Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Twentyfirst century digital boy

Twentyfirst century digital boy or "When cave dudes go techno".
As cave moms go, I like to consider myself not exactly a tech-head, but certainly willing to adapt to new technology. But the recent acquisition of a smart phone has, well...kicked my techno butt.
When I say my 8 year old has picked up the device and quite intuitively operated it, I don't pretend that we are somehow unique, jokes about kids setting vcr's for grandpa have made the rounds for decades. Its normal and right. Kids have adapted to technology faster than adults, probably since the invention of the phonograph (heavens what would they think of ipods?).
However, even a mom like me who knows none of this is unusual, can still be momentarily taken by surprise by an unexpected tech-y moment, like when jr. Cave dude asked for his allowance to be loaded onto a prepaid debit card. A what?! A prepaid debit he can make purchases online, because "  there's better stuff online and sometimes its cheaper too."
While I appreciate the argument,I wonder how that practice would translate into developing a real sense of the value of one's earnings?  I am absolutely positive that it is possible for him to learn the lesson in a way that is different from the way his parents, grandparents, and even great grandparents learned the value of their earnings.  The problem lies  with the teachers. As adults we have easily adapted to the evil that is money you never get to see. Our parents and grandparents warned us that ATMs weren't a good idea, that having such easy access to one's money could only spell disaster. But what did we do with those lessons? We gave them an "awe mom stop being so old fashioned" followed by a quick 4 digit pin and twenty bucks shooting out a magic door. We walked contentedly away from the magic money machine and set  ourselves on course to become perhaps the worst generation of money managers since...ever?
As parents, even cave dwellers want something better for our babies than what we have had. And so for now, lacking any other strategy in our arsenal of money management skills,allowance will be paid in good old fashioned green stuff...even to that twentyfirst century digital boy who thinks a debit card is a perfectly appropriate allowance handling system for an eight year old.


Kristina P. said...

Ha! That's awesome. I'm sure there's an ATM app or something.