“Kids don’t know how to communicate!” shared a few members of the older generation during a recent chat. What?! Being the mom of 2 young adults and a teenager who are part of that group of “kids,” I was offended. My kids communicate quite well, thank you. Then I realized that the grandparents were referring to the way teens communicate, demonstrated by a gesture implying someone texting…no eye contact involved. Okay, fair enough, I get it.
This was truly brought to light for me the other day when I watched a mom shopping with her 4-year-old who was diligently concentrating on his latest round of Angry Birds on her cell phone. Honestly, for a minute I was jealous of the fact that she had peace and quiet, and I never had that technology to use. Back in the day, my shopping trips included bags of Goldfish crackers for each child, arguments of Fruit Loops vs. Lucky Charms and endless questions!
Things are different and today’s younger generation is so used to screen time and texting that it’s true, actual face-to-face communication is almost something we have to make an effort to have happen. It’s so easy to slip into a habit of losing hours at a time on the laptop, ipod or 360 system, okay, yes… Facebook and Pinterest too!
If we’re being honest with ourselves, we may need to check our own behavior on the technology issue too! When adults say “kids don’t know how to communicate these days”, the next question should probably be…
“What are we modeling for them?”
We often discuss the 3 pathways of communication: Tone of Voice, Words and Body Language. The third item, body language, says so much about the importance of your interaction with the other person.
When you talk with your child do you: