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Childhood Experiences: The Differences of then and Now

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Since the 1990’s and early 2000’s and up until now, the childhood experience has changed drastically. Those growing up in the 90’s and early 2000’s, also known as millennials, can remember coming home after a day at school and hurriedly finishing up their nightly homework so that they could go out and play with their neighbor. They would play outside all night and return home just as the street lamps turned on. However, those raised in the 2010’s remember their childhood experiences as something quite different. They can recall coming home after school and submitting their online assignments as soon as possible, so that they could plug in their earbuds and enjoy their screen time before bed. Although the childhoods experienced by these different generations differ greatly in numerous ways due to the increase of technology in recent years, there are similarities that can also be seen such as the pains of learning and growth.

Generally speaking, children growing up nowadays are less creative in their ways of entertainment. For the majority of kids in today’s world, they have some type of personal electronic device that they always carry with them everyday to cure their boredom. This means that if a child is bored, he or she will simply pull out a phone and begin to play games to keep their minds busy. This can be seen with children as early as the young age of 2, all the way up to adolescence. It has become uncommon to find children of the current generation without an electronic device on them. However, in the rare instance that the child does not have one of the devices, they are made fun of and turned into outcasts as they are seen as poor. This was not the case for millenials. As kids, millennials often did not have access to this technology as it could be costly; therefore, they found their own ways to keep themselves entertained. They would often go outside with their friends and play all sorts of imaginative games, such as playing school or house with their friends. Millennials did not spend their free time on electronic devices, but learned to craft their own unique ways of keeping themselves amused.

Children of the 90’s and early 2000’s often developed better communication skills, growing up due to their upbringing. Children are no longer required by society to participate in conversations that are difficult or boring as they have the availability to pop earbuds in and ignore the world or they can simply text their way through a conversation. Firstly, their earbuds can cancel the outside world and welcome them into their own personal world of solitude. However, this can lead to isolation and poor communication skills due to the child does not have to put themselves out there and get involved in a conversation. Also, today’s youth no longer have to talk to their friends or family in person, as they are able to text them. This causes kids to struggle to carry on full conversations face-to-face simply because they feel that it is unnecessary. Since they can get a response from someone just as easily in a matter of seconds over text, they don’t converse in person with their friends to discuss things. This was not the case with millennials. Millennials were told to listen to whomever was talking to them and show respect by actively engaging in the conversation, which included focusing on the speaker and making eye contact. They also did not have the opportunity to cover their ears with headphones to avoid talking to someone. This helped them learn how to participate in a conversation, even if it was not one that they wanted to have. The fact that they knew how to converse was a skill that was beneficial in other areas of life. This skill could be transferred to areas such as the job field, where it is highly valued by employers. Ninety’s and 2000’s kids were also not able to text their friends all of the time, meaning they had to talk in person about any issues or to make plans, which in turn helped further their ability to communicate. Millennials had to talk to people, which prompted increased communication skills.

Although children of the 90’s and 2000’s may differ considerably from the kids of the 2010’s, these generations have one thing in common: kids will be kids. Regardless of whether kids were raised in the tech-savvy world of today or back in the 90’s, they will still be carefree and free spirited as they explore the world around them. As a child goes through childhood, he or she will make plenty of mistakes and learn from them as they go. Kids do not worry themselves over the consequences that result from their actions as they learn through their experiences. For example, in their childhood, millennials would go outside after a good rain to play in the mud and make mud pies. With this, they may have decided to eat one, since it was a pie after all. They learn from this that dirt is not a yummy snack and they don’t try to do it again. This shows that the two generations are quite similar in this matter as children will do this today. Even now, children will try to climb the fence and fall down in the process just to prove that they could do it, even if they get hurt in the process. Kids of today will make similar decisions to their millennial predecessors as they are young and their thought process is not fully developed. For instance, in the new world of electronics, another common place of mistakes for kids is online. Children do not think before they post something on their Instagram for the whole world to see. They may post something rude about a friend from school or a secret that was told to them because they do not think their actions through. Both 90’s kids and new age kids have gotten bumped, bruised, and scraped and laughed it off just to end up doing it again. It does not matter when the kid was raised as all kids learn what not to do by doing it once or twice and seeing the outcome, even if it means a few cuts and scars along the way.

Overall, the childhoods of nineties and early two thousands kids compared to those of today’s youth differed greatly, creating two unique sets of childhood experiences for the children of both generations. Nineties and early two thousands kids, millennials, did not have access to the abundant technology that today’s generation does. This caused them to learn how to communicate properly and it also helped them use their imagination to come up with new games to entertain themselves. The new era of kids do not have the skills of communication that the generation before them did as they have earbuds to block conversation and the ability to avoid in person conversations by texting. These kids also use less creativity in their daily lives as a premade app will keep their attention without making them use imaginative skills to create their own fun. Despite their plentiful differences, children of both generations have gotten hurt along their journey through childhood. Kids still make unwise decisions as they age and often suffer the consequences. Both generations of kids would make choices that were foolish, such as racing to the top of the stairs, tripping over a step, and go crashing down the staircase as the result of their choice. As can be seen, the millennials and today’s children were quite different, but both made decisions before thinking and had to learn the hard way not to repeat that action.  

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Childhood Experiences: The Differences of Then and Now. (2022, April 08). GradesFixer. Retrieved August 6, 2022, from
“Childhood Experiences: The Differences of Then and Now.” GradesFixer, 08 Apr. 2022,
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