Connecting with Generation Z

What is that? Is my son or daughter part of this generation? What does tha
t mean? Few of us know how parents that our children, boys and girls, born from 1995 onwards, fall within Generation Z, goodbye to millennials. Generation Z, they are teenagers born in the middle of the digital age. In the last 10 years the use of technology and social networks has become widespread and universalized exponentially, we go from having television and radio to having cell phones, ipads, computers, playstation, etc. Add to that the rise of social networks, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Youtube, games, among others. For them, this whole world full of technology and connection is a natural thing and it's part of their lives, unlike us where this whole world is something entirely new and in most cases we know less than they do about it. We must admit that f

or parents raising children is somewhat complicated and now they add
to us that we must deal with the management of technology and with children who are "hyperconnected". Let's

take a deep breath and admit that not everything is bad: the entry of this new technology and applications has also brought us good and positive things into our lives. For example, it has allowed us to be connected with people (family, friends, etc.) who were far away, allows us to access information quickly and broadly and, as not admitting that it is also a means of leisure and entertainmen
t. But of course, that's the easy part, now let's talk about what we face as parents. We have a teenage son who is experiencing physical, psychic and social changes and who is additionally forging his own personality and future identity. We have to admit that the teenager is going through a very difficult stage, sometimes giving us the impression that they are constantly on the defensive. (It's complicated, I know, but let's not take it personally and be empathetic to

them.) To make it even more difficult, we now add exposure to all this technology to which he is not physically prepared, the adolescent is in a maturation process and therefore hi
s brain is not fully developed in what we call control and emotional regulation. They don't size the risks or consequences of everything that comes to them, and this is what we care about most as parents regarding their handling of technology. The lack of privacy to which they are exposed and exposed, the poor development of social skills (empathy, interpretation of gestures, compassion, etc.) that they have, the information they receive that in many cases is unsuitable for their age, the little analysis they make of all the con- hads they receive or command, addi

ction, etc.What do we do with all this , I run out and take my son's
cell phone? NO Do I block the information? NO Do I check your cell phone every day? No

. We have said that cell phone, technology and the Internet for better and/or worse have become part of our lives and we have as parents to learn to live wit

h them. Our parenting instinct makes us want to protect our children and try to avoid anything that could hurt them or harm them. But, this is becoming more and more difficult, boys and girls grow up and we find it more complicated and impossible to control- everything, it is also part of the education that we prepare our children to face life and assume

the consequences. There are many things we can do as parents so that we can efficiently educate our teenage son or daughter. But I want to focus on one that I consider the most important, "educating with love and communicati

on". We all love our children unconditionally, no one disputes that, but what does it mean to educate with love? To educate with love is to educate by being empathetic and respectful. So we have talked that they are going through a difficult time and these two skills will allow us to approach our sons and daughters in a more efficient way.
Then, look for good communication, what is good communication?
And how should I do, I know it's hard, but these few tips will help you.

Seek open communication, that is, that they have the confidence to be able to tell them all they want, there may be times when some confidence does not like us, but let us not get upset, remain calm and do not judge; Let's seize the time to give the right advice and guidance and most importantly: Let him feel that he will always be able to turn to us no matter what.

Let's get interested in his things, whether he likes football or a singer, let's try to genuinely be a part of this world. You'll see how they'll start to have conversational topics and you'll have opportunities to not only know how you feel or think, but you'll also be able to take advantage of these moments so y

ou can guide them. If we want to talk about a topic that we consider delicate or draw your attention, you should be calm: without physical aggressions (punches, gestures or postures) or verbal, if you are upset it is better to wa

it another time. Many times we approach our children to engage in a conversation, we are not always well received and receive as monosyleabas answers, "yes", "no", "good", etc., let us be patient; but if you're lucky that he or she is looking for you for a topic of conversation, NEVER let it go, take advantage of it! Give him all your physical and menta

l attention. We have had a difficult time to be parents, as I once read: "The popes of now must be "all-terrain" parents, we are in a world that is constantly changing and this complicates education and rapprochement with our children more." But what hasn't changed is the importance of raising our children in values and giving them every possible tool to manage their lives so they can make the right c

hoices. Welcome generation Z, here are the "all-terrain" parents to guide them on this path that is life.

Roberta Gueude
tMamá of Villa Caritas School

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