Modern Family: Raising Children in the 21st Century

mother and child

Many adults worry about what kind of parents they will be. If this is you, be proud and grateful for it means that you care.

For those who find themselves lost, here are three tips on raising children in the new millennium.

Technology and Education

When Steve Jobs introduced the first iPhone on June 29th, 2007, the entire world was left in awe. Far more advanced than any of its predecessors, the iPhone 1 combined the size and portability of a telephone with the convenience of a computer, all at a relatively affordable price.

Since then, Apple has gone on to release 12 more versions of this groundbreaking smartphone. Other telecommunication giants like Nokia, Ericsson, Samsung, Huawei, and Blackberry have followed suit. In today’s day and age, you will be hard-pressed to find somebody who doesn’t own one of these devices.

But what does that mean as it pertains to child-rearing? The answer is a radical, technology-based shift in the way kids are educated. The subjects have not changed. Our youth still has to learn about science, mathematics, biology, and chemistry. Yet, how these classes are taught is very different.

As a result, the importance of introducing technology to children at a young age cannot be undermined. It is not a luxury but rather a necessity. As parents, we must use the tools we have to provide our kids with enough information to succeed.

If you have a computer in your house, teach your children the basics of programming. If you live in a smart home and own a control4 automation and networking system, instruct your kids on how to use it. The knowledge they get will only serve them as they get older.

Filtering Information

children using laptop

Recently, a video on YouTube claimed to have evidence that John F. Kennedy Jr. was still alive. Using archival footage of his life combined with airplanes’ visuals and crashes throughout history, it theorized on what actually happened that fateful day when both he and his wife perished.

It’s been 22 years since we were all shocked by this tragic event. Could it be true? Nobody knows for certain.

But that doesn’t matter. What’s important is not whether Kennedy is still alive or rapper Tupac Shakur is hiding somewhere, waiting for the perfect time to release a new album. What really matters is the frightening fact that anybody out there can post information for millions of people to see. There are few mechanisms to control and filter what is found on the internet, no virtual policy to verify facts before they are shared.

So how can parents protect their children from misinformation? One way would be to ban home internet access altogether. Another would be to take away their phones and punish them for visiting “bad” websites.

But this doesn’t work either as kids will still surf the net at school and with friends. Thus, the solution is to engage in open communication, letting our kids know that the dangers exist while giving them the tools to protect themselves from them.

Self-confidence and Competition

Competition among children has existed since the beginning of time. From the moment a child starts attending kindergarten to the day he graduates from college, competing with others will take a major part of his life. From sports to music, grades, and everything in between, children are always measured against others.

If your daughter always wins, be it at science or a beauty competition, she will develop the necessary self-confidence to succeed in later stages of her life. She will know that what she has is more than enough to make it in the world.

If she doesn’t, the opposite might happen. She might go into a shell of doubt and low-esteem. Many times she will never get out of it.

We live in a time when every moment of our lives is recorded. From seconds after we are born until we take our last breath, our actions are on tape, DVD, and social media. As such, we are left in an open ground, a place ripe for bullying, trolling, and mockery. At least in years past, we could hide from our shortcomings and our mistakes.

So what can parents do to instill self-confidence in their children? First, they should stop comparing them with others. Second, they should drive in the notion that ultimately the competition is only against yourself. You are not trying to be the best. You are trying to be the best that you can be. This is enough.

Being a parent is never easy, especially now. Still, you can start by teaching your children about technology, filter the information they receive, and create a positive home environment that builds self-esteem and confidence.



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