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Racing to keep up: Stand united as a family in the face of the digital media age

April 13, 2011 by admin  
Filed under Peaceful Parenting

As we move forward in an attempt to keep up with the pace of a world that has entered hyper speed, parents must face the challenges and dangers brought on by the superficially attractive media age.

Technology, as wonderful as it can be when used properly, can rob our children of one of the most powerful tools they have; their imagination. As with all ingenious devices designed to generate profit, the media frenzy infiltrates society, including the minds of the young, one methodical step after another. After all, a little bit of TV never hurt anyone, right?

The problem is that, like any addiction, a little bit can increase over time as our senses demand more and more. Unlike other addictions, what starts off as TV watching crosses over to video games, computer games, cell phones and a complete media culture where interaction between humans is dependent upon devices. Parents, as busy as they are, are racing to keep up with the technology that their children are immersed in OR they are so far behind they just give up and have no hands on understanding of what it means to be media literate.

As a parent coach, I find it critical to help parents to recognize the importance of slowing down, setting   appropriate boundaries, learning about media literacy and co-creating ways, together with parents, that support the connections they have with their children.

It is important to assist parents by helping them discover their power and confidence as they learn to extrapolate that which teaches and provides benefits, with regard to the media culture. Media/technology should be used to enrich our lives not take over our lives.

The driving force behind our ability to guide our children comes from our power to connect with them. It is our relationships with and connection to our children that must remain intact and flow with mutual respect, integrity, authenticity and unconditional love.

The industry generated culture knows how vital this connection is and that is why it positions itself to dismantle the trusting bond between parent and child.

By intentionally driving a wedge between parent and child over a specific product, parental concern becomes a joke. This is the beginning of the destruction of the heart centered connection between parent and child.

Instead of racing to keep up with technology and allowing that to be your focal point, what if you allowed the connection between your family members to be the focal point instead.

It is important to keep up with technology, absolutely, but not so that it becomes a consuming chore. Instead it can be a steady journey towards media literacy. All the while, keeping in mind that you are in control of how the medium is used by yourself and your kids and not allowing the popular culture to control your decisions.

As a parent coach, I find it increasingly more important to support parents in their decisions revolving around media related issues. The ultimate focus is, “What is best for your child?”

As parents begin to…

1. Understand the vital importance the home environment plays

2. Recognize a child’s need to develop a strong and healthy “inner life”

3. Cultivate the integral creative process within each child

4. Teach children the importance of contributing to the greater good

… a natural re-connecting begins to occur in amazing and sometimes surprising ways.

By focusing on what is working now within the life of the family and incorporating the above 4 key elements, a family has a better chance in standing united in a media age.

When we take a moment to really “see” our children, we give them the gift of authentic acknowledgement. It is through this acknowledgement that we strengthen our connections as our eyes and hearts communicate, “I see you and I believe in you and your dreams.”

As parents, our biggest hurdle is pressure. Pressure from our children, as they desperately want to belong to a network of their peers, pressure from a culture that promises a quick fix to an immediate problem, pressure from a hectic schedule, pressure from other parents and/or pressure from the school system.

As a coach it is my job to steer parents in the direction of what strengths are available that can be brought forward in order to alleviate some of that pressure.

Once parents find their bearings and gain more confidence it is easier to take a breath and face deeper challenges.

The stronger our family ties, the easier it is to see a industry/media generated culture for what it is - designed to bring in profit no matter what the cost. The more aware we become, the greater the possibility to move forward in this culture with clarity and complete conscious awareness of its’ intentions.

This also makes it easier to feel confident in using media/technology/devices wisely and effectively to enhance our lives. With boundaries in place, families can work together, discuss together and decide together what works best for them. In other words, families can take their power back, no longer feeling like popular culture is dictating what we must have, know and be.

Points of Interest

The following link is AMAZING if you have older kids - it shows what goes on behind the scenes of advertising and how advertisers try to get kids to purchase things. This is a great example of how to get media “smart” it is a fresh young looking website that is appealing to teens and tweens and is a great
tool for parents to use with their kids - just click on any one of the subjects on the website and you’ll get interesting information to discuss with your child regarding media and popular culture.

http://pbskids.org/dontbuyit

The following 2 links are also great resources to help parents navigate through a digital age and how to cope:
http://www.commonsensemedia.org

http://www.parentfurther.com/technology-media

Melinda Asztalos is a parent coach, speaker, author and the founder of Life Positive by Design. She assists parents through a conscious parenting process that enables them to achieve and sustain, positive solutions to their specific parenting challenges. For more information, Please visit: http://lifepositivebydesign.com

Julian Kalmar and Rick Beneteau want to know if you've got what it takes to step up and be a leader in the new world transformation. CLICK HERE to find out.

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