As a parents we worry about the future of our kids. The dynamics of the World is changing with a massive growth in technology, political changes, media, over population and pollution.
It's a bit scary, well I know it is for me knowing what may lie ahead for our little ones. Where does all this go and how do we prepare them for a future with so many potential dangers.
I'll start with technology. The content in which children can now access online is unbelievable, even with parental controls they can find ways to access inappropriate content. You can't stay and monitor your child 24/7 while they play games or surf the web as I'm sure most of us use them as a tool to keep them occupied while we live our busy lives. Not to mention how efficient we've become at killing people with technology.
Politics. I'll be careful not to offend anyone here as I have seen how passionate people can be when it comes to politics. One thing I will say is the changes we want to see in the world start at home and we should always lead by example. None of us are perfect but we shouldn't become dependent on the Government. The way things are going we won't have a choice anyway but one thing we do have a choice in how we educate our children. Yes that's right it's our jobs as parents to educate our children. Learning doesn't begin and end at school.
Media- Our kids minds are like a sponge and what they are exposed to just now is building the framework of who they'll become as an adult. That becomes the child's hard drive and how they look at the world will be molded by what they are exposed to as a child. Most media is fear based and it's designed to shock you. Not only that but big companies pay millions of pounds to manipulate your child to manipulate you to buy their product. Don't be fooled kids are the best manipulators, my son has pulled the wool over my eyes many times and that's because they already know you are biased towards them, so they take advantage. Big businesses know this and they are very efficient at using marketing to make you to spend your money. By the time your little one gets what they want they are sick of it after 2 weeks.
Over population and pollution is a big topic in the World today. As the human race grows at the fastest rate ever recorded we are becoming over crowded. Mass produce is becoming more mass but yet we have all those amazing resources around us which are FREE in nature but we don't understand how to use them. We have rich lands in Scotland abundant with clean water, food and rich soil.
With all these factors combined we are seeing a change in how children behave and interact with others. We are seeing anxiety, depression, ADHD in kids now more than ever. Sure we all got sad when we were younger but kids are pretty resilient but these issues don't come from being sad. They come from the every day stress and expectations put on them by modern society. Facebook, YouTube, Computer games, What it takes to be successful, ISIS, Donald Trump, Nuclear war, public sector cuts and that's before they even tackle what's going on in their own life.
This is the part where I tell you I have a solution. Well I'll be honest in saying I don't. I do however have some suggestions from the answers I've found pursuing
these questions. Let me tell you this has not been easy for me as I'm continually looking to find what's the best way to be a parent, a leader, educator, mentor, friend, dad and coach. It's been very rewarding however.
As a kid I was more fortunate than most to have 2 key elements which fundamentally made me the man I am today. Nature in Carbeth where may parents built a hut for us and kickboxing. This is what made the difference between me surviving in life or falling. I know this for a fact because I have other examples of people growing up to compare it against. Growing up in schemes isn't easy. Those 2 decisions by my parents where the best decisions they ever made and I am very thankful to them for that. That's what I'm going to do for my son going forward as it's tried and tested.
Most kids love computer games but most kids love nature, get them out rolling about in mud rubbing it in their face, picking flowers, berries, building fires and making spears. This is fundamentally what we are designed to do as human beings and we still need to exercise that. Its how we are built and if we are not fulfilling that we become depressed, anxious or low in confidence. Nature gives kids the opportunity to make mistakes, create adventures and journeys while using the imagination without limitation.My son didn't know until last week you could pick berries from the wild, that surprised me. We immediately went on a big journey picking berries and we didn't find any so we decided to go home. David was upset that we didn't find any but I told him it wasn't about that. It's the journey that matters and that's the same in life. The berries are just the cherry on top (pardon the pun). On our way home right at the very end of our journey we found some that then led us to more and more. David said he felt like he won the lottery and couldn't be happier. That experience only took 3 hours of my time and we were both so happy. No money was spent just time. I remember when I was 5 my mum made raspberry Jam from wild berries and that inspired me to do the same with David. So thanks to good old Linda and YouTube we started making Jam. All we needed was heat and sugar. Our next plan is to go hunting and to get David involved with basic survival techniques and more exposure to the great out doors.
Performing arts has been tried and tested while standing the test of time it really does help your little one grow and develop into a confident adult. Countries like Sweden and Finland have done recent studies that show a strong relation between performing arts and happiness with children particularly in less affluent areas having the most success. Kids in deprived areas usually tend to flourish in things like martial arts and that's partially due to their surrounding and genetics. You need to be on the ball and you need to be able to handle yourself as a kid, you also need guidance on how to deal with these situations and have the tools required to defuse it if needed. Not only this but science shows your child can build stress hormones without having the ability to release these hormones through exercise it can have health implications further down the line. Not to mention they are being confined to classrooms for the majority of the day being prepared to step into the world of work led by the government. They want workers and that is good but kids need to learn how to be happy and how to be healthy. Those go hand in hand as healthy mind makes a healthy body but they both go hand in hand. Martial arts helps balance the release of stress hormone while producing more positive hormones like dopamine and endorphin. Happy hormones released through learning, developing and exercise.That being said I applaud the work our teachers do with what they have and I have nothing but respect for the sacrifices they make day in and day out.
Events are what make kids happy and nothing makes our children happier knowing we channel our time and love towards them. The answer is staring us in the face but we get distracted and let the stresses of life divert our attention. Our children are the future of the World we live in so how we educate them is crucial to the world they live in as adults. Education doesn't have to be boring either it can be fun and done in a way that you feel is best for them. Each and every child is different and you know as a parent how they operate better than anyone so you are in the driving seat but some day they will need to take the wheel.