What our Kids Need to Know


As if I wasn’t starting to feel old enough.  My kids are seriously making me feel like I grew up in the stone age  when I share how different things are today with technology.

Our kids have no clue about so many things that we used just 10 or 15 or 20…years ago.  Kids and their fancy smartphone cameras will never feel the joy of dropping off a fresh roll of film and waiting eagerly for the day to pick it up.  AND man, it was immense when the 1-hour photo development centers started to pop up.  They will never feel the excitement of a pen-pal and waiting for that two-week window of letters (snail mail) going back and forth. Or the taste of licking a stamp followed by the paper cut on the tongue from licking the envelop shut.

They know that everything is fast and instant and that is the expectation they are bringing to society today.

My son left for 6th grade came this week.  To prepare him, I picked up a disposable camera to take along to capture his memories.  I can’t say I have laughed so hard in a long time.  When I handed the camera to him, he looked as if I just gave him a foreign object.  I walked him though the steps to use it and as excited as he could be, he took his first picture so he knew how to use this foreign device.  He then stared at the camera with the most bewildered look, turned it all around, peeked through the lens hole, then asked me where the picture was.  OMG……I have to say, I had a good laugh.  I had to explain that there was film inside and when he got home, we would drop it off and get it developed.

I actually loved this clueless side I saw for a moment.  I enjoyed this because I feel our kids are growing up faster than we did. I mean what is a paper map?  A dial up phone, or the dial up internet?  How about the cable box that one had to turn the knob on to switch channels?  Now they freak out if the batteries die and they have to get up to manually switch the channels.

Gadgets, Internet and social sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Kik, Snap Chat and  Instagram are leading children to mature much faster than in previous generations. The peer pressure on social media and the vast amount of information they see online and through social networks, I feel has attributed to this accelerated maturity. But are they really mature?

Although we can have some fun with our kids making fun of us being from the stone age, we also need to be open minded about what they are seeing in today’s fast paced, multimedia, gadget filled world.

Getting the newest iPad, Xbox, PlayStation, Kindle, a smart phone or even picking out your own clothes and making their own breakfast (stove free) by age 10 is almost the norm in most households.

But catching the bus, wearing make-up, hanging out at the mall with friends or meeting friends at the movies, many parents feel kids need to be a tad older.  I guess we all decide on our kid’s maturity level as parents, or trust them until they break that trust, but what is too young in today’s society?

The reality is, we need to know what is going on with our kids today.  We don’t have the neighbors calling each other to gossip about the neighborhood kids as we did growing up.  We have social media depression in our kids who compare their popularity, their status and social life to others they compare themselves to online.

Setting rules is so important and limiting time on any gadget is important.  Setting rules so you can see the texts, have passwords and an access to all social media sites along with a time and place your child’s gadget gets plugged in should be a household rule.

I recently learned that my 11-year-old down loaded an app called “Text Now”.  We had set his phone to turn, off at 8 pm, and learned that he down-loaded this app and by passed what we thought was keeping him off his phone.  Needless to say, he is grounded and the phone now goes into my room at 8pm.  Things like this pop up and being aware of what is going on and the newest apps is like a game, accept our kids seem to always be ahead of us. Oh, the joy of parenting in a Social Media world.

Teaching texting, sexting and cyber bullying to adolescents for many years has helped many realize the dangers that are involved in our kid’s life that we tend to forget to educate our kids on.  If you are looking for a someone to meet with your adolescent to teach them and talk to them about the dangers, laws and appropriate usage of social media, and texting, contact me and we can discuss the steps, life tools and lessons through a 3 mo. individualized life coaching sessions.  If your child feels depressed, or has been cyber bullied, I can help them as well.

The stone age for many of us is full of great memories.  Running home when the street lights came on, and never a worry of what someone posted.  Heck, we had no clue what a computer was back in the early 90’s… I am not that old…however, we had memories of socializing in person and running the neighborhood.  Now we have to worry about who sees our kids’ stuff on social media sites and the sneaking around to apps we do not know about along with kids just being mean kids.  It’s a much harder concept and sadly adolescent brains are not ready for this type of responsibility, emotions and they are not educated on it.

Contact me today for a FREE 30-minute session and we can discuss if I fit to work with your adolescent on the life tools of social media and texting.  I skype, facetime and meet one on one.  http://www.Beckyshafferliveinconfidence.com or liveinconfidence@gmail.com

Becky Shaffer—-Adolescent/Adult Life Coach, Educator and Author

Published by beckyshafferliveinconfidence

I did the crazy and left my career teaching job after 19 years to work on and build my coaching business. I took a year off to follow my dream of being a life coach and using my skills, life lessons and training to help others find meaning in their life. While I do this, I am always growing, learning and finding more purpose and meaning in my life as well. Currently, I am life coaching and fitness coaching part-time , I continue to blog, meet with clients and I am back to teaching full time in Columbus City Schools, working with gifted students, teaching. U.S. History.

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