Lazy Parenting Hack - DO WHAT THEY DO
This one is for parents of #teens and those of you who will one day have them - that means all of you 🤣
Teen culture - music, books, movies, social apps, all of it! I strongly urge you to be IN IT with them. Listen to their music, read their books, play their games, learn how to snap, have an IG account. Spend time where they are.
I may have a different perspective on this topic since I have always either been a coach of teens, a teacher of teens and now am a mother of teens. In a previous post I spoke about how my job as a high school teacher prepped me for parenthood in so many ways. Being immersed in teen culture, watching it unfold in front of me and learning to understand it was tremendous training for this ride I now find myself on.
I have worked hard to monitor and be aware of what media my kids were/are consuming since they were little. When they were young I watched the TV shows and movies with them. I didn’t play the radio because their weren’t any stations that played music I was comfortable having them sing along to (we now have #siriusxm and a few fav channels!). I played their video games with them. As they got older, I read the popular (sometimes questionable) books BEFORE I made a decision on the appropriateness of it for them. (Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, Hunger Games, Ready Player One to name a few). I had a rule (& still do) around reading the book before being allowed to watch the movie. Hence why Zack is currently reading “A Wrinkle in Time” and Nick just finished “The Hate you Give.
Having 2 parents and a boat load of relatives that are all teachers means books are pretty important in our house. We worked hard to foster a culture of reading in our house (which took a concerted effort and I can talk more about this in a future post). I too enjoy reading and actually really enjoy teen fiction. Reading the same books as my teens gives me insight and allows me to see what stage my teens are at in regards to relationships, passions and social issues. It gives me an understanding of their thoughts/minds in a way that I don’t think I can get elsewhere. It also acts as conversation starters around tough topics. For example, the controversial “13 reasons Why” Netflix series that all their friends watched (mine have not as I required them read the book first and in this case the book was NOT very good so there was no further desire to watch the show at that time). I, on the other hand, HAVE watched both seasons AND read the book. I think it was important to do so and to know what all the hype was about. It allows me to have that info in case they want to talk about it or want to watch it in the future.
So...is this a “lazy” parenting hack?
Of course not. Remember “Lazy Parenting” is a place we want to get to, the goal, the reward for the work we put in when they are young. Knowing what’s going on in their world is a BIG part of this. So I encourage you to dive in. Head first!Open an IG account, start SnapChatting, know what Music.ly is and watch what video games they are playing. Use what you learn to connect with them in their world. Use it to have some good conversations. You will be glad you did.