In an era before technology we were forced to be creative, inventive, and close to one another. We had a village to raise a child mentality. There were independent/critical thinkers. These are the people who have given us the world we have today. Who will be those inventors and creative people tomorrow when we have dumbed down and eliminated the human connection? Social media has taken over face to face relationships. Texting has replaced real conversation. We have TV’s as babysitters and iPad’s have replaced hands on teaching. We need to recognize how artificial our world has become and move forward to repairing it.
Being a parent in this era is possibly one of the most difficult of any before us. Divorce rates are over 60%. Prescription pain killers (opioid) abuse is more common than any generation before. We are saturated with world events with the doom and gloom being the most discussed. Most of all parents who are just trying to get it right are constantly scrutinized and criticized. The list goes on and the question is how to you combat this?
My husband would like for social media to implode on itself, but I am uncertain that is the answer. I believe there is a balance that has to be found. We can’t raise our child on a farm with no TV, no cell phones, no internet etc. Even though that would be nice! We have to find the balance of technology and how to teach him to still have a human connection. We have to protect him from things by not hiding them but talking to him about the consequences of his actions be it good or bad. We have to instill Godly principles in his life by example not by telling him “This is how you should live”.
Living by example in my opinion is the most effective parenting tool we have. How our children see our relationships with our spouse, significant others, friends and strangers is imperative. If we want to raise respectful children in a disrespectful world, our children need to see us combat the disrespectful culture rather than be a part of it.
We have to engage our children not entertain them. Teach them to use their imaginations. It is in our imagination that problems are solved and inventions are created. Webster defines imagination as “the act of forming a mental image of something not present to the senses; creative ability; resourcefulness”
We must be willing to spend the time and energy to cultivate our children’ s imaginations vs. offering entertainment.
We have to get unplugged. Get outside and play ball, go hiking, ride a bike. Any activity that engages them and opens their mind to explore and challenge themselves. Read to them! I read to Coop every night as part of our bedtime routine. Keep their minds busy.
Are all of these things going to ensure that your child will turn out a certain way? No, but you may just raise a child that will not conform to the world and its ways. A child that is successful as an adult and a child that will be an example to others throughout their life.