Growing up, it seemed as though my parents always had an answer for any question I had, whether it was simple or complicated. Was it always the right answer? I don’t know, but that didn’t matter at the time. They were Mom and Dad. They had to know everything, right? As children, we all looked to our parents to solve any problems we had. But where did those answers come from? Surely there had to be some gigantic book that they secretly referred to.
Fast-forward to today. In a time where so many answers can be found by doing a simple Google search (their validity no less questionable than our parents’), I now realize that the technological age has caused many people to lose sight of their ability to find answers simply by reflecting on life experiences and doing some soul searching. (No, I don’t mean a soul search engine. There’s no such thing. Don’t believe me? Google it.)
Having done this a lot myself, I now fully understand how my parents had an answer for everything – there really was a big book they were secretly referring to.
Now, with the wealth of knowledge at our fingertips, it has become frighteningly apparent that parents everywhere are losing touch with their children, and vice versa. Having worked in a school district, every day I saw the obvious effects of this and it was heartbreaking. Open, verbal communication is almost a lost art, and kids today are being raised by the internet and television. It’s hard to imagine where technology will be when our son gets old enough to start questioning things, but I certainly hope that his first resource for knowledge will be us and not Google.
I didn’t get to where I am today by way of the internet. My parents taught me what they had to, and let me learn the rest on my own. They taught me that there are some questions that cannot be answered except through experience, and I want to instill this in our son as he gets older. But, for now, I will look forward to answering questions about bugs, dirt, cars, and why Mom is insane (okay, finding Jimmy Hoffa will be easier than finding an answer to that question…)
And just as I trusted my parents, I also want him to know that we can be trusted to find the right answer to any question he might have, no matter how simple or complicated.