Praise for 21st Century Parenting and Natural Awakenings

I am a hound for the free newspapers I can find on the street. You know the ones in stands outside of restaurants and grocery stores. One of my all-time favorite publications is Natural Awakenings which is now having its 25th Anniversary Celebration this year. In the Greater Ann Arbor issue for August 2019 there is a wonderfully illustrated article entitled 21st Century Parenting, Preparing Kids for the Future.

This is so in line with my thinking about the future. We need to innovate and we need for our kids and their kids (grandchildren) to be emotionally and practically prepared for big changes. The first heading of this article is FINDING BALANCE in which Meredith Montgomery (publisher of Natural Awakenings of Gulf Coast Alabama/Mississippi) quotes from the book Soulful Simplicity: How Living with Less Can Lead to So Much More by Courtney Carver. Check out this book, its so easy to read and a helpful book to have around as reference when the atmosphere gets tense.

The second heading is MANAGING TECHNOLOGY where Meredith states, “Parents need to be an intermediary so they can counterbalance the external messages with their own family’s values.” (mine) Knowing your family’s values is a valuable exercise. Start by saying out-loud, the __________(your last name) stand for _____________, for example, kindness, fairness, compassions, doing our personal best. Meredith also says,  “Ask your kids if their technology is helping them to be more engaged and find more meaning in the world or is it pulling them out of the world they are in?” (mine) Your kids are smart! They will have an answer either right away or after a little time to think about it.

About the future she says,  the majority of our kids will need digital communication skills to be able to work with anyone at any time.

Under the heading, RAISING INNOVATORS, she quotes Tony Wagner’s book, Most Likely to Succeed: Preparing Our Kids for The Innovation Era, “We’re born with a temperament of creative problem solvers. But then something happens. The longer kids are in school, the fewer questions they ask, the more they worry about getting the right answer and fewer and fewer think of themselves as creative in any way.”

Meredith says to encourage three things, play, passions and purpose.

The last heading is my favorite, TEACHING KINDNESS. Here Meredith Montgomery quotes a woman who has experienced the extreme in life. Scarlett Lewis lost her 6-year-old son Jesse at Sandy Hook Elementary. Scarlett writes, “When you choose love, you transform how you see the world from a scary and anxiety-producing place to a loving and welcome one.”

Meredith encourages us to talk about kindness and respect, . . . model, uphold and cerebrate it in everyday life. (mine) This is a good way to create family virtues. Meredith suggests we cultivate the belief that we’re all members of a single human family. 

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