So many parents reach out to me and ask how to get their kids OFF their devices.
They report that their kids are consumed by social media, games, news, and more.
They’re often surprised when I tell them I’m excited that kids have access to devices and all the technology that exists.
Because kids have stories and gifts to share with the world and it fuels everything we do here at OYC.
The ways in which kids experience the world, the good they’re creating, the dreams they have, and the injustices they feel compelled to speak up against, can all be powered and amplified by the use of technology.
Today’s topic was sparked by a conversation I recently with good friend and travel expert, Wendy Livingston Guth – a relationship that could not have been forged without the use of technology.
We brainstormed ideas that would propel kids to use their devices intentionally and to share their voices and perspectives to create more GOOD in the world.
The question we pondered was this:
What if we could take an adventure with our kids to locales worldwide to serve communities AND teach them skills to use their devices to:
- Report of their adventures
- Share the impact they’re making as family in the world
- Document the good work and the changes they’re creating
Can you imagine?
By equipping kids with real-world, hire-able skills (like podcasting and video production), we are demonstrating that we acknowledge their inherent value and all the gifts that make them unique.
We are opening doors to all the possibilities that exist for them now and in the future.
We are enabling our kids to use their voices to be beacons of hope, inspiration, and action.
We are giving them opportunities to become the innovators, servant leaders, and the creators of their own brighter futures – futures THEY control AND can fund.
And just so you know, I’m right in the mix with all of you.
My own kids have been my lab partners in this very experiment of teaching them real-world, hireable skills.
This is my 12-year-old Daphne working side by side with me in our PJs to create a masterclass that she and I co-taught. She put together the entire themed and animated slide deck knowing we’d have both kids and parents in the class. She took the outline I gave her and made it her own and she totally rocked it! What she created was so different (and way better) than I would have put together. The masterclass was infused with so much of what makes Daphne unique and the experience was an opportunity to bond, laugh, and build memories.
Soon after we did our first Masterclass together, she was hired by another amazing business owner to help her with her website, YouTube videos, and social media graphics. She was compensated for her services and used a portion of the funds to attend a week-long math and technology camp. To say that I’m one proud mama is an understatement.
My oldest, Sophie who’s now 15, was hesitant to join us in the experiment in the beginning. She’s since changed her tune as she thinks about how she’ll fund her college education. Here’s a pic (again in jammies – are you noticing a theme? 😉 ) at the kitchen table working on our new Pinterest Page.
Each of us, kids included, has so much to share. Our gifts and our talents were bestowed on us for a very specific reason: to share our journey, our gifts, our successes, our failures, our moments of joy and bliss in the hopes that someone else can learn from us, reach success faster with our help and our stories, and be inspired to go boldly into the world to create more change, more positivity, more GOOD.
This, my friends, is the biggest gift we can give to our kids.
Let’s embrace the technology for what it is.
Let’s teach our kids to become intentional with the use of their technology.
Most kids I see these days have a phone in their back pocket or somewhere on their person at all times. Rather than getting upset with them because they are consuming information consistently let’s work together to give them the skills to take those very same devices that they’re consuming on and teach them how to use those devices to create – whether they’re creating videos, whether they’re creating audios, whether they’re using devices to write their stories, draw their art, create their next masterpiece.
The type of creation matters little.
What matters is that they can use something that they’re already wanting to use to help them make their mark on the world.
Nothing frustrates me more than seeing kids pushed into a corner or adults saying that, “Oh they’re just a kid” or “What they know doesn’t matter” or “They could never learn what I’ve learned”.
Well my friends, I here to tell you it is the opposite of that. Our kids are our greatest resources not only in our businesses but in the world.
The stories they’re learning, the stories of them growing up as digital natives, the challenges they may face by being exposed to so much media at such a young age, they have lessons to share and teach us.
Now more than ever, It’s important that we as adults give kids a voice. it’s time to empower these kids to use their voices to create social change in the world to be responsible and global citizens.
These kids are going to be the leaders for the next generations. I, for one, want to equip them with the skills and expose them to the resources and the mentors that can help them use their devices to create more good in the world because we need more of it.
The more goodness these kids are creating and sharing, the more that it’s going to create more goodness to come into existence.
Who’s with me?
Who’s going to be there to help this next generation of kids share their voices in a big way and make a huge impact in the world?
If you think that this message needs to be heard by someone in your life, I encourage you to share this with them because the more people we have out there leading the charge, helping kids claim their voices and share their stories, the wonderful the world is going to be!
It starts with us, my friends. The parents, grandparents, aunts, neighbors, cousins. When we start embracing technology and all that it can do for us and how our kids can use it to share their stories to create positive change, we’ll start to see extraordinary talents and innovations arise.
Let’s start today.