New Technology Everywhere!
How Can We Prepare Our Children For The Future?
New technology is everywhere — robots, self-driving cars, instant communication across the world, clothes that monitor your vital signs, information at voice command, drones. Our children’s and grandchildren’s lives are very different than ours were at their age. And if you wait a minute or two, it will change again!
To take parts of what Kahlil Gibran (1883-1931) said about children, in his book The Prophet:
… They “dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.”
Even as we bemoan that “the good old days” are gone, we are, like our children and grandchildren, eagerly trying out the latest new thing. We want to help our children prepare for this future filled with new technology. If, however, we cannot visit their world of the future, “not even in our dreams”; how can we prepare them to live confidently and successfully in it?
There Are Proven Techniques That Transcend Time
All new growth must come off a sturdy trunk and well-anchored roots. That trunk and roots of our childrens’ lives can be provided with some time-tested techniques:
Techniques For Encouraging Childrens’ Development
- Give your children a lot of your time, without distractions.
- Listen to them.
- Talk to them and with them.
- Live your values and actively teach them to your children. Children copy what they see. They want to be like you, especially when they’re young.
- Introduce them to the world they live in. Learn along with them. Show them that you value and enjoy learning. Being a lifelong learner will be very important in a era of rapid change brought about by new technology. Help them find answers to their questions.
- Read to them from birth (one of my favorites). Give them the head start into literacy that they will need to navigate the technological world. My grandson said to me, “Grandma, I know the reason to learn to read well — because you can learn about anything by googling it!”. That certainly isn’t a sentence I would have said to my grandmother at his age! Google didn’t even exist.
Childrens’ Brains Are Developing Rapidly!
We have known for a long time that childrens’s brains show the most growth in the first few years of life. The American Academy of Pediatrics has recommended that physicians encourage parents to read to their children from birth. Children are learning from their parents, and the people close to them, from birth.
Children learn from their parents throughout their lives. Parents have no way of knowing everything their children will need in the future. But, they can provide them with well-anchored roots and the stability of a solid trunk by using some proven techniques from the time they are born.
Gibran says, “… You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.” You can’t even see the target! But, you can do your best to make sure they have a strong foundation. Your children will benefit from your efforts, and so will the communities in which they live.