Parenting the #Generation

Baby_with_iPad

Digital Natives…they’re children born after the year 2000, thrust into a culture immersed in computerization, dripping with technification (that’s a technical term, obviously). Having experienced only a life absorbed in the digital revolution, these children – *our* children – possess a unique understanding, a specialized OS if you will, of the world in which they live.

#generation, Net Generation, Millennial Generation and Generation Z may all be fitting terms for the cohort of people considered to be born digital. The level of understanding in digital technology and UX for these children is as looking through a lens – a lens of relativism to the tune of Google Glass.

Born into cultural consumption, the metadata and memory management capabilities of GenZ have a type inference not coded in the minds of their parents. Our children see, hear and comprehend in ways that we, as digital immigrants, have never had the opportunity to experience. The gap between digital natives and digital immigrants can be narrowed with our efforts to speak the language, but with roots in the pre-digital age, immigrants face the struggle of understanding second language practicalities from a foreign standpoint.

One of my favorite demonstrations of information age interaction is the YouTube video of a digital native toddler attempting to swipe a traditional magazine. Clearly, her view of the world around her is consumed by her exposure to digital technology. She even tests her finger against her leg for stylus functionality when it fails to activate touchscreen capabilities on the print page. Her world embraces technology in a way that ‘phone is to wall as computer is to desk’ will be an absolute and incomprehendible reality in which innovation exceed constraints. All this will be made increasingly possible with little brains wired to create just such.

Early exposure to technology may fundamentally alter the ways in which people learn, but the ability to become increasingly tech savvy remains quite attainable. As parents to digital natives, I believe we should jump in feet first, seeking to understand this young culture. Our contribution is invaluable, yet the innate knowledge of our children has potential to spark future modernism in ways we simply can’t imagine…and certainly can’t ignore. Adoption of digital technology and an increased conception of human-computer interaction are a couple of ways digital immigrants can begin to see things through the eyes of a child…a digital native that is.

 

A New International Language

Say-Cheese--Camera-Tattoo-_tba9“Cheese”… It might be the newest of languages to hit the tech scene – and a global one at that. As Robin Kelsey, professor of photography at Harvard explained, “This is a watershed time where we are moving away from photography as a way of recording a past moment, turning photography into a communication medium.”

Several new social media options are hot on the market. A six-second video app by Twitter called “Vine” has skyrocketed in popularity in just a few months since its debut at the beginning of 2013. Dom Hofmann, a member of the Vine creation team, explained that the draw to this type of social media was based upon the simplicity of the tool.

Snapchat is another new application bursting with personal photos, videos, cartoons and creative text. This social media pulls more than 150 million images every day – each vanishing in 1 to 10 seconds, depending upon user preference.

Traditional platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Tumbler, Instagram and several others remain strong in photo interest – most seeing a rise in the popularity over the past couple of years.

Blame the new trends on smart phone cameras? …maybe so, but the ease of communicating a message through imagery seems to be on the rise. With it, social barriers are crossed and people of all nations and languages brought together in a common understanding of this visual language.

Can you say, “Cheese?”

 

sources: mashable, Wikipedia, nytimes
photo: asiantown

A Place Where All Dreamers Live

 

“My favorite space is the one between where the sea ends and the sky begins. It’s the place where all dreamers live.”

 ~ Jordyn Hay

HuntingBeach,CAbyJordynHay

It’s lazy mornings, long hikes, picnics in the park, swim days, video games, playdates and books we said we’d read but didn’t.  It’s the life, COLLEGE LIFE!

Alright, so you’re on to me. I write for Mamas, and no, that’s not a realistic glimpse into higher education, well …first semester, freshman year, maybe…but live and learn, right!? Ok, so I’m not done with my list here:

Late(ish) nights, unkempt rooms, uncontrollable raucous, random stickers fused to the floor, leftover pizza, evaporated Lucky Charms (minus the marshmallowy yummies) crispfused to the table and a never ending pile of seriously dirty laundry. Still sounds like college, doesn’t it? I know what you’re thinking – too many charms in my bowl, but hear me out.

I have a theory.

If it *sounds* like college, then it should *look* like college…SpRinG BrEaK 2013, oh ya! With healthier snacks, extra towels and a lot more SPF! What I’m suggesting is a legit Spring Break vacation. Not every year, but some year, this year (or next – after you plan and budget – hey, we’re responsible parents here!).

I’m just going to go ahead and admit that it’s been a while since I had a real Spring Break (hard to believe, I know)…but for the sake of journalism, I am willing to go out and capture the story for you — after I score that gig (stay tuned). BUT, what I did do is ask the opinion of a very real college expert. Brilliant and you’re welcome. Check out her tips and suggestions for an unforgettable spring break experience:

…and THAT is just a teaser for my upcoming MHM post! I know what you’re thinking and no, I’m not blog post MIA – I’ve been working on this (and many, many other things), and let me tell ya of the things I won’t do for journalism. Crickets. Yes, I landed that gig and ’tis good. Full report to come following SpRinG BrEaK 2013!

Meanwhile, plz don’t rob my house over SB’13 (I have few valuables and one neighbor with far too many guns – crazy and true), do know that my blog is alive and well, check out the invaluable advice that only a hip college undergrad can give – @MileHighMamas later this month and absolutely start planning your SB’14 getaway RIGHT NOW!

To come: “Is Spring Break a proper noun?”

photo credit: Jordyn Hay

Friendship is Unnecessary …personal case study

Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art…. It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things that give value to survival. ~C.S. Lewis

As I pondered the whirlwind of a year I had just survived, several things occurred to me. First, I did it. I had made it to the end of an era…sometimes one week, sometimes one day…and I’ll admit there were a few episodes when it was simply one moment at a time, but I am here, my children are healthy and doing well…and we are on the flip side of one crazy year. I am thankful for that.

Secondly, it occurred to me that there was one main theme to each milestone and achievement made in those 365 days of endurance – a crutch, if you will, and I had used it to the fullest (sometimes two, three or a half-dozen at a time). No, not the chocolate…that helped too…but that’s more the cause of my generic resolution, blah. The wine. It was the wine. Ok, no, not that either – and thankfully I did not consume a half-dozen of anything in the wine sort! Which brings me back to what I was originally saying, because this crutch would have never allowed for me to do that to myself.

FRIENDS

The entire box set – not so much – but almost. These were mine, in the real, without scripts or millions of dollars in residuals (hmmmm, maybe I need to rethink this). They simply showed up. That was all I really needed…but my friends were truly amazing. They held my hand when I was afraid, made me laugh when I wanted to cry, planned get togethers, loved my children, supported my ventures, endured my wild ideas (less Janell’s birthday plans – a story for another time) and some even started running – for fun and with me! They showed up.

Instant Messaging
Voicemail
Text
Inbox
Mailbox
Facebook
Twitter
Google+
Autumnwood
Random Hashtag
and sometimes sitting right next to me…even in simple silence.

A friend knows the song in my heart and sings it to me when my memory fails. ~Donna Roberts

Because of amazing friends willing to love – even in less lovable times – my heart is able to recall a tune. I might be a bit off-key for just a short while, but do know that like philosophy or art…I now know the fullness of that unnecessary thing called FRIENDSHIP.

It takes a long time to grow an old friend. ~John Leonard

As for the many other thoughts which suddenly occurred to me…stay tuned…it’s just the first day of an unbelievable 2013!

Now Trending Holiday Gift Guide

There’s nothing wrong with the traditional gift card…um, unless you neglect to put a balance on that small piece of festive plastic. Contrary to the beliefs of my five-year-old, they aren’t just free at the register. However, if you’re going to gift to impress, you might want to do a little research and choose something a bit more thoughtful, unique, trendy…and remember…this season, EVERYTHING is better with a little facial hair. Ya, I just said that.

For: Mom
 Why just bake cupcakes when you could be wearing them too!? Give that special lady in your life a lovely, flirty adornment for the kitchen and let her know exactly how beautiful she looks as she whips up your favorite eat. Quick tip: hold the stache on this one. Available in children’s sizes – great mother/daughter gift! http://www.flirtyaprons.com/  $25-$35

For: Dad
I don’t think this photo needs a follow-up explanation,  BUT I did find an actual fake testimonial:

“Hector” Tech Support Laguna Beach, CA Hector says, “I still don’t like the fact that Beardo rhymes with Weirdo, but it’s really changed my life. Since I started strapping on the Beardo every morning, I’m finally getting respect. TSA just waves me right through at the airport and guys at the gym can’t figure out if I’m joking. I’m not.”

Yes: better (and warmer) with facial hair. Kid sizes too – perfect father/son gift! http://beardo.bigcartel.com/  $35-$40

For: Baby Sister
Trendy mustache lacking, but these adorable boots will still make winter epic fun! If a bout of inclement weather doesn’t put a damper on your outdoor adventure, you will appreciate this haute look. Just add tatoo stache. http://www.stonzwear.com/Stonz_Booties/Department.aspx?DeptID=7&&&RD=2 $40

For: Baby Brother
A bearded bink and a side of milk: shaken not stirred. Who could ask for anything more? http://www.etsy.com/listing/80024194/crocheted-mustache-pacifier-the-folk $10

From: Santa

Safety is always hip! With these adhesive helmet “fohawx!” in a variety of styles and colors, all of Santa’s good list will be safe and stylish. Spruce up last season’s new helmet…and, hey, who needs a stache when you’re rockn’ this up top? http://fohawx.com/ $20

photo: getkooky

Modern-Day Digital Phonebooth to Spark a Revolution?

Wise words by Christine Lagarde on the topic of career and motherhood resonated loudly with me recently. She explained, in a too often overlooked simplicity, the retort o’ day la touché of the ongoing – and ridiculous – debate of Working Mom vs. SAHM. Ms. Lagarde said, [brace yourselves]…

“We can’t have it all · ALL AT ONCE.”

It was the qualifier that really got me. We all know and somewhat understand the concept – we weigh opportunity costs daily, but to hear a successful, powerful, strong career woman AND MOM explain this profound notion so nonchalantly left me pondering. It’s kinda like Clark Kent and a phonebooth. Now…where can I find a phonebooth these days?

We live our lives knowing that if we spend our days googling at drooly, wide eyed chubby faces, that, no, we probably aren’t going to be engineering the newest design nor actively developing that thing for which we will vigilantly implement to save our planet…ummmmm, YET!

No, we (and I’m including dads here) aren’t defined by what we do in the moment! It’s the big picture that really counts, thank goodness, because I’m most positive that we all fall short sometimes – probably most of the time…AND I’m just thinkn’ that no one plan is the best for everyone. So, we do what we can with what we have and make the best of each situation. AND  *no, we can’t do everything we want* all at once. {though I do admit to trying most of the time #stubbornweakness}

So, as I make my transition back into the career world (school included) I have to admit, this is both trying and exciting. You’ve heard the expression “helicopter mom,” right? I try not to be one. Yet, letting go is a challenge for me at times – and the thought of moving my “office” from a living room to a professional work space, away from my children for hours at a time, well, that’s when I have to face the truth: enroll me now…Helicopter Moms Anonymous.

In my search for comfort in transition, a brilliant solution came my way…no, couldn’t find a superhero phone booth on Craigslist, darn. I did, however, find my modern-day phonebooth…mobile phone app actually. Not shopping the Internet tho – this came to me via Facebook. Yes, I spend an inordinate amount of time with technology these days, but this wasn’t just the digital realm talking…friends of mine from college (techie dads) developed a mobile technology that just happened to fit the very need this self-proclaimed helicopter mom was having.

A way to continually monitor my children while I’m at work!

The digital app is called KidReports. It’s a real time report available from my desktop and mobile phone. This means that I can check my child’s status update, provided by the care facility, the way some people (dads) check the score while in church. So, while I can’t be there every minute, I won’t miss out on the little things I want to know about my children’s day.

The phonebooth is synonymous with Superman the way that mobile phone app is synonymous with KidReports.

I might be a mommy superhero after all, ha. Or…maybe I’ll eventually learn to let go…and maybe I’ll send my children to college with KidReports. We shall see!

With the changing seasons of life and young children growing up far too fast, I’m beginning to accept the fact that I can’t have it all…same time/same place that is. There’s nothing wrong with cheating just a little, right!? (Thank you KidReports!) Ok, now to contact Christine Lagarde for her thoughts on the superhero paradigm change made possible by modern mobile technology, wink! Continue reading

Key Factors in Aligning Values & Actions

Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
~William Shakespeare

Worldly pressures, images and persuasions can be confusing and often misleading. If we are not careful, we can quickly stray from our original goals. We are continually exposed to media, social ideals and various other forms of information and unsolicited feedback, but thankfully, we have some insight and knowledge of these pressure pits which can help us thwart the mass of it…unfortunately, our children are still young and not as well prepared…but we are here to help them along their way!

Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it. Proverbs 22:6

This transitional time of year is a perfect opportunity to help remind ourselves – and our children – of what our values and priorities are, and take a closer look at our goals…in order to reevaluate our cause. Learning more about who we are wonderfully made to be will help navigate this wide open space. Discovering more about who we *want* to be and less about what the world is *pressuring* us to be can be the key to true happiness.

So, how do we help our families achieve these ideals?

It helps to start with a list of values. Prioritize your top ten values and have your children do the same. The below list can be used to generate ideas, but choose your list according to what is most important to you.

Family
Spiritual Growth
Social Interactions
Sports
Education
Money
Health
Service
Career Advancement
Hobbies

There are no wrong answers on the values assessment list because every person is a unique individual! If we all shared exactly the same values and strengths, we wouldn’t be nearly as effective in working together.

Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other. In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. Romans 12:4-6

Do your actions match your values?

Once you’ve determined your priorities, it’s helpful to check that you are appropriating your time accordingly. I like to do this using percentages, but you can simply rearrange your above list according to your current schedule. Now, compare the two lists and see where adjustments need to be made. Being aware of what we are doing and the reasons why can help in setting positive long-term goals.

Now that we know our values and can see where we are spending our time, we can use the information to set new goals and align our daily lives to reflect our beliefs. It’s not uncommon to slip into a bad habit of doing too much of that in which we would rather not…a whole lot less of that in which we should.

Goal Setting

One of the best ways to get back on track and moving toward the original goal is to set a main long-term goal with several, reachable short-term goals along the way.

All goals should be SMART:

Specific

Measurable

Attainable

Realistic

Timely

Your goal setting sheet should look something like this:

Main Goal = _____________ (keep it positive)

Short-term Goal #1 (include specifics and an achievable date)
Short-term Goal #2 (cross s-t goals off as they are accomplished!)
Short-term Goal #3 (almost there…stay on track)

Motivators: (I like to put encouraging words and helpful reminders here – something to keep the focus. Sticky notes on mirrors, in the car or somewhere they will be viewed daily can help too!)

I think you might be surprised at the many things you can learn about your children and their amazing, loving hearts as you help them set and keep their goals. They may be surprised to learn some pretty cool things about you too (and gain some wisdom into the reasons *why* you do the things you do!) …so in whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men. Colossians 3:23

A Guide to Raising Well-Behaved Children

I recently made a most amazing discovery – a treasure, if you will – hidden deep in the suburban basement of a neighbor’s home. No, I wasn’t in search of a valuable find…it was just random luck as I helped good friends in the clearing of cobwebs in preparation for their summer company. The unexpected find was a serendipitous bonus.

“Manners are the way we communicate good intentions.”

Wise words from another friend of mine, spoken to our children. Being that this particular friend was from another country and English was a second language made it all the more interesting. I began to ponder the vast importance of this politeness stuff…making translation unnecessary.

It was pristine, untouched, recklessly abandoned beneath tattered copies of Harry Potter and the latest Lucado…Emily Post’s Etiquette book. So, it wasn’t an original, first edition – but it was a 75th Anniversary, 16th Edition, revised and updated by Emily’s great-grand-daughter-in-law, Peggy Post. I had been searching for this book for years (um, ok, so I could have gone to a bit more trouble in accessing a copy…but lets not take away from the moment.). I believe my friend’s response to that admission was something of the, “You’re so weird!” sort, but I suppose that much is true. (And with that, I was confident that she had *not* read the book, ha!)

Etiquette, according to Wikipedia, is a code of behavior that delineates expectations for social behavior according to contemporary conventional norms within a society, social class or group. Let me paraphrase here: RuLEs FoR NorMaLCy. Oh, and this stuff can be hysterically funny too!

Food For Thought…

“Manners are a sensitive awareness of the feelings of others. If you have that awareness, you have good manners, no matter what fork you use.” Emily Post

“Nothing is less important than which fork you use. Etiquette is the science of living. It embraces everything. It is ethics. It is honor.” Emily Post

“A compliment is baloney sliced so thin that it is delectable. Flattery is baloney sliced so thick that it is indigestible.” Archbishiop Fulton Sheen via Emily Post

Continued Wisdom…

“When it comes to general conversation, the old adage ‘If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all” is good advice.” Emily Post

“Suitability should be a factor in choosing your stationery, just as it is in choosing your wardrobe.” Emily
Post

“Graceful standing and walking posture includes the following components: shoulders back, chin in and slightly
up, abdomen and stomach in, back straight and knees relaxed.” Emily Post

“There is little you can do about the annoying speech mannerisms of others, but there is a lot you can do about your own.” Emily Post

So, yes, some of this stuff is seriously funny…BUT

Laughter aside, rules for appropriate behavior according to social norms are great ways to help our children excel in their world, and there is now information on internet etiquette in the updated edition…a concept called “netiquette.” Read, laugh, enjoy, giggle…but in the end, you might have a few extra insights that could come in handy – personally and professionally.

Take it from me… and my proven success in raising well-behaved children. Etiquette, manners and the way in which we conduct ourselves speaks volumes about our good intentions and the person we hope to be.

“Women frequently ask whether they should call an unzipped fly to the wearer’s attention. Unless you are total strangers, do.” Emily Post

READ MORE AT MILE HIGH MAMAS

Financial Freedom for Your Children…

It’s easier than you might think…and it starts tomorrow! Ok, ya, it would be ideal if you were able to run out today and invest a little bling for baby Penelope. She could spend her college years on the slopes, buy a snazzy condo in Boulder and chill with her insouciant trustafarian friends – picking up random gigs with the band and entertaining for cash on Pearl Street in her free time. But, if you’re a parent of a young child, you probably have a list of obligations – and the list outweighth. The good news ~ Penelope might learn to manage her hard earned dollars AND you don’t need cash flow now to set your child up for successful financial management later!!!

Attend this FREE event to learn more about the many ways Young Americans works to educate our youth for a successful financial future. More than $1,500 will be given away in cash prizes ~ rain or shine the Birthday Carnival is on!

and the Scores are in…Sports Camp 101

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Skyhawks Sports Camp was a week-long success with a grand finale game day this morning. I was able to capture some excellent action shots – smile – and big brother came out to lend his own kind of moral support (yes, mostly mandatory). Everyone had a great time. Noelle made new friends, learned new skills and received rave reviews from her coaches. At the end of the day, she wasn’t afraid to relax, step out of the world of #futureOlympiansinthemaking and act like a kid again, haha.

My Fav Highlights:
student to coach ratio (check out my fab stills)
excellent organization, instruction and safety precaution
consistency in management
a welcoming atmosphere for parents and families
the fact that she was excited to return each morning!

Would I recommend Skyhawks to friends and family? …affirmatively so.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 990 other followers

%d bloggers like this: