What experience changed your view of the world as a child?
Please share even if they are non-tech related. Also, have you shared these moments with your children?
8 people have answered
This is an easy question for me to answer. Aged 12 I had to go into hospital for a big operation. We had to cut short a family holiday to Portpatrick in order to get me in for my operation. My dad was at the end of his first of 2 years training to be a teacher, having taken voluntary redundancy from Rolls Royce in East Kilbride. He was passing his teacher training with flying colours. My dad and mum dropped me off in hospital. And my dad, as he left the ward with my mum & younger brother, carried a poor wee lad (a fellow patient) on his shoulders up and down the ward. I could never have guessed that that typically playful and kind gesture by my dad would be the last thing I ever saw him do. The following day I had my operation, but no visit from my parents. And no visitors the next day either. The following morning, I was surprised to find my two uncles (one my dad's brother) were there to meet me when I was taken into a private room just off the ward. My gleefulness and surprise was soon replaced with yelps of sorrow as they told me my dad had died of a heart attack in his sleep the previous evening. I was devastetd then, just as I still am now, and not a day goes by without me recalling that event as if it happened only yesterday. It happened in 1976.
I was physically and emotionally abused as a child. I have very few pleasant memories of anything prior to age 13 or 14, when I say few I mean very few. Horrible memories by the boatload. To make a long story short, I ended up in foster care at age 16. The very first night my foster dad was going to bed and let me stay up to watch tv before I went to bed. He said good night and laid his wallet and keys down on the table in the hallway and went to bed. He didn't make a big deal about it, he just did it. I was floored that he gave the benefit of the doubt to a troubled 16 year old boy that he really knew nothing about. I don't know if anyone else would see it the same way as I did, but to me he was letting me know that this was a new beginning in my life. Whatever happened in the past, was in the past and a new chapter was being written. He was a very soft spoken (but big) man and his wife was awesome as well. That was just the beginning of how Dennis and Penny helped me change the view of myself and other people. I thank God for all of the foster parents who help and care for teens the same way they did for me. I didn't understand or fully appreciate this at the time, but I am 38 now and am very grateful for their influence. As a child, that night and that small gesture changed my view of the world and the people in it.
There are lots of experiences that changed my view of the world, some good, some bad. Probably the one that most struck me as an instant response to this particular question I'm very hesitant to tell, but ah well, life is an open book etc.
Aged about four or five, my first memory is of my dad threatening my mum with a weapon. I think that kind of shook a lot out of my world.
Understandably I'm really keen to not share the details with my young kids quite yet - but they know me and my dad didn't get on, for instance! And I'm really keen that they, on one hand, don't see anything like that ever, but on the other, they understand the real world around them as being a mix of good and bad - and understand it in a fairly matter-of-fact way.
On the good side, I remember my dad bringing home a parking meter for me to dismantle - spent about two years gradually taking it to bits. Taught me a lot that became a love of technology and seeing how stuff worked (and, I guess, how stealing stuff can be fun!).
Ooh good question. I remember hearing snippets of news on the radio (specifically news items about terrorism and bombs) as a kid, and asking my parents what it was all about. I don't remember what they said exactly, but I remember my Mum seeming sort of sad or exasperated at having to explain bad things to me, and that gave me an inkling that the world wasn't the shiny, happy place I had always known it to be.
I haven't shared those moments with my kids, but the experience has really affected what I listen to when they're around. I'm very conscious that they hear and see way more than we might at first realise, and that exposing them to 'bad news' about the world at large should be a careful, considered decision and not something that happens by accident.
You know, the only one I really remember is seeing a documentary on TV about nuclear war - or was it watching the drama Threads??
Anyway, realising that, bloody hell, the whole world could literally be wiped away in just five minutes. I'd forgotten what an awful impact this had on me until I recently re-read some of my old English GCSE coursework, and every single story in it is somehow about nuclear war. I'm amazed nobody at my school sent me for counselling!!
After living through that, I laugh in the face of 9/11
Probably the first time I saw my Dad hurt himself - I think he tripped over some steps in the garden or something - and realised that he wasn't a infallible caregiver, he was a person, just like me! I think that's a fairly standard one, and something that develops further through life: greater empathy towards all people, including your parents.
Well I'm 51, so for me it was when my parents took me to see the Monterey Pop Festival movie in Manhattan. It was terrifying. (Pete Townshend and Jimi Hendrix mostly).
That is a tough one. To be honest, I think it may be discovering hiphop when I was 13, after my parents got divorced.