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10 Big Things That Have Changed Since You Were a Child

Childhood has changed. You used to be a child, but now you are not. Today's children live in a world that is far different from when we were children.

It's crucial to know today's children if you are going to reach and disciple them.

Let's take a look at 10 big things that have changed since you were a child.

Unlimited access to information. Yesterday's children had to take an encyclopedia off the shelf or take a trip to the local library to get the information they needed.

Today's children can type in a topic in Google and instantly have access to a sea of information about the topic. This has changed the way children do research, homework, write essays and more.

Smartphones. I remember when I was in college. There were no smartphones. To talk with my parents, I had to walk down the street to a phone booth and make the call...a collect call of course since I was scrapping by in college.

Today's children are getting smartphones at younger and younger ages. 95% of teens have access to a smartphone and the average age for a child to receive their first smartphone is age 12.

Along with the phone comes access to a lot of good things and a lot of not good things. Parents must monitor their child's usage diligently.

Less play...more screen time. I spent a lot of time outside playing as a child. The neighborhood boys met up nearly every day at the basketball court to play until it got dark. Today's children spend much more time indoors playing video games, watching movies and interacting with their friends online.

More diverse families. We were taught that a family consisted of two married parents - a man and a woman - and their children. Today's families are more diverse.

Family may also mean two dads, two moms, a single parent, grandparents raising their grandchild or even non-binary people raising a child together.

On-demand. When I was a child, there were only 3 channels to choose from (maybe 4 if you held the antenna with aluminum foil on it a certain way). Cartoons were on TV on Saturday mornings. If you missed it, you missed it. There was no on-demand to watch it later nor was there a way to record the show and pull it up later to watch.

Today's kids have access to entire networks of shows geared for children. If a child has to miss the show live, he or she can bring it up on-demand. Instant access. Binge watching.

Text over talk on smartphones. Most people...myself included, use text messages just as much or more than phone calls. Today's kids are experts at texting. They even have their own set of abbreviations for words. Here are a few:

BTW: By the way.

CYA: See ya.

DM: Direct message.

FTW: For the win.

FWIW: For what it's worth.

ILY: I love you.

IMO: in my opinion.

JK: Just kidding.

LOL: laughing out loud.

The world of comparison has amped up.

"Social media has increased how much children compare themselves to others." says Dr. Jaime Kulaga, licensed mental health counselor.

This can cause the never-ending stress of trying to keep up with other children. Comparing Instagram posts. TikTok posts. Highlight reels. Facebook stories. They see other children posting about their fantastic lives and accomplishments and try to keep up. This can cause depression, anxiety and jealousy.

Danger everywhere. They are aware that wherever they are, they could be shot at. School. Shopping store. Restaurant. Parent's place of work. Walking down the street. Even at church.

With each shooting that takes place across the country, it causes today's children to have anxiety and fear.

Sinful lifestyles are flaunted and proudly exhibited. Drag queens reading books to children at school and the library. An increase in couples living together unmarried. Same-sex marriages. An increase in alternate lifestyles being portrayed in film, television commercials and print pieces.

They are being hard-pressed to not just accept these lifestyles, but to approve and celebrate them as well.

Pressure to be tolerant. This generation is being told if they take a stand against any type of sin, that they are intolerant. If they say the Bible is the Word of God, they are ignorant. If they say there is absolute truth, they are a bigot.

Our nation has drastically changed since I was a child. I no longer believe we are a Christian nation. We are a nation with Christians in it, but we are not a Christian nation.

Would you join me in praying for today's kids? Pray that we can have wisdom from God to navigate the stormy seas we find ourselves and our children in.

No matter what changes here on earth there is one thing we can rely upon. Jesus never changes. The Bible tells us that He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. Let's point children to Him. As they grow in their faith and navigate the world they are growing up in, we can see them stay connected to Jesus.


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