‘How to be a Mom in this era’ – Make sure your children’s academic, emotional, psychological, mental, spiritual, physical, nutritional, and social needs are met while being careful not to overstimulate, underestimate, improperly medicate, helicopter, or neglect them. Create a screen-free, processed foods-free, plastic-free, body-positive, socially conscious, egalitarian but also authoritative, nurturing but fostering independence, gentle but not overly permissive, pesticide-free, multilingual home, preferably in a cul-de-sac with a backyard. Also, don’t forget the coconut oil.
Isn’t this a rather high expectation for parents, often self-imposed due to the influence of social media?”
We, people of this post-pandemic era, are on the cusp of colossal shifts. As adults, we are not able to tell the best from the worst for our children concerning education. We have a very capricious outlook on the future, and we are trying to shape our children to take the next step in life. The evolution of what we hold dear has been profound.
Allow me to elaborate;- Consider the contrast between the ‘Baby Boomer’ generation, who prized familial safety, stability, and personal achievements, and ‘Generation Alpha’, which values digital literacy, environmental consciousness, inclusivity, lifelong learning, creativity, global awareness, and mental well-being. This span of roughly five decades marks a significant shift in priorities and values.
Now, the pivotal question arises: will Generation Z desire similar ideals? More importantly, what should we be empowering them for?
Well, we’ve set the bar pretty high for our little prodigies! We’re talking about future Olympic swimmers who can dodge a ninja attack in multiple languages while painting a masterpiece and serenading the planet with eco-friendly tunes. And let’s not forget, they might just be the next Parseltongue whisperer! You’re aiming for a bunch of world-savers, and it’s a pretty fantastic goal if you ask me!” Are our aspirations aligned with their true needs?”
To just give the crux- ” one must be equipped to handle whatever challenges come their way without succumbing to the weight of pressure, maintaining mental resilience.
As parents, we grapple with these thoughts with every decision we make. What is the right path? What is the right time to make these choices? Regrettably, there’s no specific answer to this torrent of questions. Yet, I can offer some guiding principles.
Gender Equality & respect for Labor:
The general patriarchal setup of gender-defined roles should be broken. Thereby enabling men and women to equally share the efforts to run the family. This would enable this generation to break an accumulation of generational prejudices on specific roles played in society as a whole. This empowerment of women in the house should ideally look like a normalized routine rather than a herculean task shouldered uniquely by women. Men should be equally involved and taught survival skills like cooking, cleaning, and child-raising. By doing so, they not only exemplify the essence of a well-rounded life but also pave the way for a generation that understands the significance of balance and self-fulfilment.
Food: The Ultimate Family Fuel, Not a Stand-up Routine!
Families must give careful consideration to the food they consume for their well-being. This fosters a belief in the power of food and an appreciation for our indigenous gastronomy. With confidence in our health, self-worth would increase thus, the struggle with image shaming will diminish. This conscientious approach not only promotes respect for our bodies but also lays the foundation for a healthy mind and thriving lifestyle.”
Embracing Bumps: Raising Ninjas, Not Just Olympians!
Reflecting on my upbringing in the 80s in a smaller town, I recognize the heavy emphasis on academics for a secure future. Many of us have experienced different versions of ‘settling in’. While those experiences have shaped me, I do wish I had prioritized physical activity more in my youth. Let’s refrain from pushing our children solely towards winning sports medals. Instead, let’s teach them to listen to their bodies, to strengthen themselves mentally and physically, and to understand that failure is merely a temporary setback. It’s an opportunity to form new alliances, to learn teamwork and strategy, and to set and pursue personal goals. It’s about never leaving a teammate behind and believing in oneself, even in the face of adversity.
From ‘Loser’ to Learner: Embracing Empathy in Life’s Race!
The language of ‘loser’ ought to be replaced with a deeper understanding – that learning and growth are intertwined with setbacks. Empathy, a quality often overlooked in the competitive race of life, deserves greater emphasis. Inclusivity, an emergent concept, stems from a collective need for heightened sensitivity and empathy towards others’ circumstances. Unfortunately, it’s a crucial aspect that often gets overlooked while running this MAD race. Aren’t we taught to be inclusive in a team and given team-building activities just to dynamize the team by assessing each member’s SWOT analysis?
Snap, Save, Savor
Furthermore, in an age dominated by the digital, there’s a growing inclination to document every moment, driven by the Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO). It’s paramount that we strike a balance between cherishing experiences in the present and preserving them for later reflection. This equilibrium ensures we can relive cherished memories while still being fully present in the moment.
Empathy in the Fast Lane: Nurturing Self-Reflection and Understanding!
In this bustling era, where schedules brim with academic pursuits, extracurricular activities, and screen time, empathy can inadvertently take a backseat. Children may not have the opportunity to absorb, regulate, and express their emotions – the vital lesson of processing one’s feelings, and giving room for others’ feelings as well. Thus, it falls upon parents, caregivers, and educators to intentionally emphasize and hold that space, give that time, and model that attitude for this very fundamental life skill. This involves engaging in meaningful conversations, embodying Intrapersonal sensitivity, slowing down the pace of life, looking through their experiences through their glass, and being as non-judgemental as one can be.
I have just mentioned a few points to remind us about some missing pieces of the greater puzzle. For doing all this, I wish all of us a Gargantuan amount of love for ourselves to deal with anything head-first.
How can I balance parenthood with personal aspirations?
Prioritise time management, support systems, and adaptable goals to achieve your dreams while parenting.
Why is empathy important in today’s parenting journey?
Empathy fosters strong connections with children, teaching them compassion and resilience in a rapidly changing world.
How can I introduce eco-friendly practices into my family’s routine?
Start small with recycling, reducing waste, and using eco-friendly products to make a positive environmental impact.
What challenges come with embracing change as a parent?
Embracing change can be challenging, but it allows you to adapt, grow, and provide a more enriching environment for your children.