How do we parent a generation for an unknown future? Parenting is hard. Parenting during a pandemic is harder. Parenting for an unknown future is hardest. Children are growing up in a technology infested generation. Technology is all around them. They have never known anything else. They haven’t had to be bored, because they can turn on the TV or playstation. They haven’t had to wait, because Alexa or Google can find any answer in seconds. They haven’t had to sit quietly in silence, because of headphones and smartphones. And in a sense, we as parents have allowed technology to take over parts of parenting.
Don’t get me wrong, technology is not evil. However, as a parent I have been guilty of letting technology do part of my job as a parent. I’ve let being tired and needing some quiet time of my own to justify letting my kids watch TV. I’ve let the afternoon whining and fussing (because we didn’t get a nap) justify watching one show to stop the crying. I’ve made the mistakes. What I don’t want to do is make the mistake of letting technology parent for me, because every show, movie, game, and music lyric is vying for my child’s mind and heart. The messages are subtle. Do what makes you happy (follow your heart). You deserve to be this or that. But should these messages be what is preparing my children for an unknown future? I don’t think so. So what will prepare my children for the unknown technology filled world?
1. Truth or the discernment to identify truth. Technology has so much information that truth is difficult to identify. There can be various experts with differing views. Who do you believe? Why? Truth is not rooted in feelings and changing opinions, but in wisdom and knowledge of the Lord.
2. Work ethic or the practice of working diligently even if the results are not immediate.
3. Service to see that life is not the “all about me” attitude. I want my children to love others like God loves people. By love, I don’t mean how the world describes love as a feeling that comes and goes like the wind. Love that is rooted in truth, covered by grace, shown to all.
These are things that will endure any unknown future. This is not an exhaustive list, but a start. A start on preparing our children for whatever future they may face. To know right from wrong, to work diligently for results that acknowledge the truth and serve all people in truth and love.