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Parenting in the Information Age. May 22, 2007

Posted by alimassoudi in Uncategorized.
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Let me start by saying that I am not a parent. However, I can claim a fair stake at having “some” experience.  After all, my wife and I cared for my little brother who moved in with us when he was 13. After five years with us, he is now at Queen’s University (Congrats!).  What is interesting is that the gap between his generation and mine is already quite wide and I can only imagine the gap between his and our parents’.

Parents today, yours is not an easy job. As you are well aware you can lock down the house, but the media cables keep your doors wide open to all types of intrusions. How can a parent effectively manage the wide ranging gammon of inappropraite information that kids have such ready access to? Graphic violence is the primary ingredient in the recipe for the most successful video-games and movies. Videos on making everything from narcotics to neutron-bombs are accessible to anyone on the Internet. Pornography, predators, etc etc. It’s a scary place out there. 

The good news about the information age is that you certainly won’t run out of advisors and web-sites that are more than willing to share all their philosophies with you and tell you what they think you’re doing wrong! 

But in all seriousness,  a study on Generation M (media) defined by the Kasier Family Foundation Study as kids between 8-18 ,  are spending an average of 6.21 hours a day absorbing media of different sorts! In fact the study shows that they are absorbing over 8.33 hours of media in that 6.21 hours! In other words, Generation M, spends increasingly more time on new media (TV, Radio, MP3, Computer (in that order)) while spending about the same amount of time on old media such as books and TV.

These kids are eating media! Manage the content and balance their lives and success will follow. Choose to ignore the realities and not inform yourself, and suffer the consequences. I now believe my brother when he tries to convince me that he can read with the TV on, music playing, computer on-line and live-chat activated! However, I don’t regret forcing him to spend some time outdoors and get involved with sports and/or hobbies that got him “un-plugged” for a couple of hours!

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1. Bahram Massoudi - May 23, 2007

I am an adult child that was parented by Generation( ?) . Not Generation (?) alone, but Generation (?) from the Middle East with its own traditions and prejudices. Generation (?) because in those days psychology was a very young science and people did not have the terminology for generational behaviors or any behavioral traits.

I myself became a parent. I consider myself as Generation (??). My older son was born when I was only 23 years old. This makes him Generation (??) as well. Back then it took a lot more than 22 years for a generation gap to develop.

I have another son, and he is from Generation (M). This happened because I was over 38. And I have a daughter who is also Generation (M), product of my 40’s.

My father was 53 when I was born. He passed away when I was just 20, so I was never able to bridge the gap and meet my father. I did a little better than my dad in parenting, because I thought about it a little more and did not have a child at age 53.

Life does not stop, because of Generation ?, ??, M or M+. Parenting is hard if you take it that way. It is easy when you know that there is a key to it. Give your child unconditional love, and mean it and be honest and show them good example. Equipe the child with the fundamentals, and do not worry about Media intrusions. Be there for them no matter what, and see the results.

I have no claim to fame or good parenthood. I did what I knew how to do, and was sincere in my giving. If I ask my children they would perhaps give me a list of were I failed them, and where I was not there for them. But, I also have a list for my parents, and am sure that my parents have a list of their own; and I know every child must have a list.

Children will either say they were under protected or over protected. Who are the functional parents? Where do you find them? I tell you where. Look at yourself in the miror and meet a functional parent. Yes, you, because you are questioning parenthood, so you would do a fraction better than me. This means that I have done a little better.


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