BELOIT, Wis. — With only days remaining until the announcement of the first child born in 2013, two authors who have dealt for years with the world of the 18-year-old have some advice for new parents.
“Start taking notes and preparing for those questions you will have to answer as they graduate from high school in 2031,” suggest Ron Nief and Tom McBride, creators of the Beloit College Mindset List and authors of The Mindset Lists of American History.
“Time will sneak by quickly,” they warn, “and soon they are going to want you to explain yourself and your generation. They will force you to show your age with quizzical looks as they ask you to tell them about the ‘olden days,’ when you were young.”
To assist these parents in preparation, Nief and McBride have assembled this year’s Parents’ Advisory, 25 questions to anticipate from your offspring as they head off on their own.
“They may seem odd now, but just wait.”
The 2013 Parents’ Mindset Advisory: 25 questions to be prepared for when your new baby turns 18
1. Why is so much of what we have made in Cuba?
2. What did you use paper dollar bills for?
3. Did you actually throw away computerized robots without their permission?
4. How did they ever finish a hockey game with all that fighting they used to do?
5. How did you survive as a kid without your own 3-D copier?
6. Don’t you think there should be a few male Supreme Court justices?
7. Why did you have to know how to type words? Couldn’t you just talk to your computer?
8. What did they use all those stadiums for before they were filled with non-stop soccer games?
9. You mean the streets weren’t always canals at Disney World?
10. Why did you have to connect your phones into a wall? Couldn’t you just use the heat from your shirt to charge your smart phone?
11. How long have folks been placing videophone calls on the refrigerator door?
12. When did you start downloading thoughts onto your pocket computer?
13. Before you had anti-steering locks built into bicycles, weren’t they stolen a lot?
14. Did you vote for both of Vice President Clinton’s parents — Bill and Hillary — for president?
15. How long have there been grocery carts that monitor your caloric intake and dietary restrictions when you grab the handle?
16. Is there a reason why all those shopping centers and concert halls look like they were once big churches?
17. Did they have to x-ray your mouth all the time before they installed the Dental Health Sensor in your cheek?
18. Do you remember when the National Anthem was only sung in English at sports events?
19. Were employers always required to provide robo pets for employees with anxiety problems?
20. Why, when you were in college, did teachers lecture in classrooms instead of on the computer for homework?
21. What were all those metal keys in the box in the garage used for?
22. Would you say that you and Dad have more actual or virtual friends?
23. Weren’t there a lot of accidents when you had to actually drive your car when you were my age?
24. Was Venice real or just another imaginary place like Atlantis?
25. When you have to retire at 80, what are you and mom going to do for the next 50 years?
From the Dec. 26, 2012-Jan. 1, 2013, issue