I am fascinated by the creative space that the digital era has created for the cartoonists. I have been collecting amusing cartoons on children in both digital and non-digital spaces and I present them here.
The children of the new age are very different from even a decade ago. Most children are smart, self-confident and seem to know what they want. And of course they are technology savvy. When the smartphone had not arrived, children were button obsessed, pressing anything that looked like a button, reminding one of the Charlie Chaplin movie Modern Times. I was amazed the first time I saw a little one who was not old enough to sit up, swipe a mobile phone, fascinated by the colours that showed up. As the technology evolves, children adapt quickly, leaving the parents and grandparents behind.
Here is an example of child economics! Dennis the menace finds an old toy car in Mr. Wilson’s house. Looking closely at the engravings on the car he remarks to his friend Joey, “this is really old. it says ‘made in USA'”. Smart boy, he knows that now all toys are ‘made in China’!!
Smart Denis the Menace is not yet addicted to the smartphone as his parents are. It makes me wonder how parents bring up children in this digital era. There are so many distractions for the children and the parents as well. Too much choice, too many sources of entertainment on the finger tips. So when one mother playing with her phone asks another ‘how do you get children to read,’ the answer is obvious. By setting the correct example of course!
More examples of the children’s understanding of what they see around them and their explanations to grandpa with no experience of the digital world!! “Ok Grandpa, this is an Apple tree, so where are the trees of Samsung, Lenova and HP?” Dadaji’s (grandpa) favourite communication devise is a pencil and the charger is a sharpener! And a third child explains the new rainbow to grandpa. A couple of hospital jokes too on the New Age kids
My father wrote long letters to my daughter and sent them by snail mail. My daughter wrote back as well. He had no clue about computers. But at the age of 80 he learnt to use the laptop, got himself a gmail account and opened a Facebook account just in order to write and communicate with his grand-daughter who had moved to Chicago to study. So much for New Age Grandpas!
Fortunately some things have not changed as is evident in this Calvin & Hobbes cartoon. I went to school rather late at the age of five and I did not like leaving the comfort of my home and mother’s warmth. We lived in a high-rise building in Mumbai when I started school. Every morning we waited downstairs with our male domestic help for the school bus. As the time approached I would want to use the toilet. The boy would shout out to my parents watching us from the balcony and take me upstairs. The bus would inevitably arrive, my brother went to school and I missed the bus and stayed home. The next day there was a repeat performance. On the third day my father put his foot down. He shouted back to the boy ‘put her on the bus’! And so I went to school. From the next day there was no excuse, I quietly got on the bus. See Calvin’s efforts to stay out of school and his mother’s response, just like my father’s!
As the 19th Century folk song goes: “What are little girls made of? Sugar and Spice and everything nice! That’s what little girls are made of!” And yes, leadership skills! The last one is my little girl!!
New Age little lady!