By Kate Jerome
At this moment in time, many parents and grandparents wonder if we can adequately explain national and world events to our children. But, to co-opt a popular phrase, this is precisely our opportunity to “lean in.”
Regardless of race, creed, political affiliation, educational background or economic status, families share a common goal: we all want our children to be happy and succeed. And who better to give the most effective guiding messages than the people who love them the most?
Our challenge now is to rally ourselves for truly meaningful conversations that will make a significant difference. Why? Here are just three of many good reasons.1. Meaningful conversations help kids become more effective learners.
Education is changing. In past, the development of a child’s abilities in core subjects such as reading, math, and science was job number one in the classroom. While this cognitive skill emphasis is still vitally important, we now know it’s not enough. That’s because kids also need nurturing in social/emotional learning and academic attitudes. This is where caring adults can really step up to contribute. Thoughtful conversations and personal stories shine the light on such things as kindness, persistence, self-control, resilience, and grit without ever having to say the words. And these are the invaluable attributes that will help our children become lifelong learners to navigate a more fulfilling life.2. Meaningful conversations are mutually beneficial.
Intergenerational connections are key. Average American life expectancies have significantly increased since the early 1900s.Yet even as the chasm gets wider between the oldest and youngest on the planet, conversations between generations remain important as ever. The bonus is that research now tells us that these conversations benefit both ends of the spectrum. Simply put, caring adults provide the sense of worth and emotional support that kids need…and kids provide the sense of relevancy and purpose that adults crave. The virtuous cycle benefits all involved!3. Meaningful conversations can pop technology-induced bubbles.
Technology is ubiquitous. While it is true that our kids need to be technologically literate to succeed in a future world that is beyond our own imagination, constant access to instant information can give kids a false sense of expertise. Conversations with experienced adults often provide a check and balance. Savvy parents and grandparents know that a gentle walk down the “How do you know?” lane may be one of the most important conversations an adult can have with a child.
Parents and grandparents are the champions that hold a wealth of collective “common sense”…to put it plainly, you’ve got this! But we’re here to help and that’s why we like to say “Little Bridges provides the tools…you provide the love!’ We’re glad you’re here and we invite you to stay and enjoy the conversations.