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4 ways to stay relevant with your child

17 May, 2018

4 ways to stay relevant with your child

As parents we are always looking for ways to pass on principles and values that we see as important to be a good citizen as well as achieving success in life.

But how do you pass on these principles to Millennials and those in Gen Z, whose world is so different to the world that we grew up in?

Tim Elmore in his article, ‘Leading the next generation,’ has a couple of suggestions.

You can read his full article on:

https://growingleaders.com/blog/seven-ways-remain-relevant-child/

Tim suggests that we’ve got to find ways to communicate in a language our children understand. If it’s any consolation, this is a timeless problem that parents have faced through the ages. Our parents would have probably asked the same questions.  How do we stay relevant with our children so that we can pass on principles that we value, to a young population that seems to be totally caught up in the “now”?

1.Become familiar with your child’s culture.
Study the world your kids live in. Start to listen with more than your ears. Read magazines, newspapers and online articles to look for patterns. Interview your kids. Learn their language. Watch what they do, what they esteem and where they go. You might even try to watch an hour of their favourite TV shows or the popular videos on Youtube. You will be amazed how quickly you will understand the world your kids live in.

2.Look for teachable moments.

Keep in mind that these moments can be positive or negative, and still be relevant. Stories circulating on social media provide plenty of platforms to talk about underlying values such as integrity, generosity and kindness.

3.Communicate from their world.
In his article, Tim suggests that we should always teach from what we have heard from them. As Tim brings up questions and starts discussions—it is always based upon what his kids have said already. Further, his goal is seldom to give them more information. (They usually have plenty of that!) He wants them to applywhat they know; to practice what they’ve learned.

4.Being relevant in their digital world.

Martine Oglethorpe, a speaker, counsellor and educator stresses the importance of listening to others and listening to your child.

If your friend’s child is playing a game, has an account on social media or enjoys certain websites, then there is a good chance your child does too.

Listen in to which popular apps and games are spoken about in the media. Listen to your child. Ask them what they like to do. Ask them about their concerns or their challenges. You may never keep up with every single app or site that your child visits, but if you have a good understanding of the ways kids are using technology and the sorts of things the technology is capable of, then you are in a much better position to help them use it safely and smartly.

For more information on, ‘staying relevant in your child’s digital world,’ by Martine Oglethorpe, you can read the full article at https://d10c1epfeeowdy.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/staying-relevant-in-a-digital-world-insight.pdf

Our goal should be to connect with our child, not to control our children’s lives. Creating an environment of mutual trust and respect goes a long way towards laying a foundation where we are able to talk into our children’s lives.

Brendan Waddy

Deputy Principal of Student Services – Primary School