On International Children’s Day, how do we raise our children from Generation Z?
In a meeting at a small cafe we sat, a group of friends together remembering our childhood days and laughing at the naivety of our demands and our ways of escaping from what our parents tempted us.
One of them said that he was kicked out of the house at the age of 15, because he used “hairspray cream” when styling before school, while another said that the reason for his father’s greatest anger at him was for wearing tight jeans, and a third said that she would never forget her severe beatings from her mother. Because she was late for sunset on her way back from her French lesson.
My daughter marveled at that while we were laughing from our hearts and realizing the seriousness of these actions at the time. She gave us a lecture on overcoming these behaviors for personal freedom, and considering them as an abuse against children and an unacceptable method of education and how this method will affect the psychological and mental health of children. We kept laughing, but this time because neither of us realized much of this meaning before we were in our thirties.
I paused a lot at this session, in which I did not feel ashamed of my daughter, but I realized the magnitude of the change. I tried to understand how this generation thinks, and where it came from with all these great ideas, and how we can raise them on the morals and values that govern our social system without breaking them or isolating them from their surroundings. Very broad and rapidly changing.
Over the following days, I deliberately talked to her about what she sees, believes and wants, and the repeated sentence in all our conversations was “Mama.. we are Generation Z, a very different and special generation and we have our own way.”
This idea of generations did not concern me before, except in its simple form in our imagination, such as the dispute between us and our parents over studying, the type of study, friends and the length of time playing outside the house.
Like other previous generations, Generation Z defines those born between the mid-nineties and up to 2012, so they are almost children and youth these days, ranging in age from 9 to 25 years, and they represent about 2.5 billion people, or about a third of the world’s population, not Not only that but they have the fastest growing income, and the most consumption of products especially those sold online.
Listen to them and talk to them
“One day my daughter came to me and told me that she needed a psychiatrist to talk to him. I was shaken by the idea because she seems very happy every day laughing and swimming regularly and playing the piano, and she is the student union leader in her school, I was silent for a while and then I asked her why? She was subjected to severe bouts of insomnia, crying and cramping at night, in addition to her thinking about dark matters, and after complaining to her friends, they advised her to seek help from me.
She continued her talk while my head turned and continued: But I was afraid of your reaction and accusing me of being a spoiled child and I expected that you would not care about what I said, but today I decided to talk to you because those seizures started coming to me in school.
Thus, Mona told about what she went through with her 13-year-old daughter, expressing her deep regret over the idea that her daughter formed of her, although her feelings are completely opposite, but she realized that her words say otherwise.
You may have passed or heard a similar complaint, so the first step to understanding what our children want and feel is to talk to them, stand by them and let them know that we see them. Children are certainly the top priority for parents but they may miss translating this. Sit with them and discuss what is happening with you At work, tell them how much you care about making them your priority Ask them about their day at school Get to know their friends and share their boards Share a book and listen to their favorite songs.
Give them a voice when visiting friends and don’t underestimate their opinions, give them encouragement to experiment and don’t always impose your opinion on them, and let them choose with you the simplest things to future and retirement plans. Then tell them that you value their opinions, even if you disagree with them, and if you feel that one of them is not okay, refer him to a psychiatrist or behavioral specialist if the need arises.
Incorporate technology into their lives
One day, while I was doing a crossword puzzle over the phone, my 9-year-old daughter asked for my participation. I liked the idea and we agreed to do this exercise together every day. I did not expect her to like it, but through it she gained a lot of Arabic words and improved her concentration skills through several games designed to preserve memory.
Most of the activities of this generation are on the Internet, and research indicates that they buy most of their orders from there and meet their friends and play their games and collect their ideas about the world from the same place, so maybe we should take advantage of that idea.
Instead of playing on the phone with no clear goal or browsing social media, sign up for a coding course or download an app to learn a new language. Send them videos of ideas you want them to learn. Ask them to research a specific topic and talk about it in the family session. If your child likes phone photography, for example, ask him to make a movie on the phone, invite friends at home to show the movie, and encourage him to repeat it.
short term activities
If we go back to our childhood, we will find that we lack patience compared to previous generations. While our parents used to listen to a long song that extended for two hours happily, we could not stand the idea, and we preferred short songs that did not exceed 5 minutes, and at a time we were waiting for the TV series at a specific hour daily and on One channel is all we watch, our children today have dozens of options based on choosing what they watch, and not only that, but at the time they prefer without waiting for episodes, but with one click, they finish all episodes through the many viewing platforms today.
Returning to the way these children grew up in light of the accelerating world of the Internet in all its details, they do not have the ability to wait long for any dialogue or activity, so we have to plan to make the activities short and useful, and here home games and math puzzles may be a solution, and participate in cooking fast meals for dinner through their own recipes.
Proposing a family session without smart phones remains a necessary experience to legalize the use of the phone through the practical experience of everyone, and it is possible to specify a quarter of an hour or half an hour to talk about what happened in each individual’s day, as most of them do not give a story about the details of their day and you need to make the matter seem normal and not an interrogation.
Give them opportunities to learn financial skills
My co-worker always complains about her children’s penchant for consuming everything quickly and ending that passion quickly, regardless of the value of those products, such as demanding the latest phones and choosing sports shoes from international brands. A few months later, she discovers her passion for a new instrument and enters into a long discussion to get it. The first time she got a “guitar” gift, the following year she bought a “keyboard” from her budget, and then months later she had convinced her aunt that she needed a “violin” as a birthday gift and before the next year ended She raised her money a long time to get an electric guitar.
We may view repeated requests as a waste, but if we consider that excessive consumption is one of the characteristics of this generation, we may see it from another angle. Ads according to the accounting firm Deollet.
So, we can discuss their needs and involve them in buying it from their personal budget as well as intervening with assistance if necessary, in addition to including them in school activities during which they present a small project or idea to earn money, and giving them Christmas gifts in cash instead of things in kind may be a solution to put them in The experience of choosing between need and desire and of course sometimes refusing to buy is necessary to help them learn the idea of curbing consumption.
Involve them in the repair
On the beach, after we finished our session, our children and friends hurried to collect the plastic water bottles and the leftovers we left behind before we left.
Generation Z may outperform all previous generations in giving the land and climate changes their attention and time, so this is an opportunity to take advantage of that idea in the rest of the details of life, such as the need to reduce food waste, arrange rooms, reduce useless electricity, and recycle old clothes and unused tools to become It’s useful like making a planter out of car tires, and it’s a good idea to refer all of this to earth protection and sustainability.
Give them confidence and affection
In a family session I asked my daughter about her ambitions and what she wants to achieve in the future. Without thinking, she told me she wanted to be happy, travel the world, and tell everyone about the environment.
She paused at her response. Every word she said gave a key to understanding what the 14-year-old girl wanted, and though she said it as quickly as a keystroke on her phone, it sums up years we may have lost to understanding what we want. She did not mention her dream job or her university orientation. She set happiness as a determinant of her path without paying attention to what others dictate to her. She chose knowledge through travel and did not relate to a piece of land that would change. Then, like the rest of her generation, she took it upon herself to try to fix the destruction that had befallen the land.