Children · My Blog · Parenting

Generation Z

There are many positives to the advances in technology. However, there are some experiences that I am sad my daughter will miss out on. I am sure many parents have felt this way with their children as well with each new generation.

Here is my list:

  • Memorizing phone numbers (more than just their own)
  • Talking on a corded phone and eavesdropping (trying not to breath too loud)
  • Not knowing who is calling (spooky)
  • Dial up internet and being kicked off because someone picked up the phone
  • Walkman or Disc-man
  • Tapping songs off the radio with cassette tapes
  • Taping shows with VHS tapes and having to rewind the tape before watching it
  • Polaroids (shake, shake, shake)
  • Waiting to see your pictures while they develop
  • Standing in line for HOURS for a concert ticket (the excitement and anticipation)
  • Talking your phone after a certain time for “free minutes” or “free long distance”

Here are a few things that I was able to show and teach her so she wouldn’t miss out on these skills:

  • Dewey decimal system
  • Phone book –
  • Road map – how to read a map and figure out a route
  • Atlas – similar to a map, but using quadrants and different pages
  • Cookbooks or better yet – Recipe cards
  • Dictionary
  • Newspaper – how to follow an article in the newspaper when it is on two pages


Google has made everything effortless. Research is one-stop-shopping on your computer or phone. I feel like these skills, including mental math for calculating discounts and tips are important.

Smart phones and the magical GPS have also made it easy to get from Point A to Point B without any thought. However, what would happen if you got there and then did not have a device to get back? There are so many people who don’t pay attention to their route because they have a device telling them when to turn. I am teaching Taylor how to use maps and an atlas so she can find her way about. Many times she picks the highways and writes directions on a piece of paper to get us to grandma’s house about 45 minutes away. Most of the time it takes us much longer with her directions, but we get there and she learned something.

One of my favorite activities with Taylor is to go for a drive (lasting a couple of hours) to take pictures in the country (no gps or destination needed). After we are done I pull over and say which direction is home. She usually thinks about it for a minute and says something like “I think we came from over there” pointing. I follow-up with “okay, I’ll drive that way and you tell me which roads to turn on to get me in that direction.” We make several turns and keep driving. When she tells me to turn the wrong direction I go for a bit, pull over and talk about how we can get back on track.

While at a garage sale this summer there were two women in their late twenties or early thirties adding up sales next to each other to help the customers on their way. However, there was a HUGE problem. Drum roll please…. They only had ONE calculator, whatever should they do??? Well after politely waiting for three minutes while she struggled to add 45 + 7 I said “excuse me – the total is $52, 45 + 7 is 52”. She looked up at me surprised and asked “Are you sure? It doesn’t seem like enough.” I looked at her and smiled and said “yes” with confidence (thank you dad for not letting me slack with mental math). After that customer paid and left she turned to the other woman helping with the garage sale and said “I guess it’s okay if we are short a couple of dollars.” I about died.


What do you think today’s generation will miss out on?

2 thoughts on “Generation Z

  1. I really liked this post! As a millennial myself, I remember slightly the days when iPhones did not do everything for us. My parents still print out maps and attempt to tell me the directions to a place before I go. I then say, “Mom, I only need the address and Google maps will do the rest”. Realizing this was the wrong way to go about my driving, I began paying close attention to my routes. I feel much more confident in my directional awareness now!

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