Patience is a virtue. It’s also something children seem to have very little of. I often wonder, though, whether we are raising the least patient generation of all time.
Yes, okay, that probably sounds like a complaint you hear from a grandparent. I’m also pretty sure my grandparents said exactly the same about my brothers and I. Oh, yeah, and their grandparents said about them, and their grandparents said about them ad infinitum.
I’ll give you the one example. If my kids want to watch something on TV the choices available to them are truly stunning. Long gone are the days when you had a choice of three channels and kids TV appeared on two of them for one hour a day after school.
For the amusement of any millennials reading this, I can still remember black and white television. As a young boy I clearly recall my family decamping to a family friend’s house to watch the wedding of Prince Charles and Princess Dianna because they had a colour set.
These days we’re all about streaming media in this house. If the kids want to watch a particular programme or film, they have a huge variety of providers to choose from.
Music is another example. If my kids want to listen to music there’s Spotify or Vevo or goodness knows who is provider of the week.
Although they will happily listen to the radio, Izzy, the youngest, will often query why she can’t listen to her favourite song. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve explained to her it doesn’t work like that.
I hardly think us adults are setting the best example. Sick to the back teeth of wasted journeys to poorly stocked shops, I recently joined Amazon Prime. Safe in the knowledge I can get what I need delivered ASAP, I happily shop at home and no longer have to get on a bus or train or drive somewhere with two reluctant children. My own impatience has been resolved with the click of a mouse.
Technology has created amazing convenience. We can have what we want, when we want it. Our kids are merely reacting to it.
Are our children the least patient generation ever? Quite possibly, but in truth, their parents aren’t much better.