deal with, lol. But seriously - it's true.

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  4. Yep, love every single bullet point. I also want my son to know how to give and receive a PROPER handshake. None of this limp noodle business.
    The "dying" of cursive is so sad. I remember being SO excited for 3rd grade, as that is when we would FINALLY learn how to make all those pretty, swooping, connecting letters. To hear that kids won't know how to create such beautifully crafted letters/words is a crying shame.

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    1. Excellent point for a man, Desiree! Yes - so important!!

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  5. Oh cursive. I haven't mastered cursive worth a damn yet and I'm 30. I blame canada. When I moved to the US for 3rd grade everyone already knew their letters... And I knew NOTHING. And never caught up! Lex will learn cursive and she will have cute writing-- seriously life tools.

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    1. Blame Canada! Blame Canada! ;-) But seriously - it's important! And everything Lex does is cute. Super cute!

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  6. I agree totally!! Except cursive, ha. Bane of my childhood. We weren't allowed to do any homework in anything but cursive...took me at least 3 times longer and it was not legible no matter how many years of practice. The day we were allowed to stop, best day ever.
    And, holding a book is the best. As is the art of snail mail.

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    1. I can't remember the last true piece of snail mail I received. Hence, dying. I mean, I know email and electric convos are so easy and convenient but there is nothing like that feeling of excitement when you open your mailbox and have mail. It's the best!!

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  7. I loved this!

    Except the map part.

    Cuz uh. I'd rather just walk into strangers homes instead.

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    1. Bhahahahahahaha!!! That is still the best! Obviously, not for you but um, yeah. That was excellent!!

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  8. Get it sister! I'm on your level.
    But really... I have no clue how to read a map. You'll find me with Courtney, walking into strangers homes.

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    1. Hahahahahahahahaha!!! I swear, funniest thing ever. I'm still thinking of that and laughing. I can't imagine - I would DIE.

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  9. OH MY GOSH. The Thank you card. I couldn't agree more. I have an 11 year old boy who seems to think his life will end if his cell isn't glued to his ear or if he isn't holding an xbox remote in his hand. I'm a "mean mom" because we have a no cell phone rule at the dinner table and his xbox playing time is limited. I feel the same way about this subject is you! There is always some good with every bad and vice versa!

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    1. You are on the right track with your rules, mama! Keep up the great work! It can be so challenging but it's so worth it in the end. Have a great week!

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  10. All of this is so true. I was devastated the last time I went to the library. There literally was no card catalog or reference area. No one involved in the hands on type of research that used to happen. Everyone was bellied up to a plug with their laptops. Meg didn't even know what I was talking about when I was looking for the card catalog and I guess in this day of Google and Bing what would you need a card catalog for anyway. It's just the notion that the old way is no longer a good way and that simply isn't true. If you can find it online why are the libraries still there? Your Uncle Ed's biggest pet peeve is bad phone manners and skills, He drove proper phone skills into Meagan from the time she was able to talk. If you call her and she isn't proper or polite that's on her. She knows how she just chooses not to use the skills taught her. Many times when I was still working the secretary would page me snickering that my daughter, Meagan Troster would like to speak to her mother, Gabrielle Troster and so on. For someone who answers the phone for a living, proper phone manners is rare. Those who don't believe in books anymore are really missing out on one of the most important moments in the lives of your children. You simply cannot replace those moments when you snuggle together and read your child's favorite book to him or her. And when she can read it to you....upside down and never miss a word.....ahhhh, There is NOTHING like it. Keep up the good work, girl. You are on the right track and I know Maddy is going to be a very special person because of the time you put into being her parent.

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