We live in fast paced, wifi powered, information ready times. Automation has taken over, social media is the norm, apps, online shopping, e- is everything.
Multitasking, crowd gathering, surfing, cyber gaming, people power, rising up against the establishment, social networking, buyer reviews dictating our choices.
How can we best adapt to this world? Have we evolved to take advantage of our environment? What qualities are important now for our species to continue to flourish? And, most importantly how can we raise our children for success in their lifetimes and in the lifetimes of their descendants?
Obviously we need to harness technology for our advantage, for connecting us all so readily, for the lifestyle ease tech brings. So we raise our children to be tech savvy, and able to navigate these modern devices yet maintain their discretion, their will power.
If robots will be commonplace and virtual toys fill the terrain, what will become of our children then? Creativity and innovation prevail. We want our children to be in the driving seat, not simply passengers.
If mass grouping together with a common view is far easier than ever before, we want our children gathering for the purpose of only goodness. So the need to raise our children and pass on the human virtues of kindness and love, independent thinking and feeling, creativity and flexibility are completely paramount.
If everything is so easily within reach and arranged for us through electronic means, for our youngsters to find their purpose and know their value will be crucial.
We want our children primed with bucketloads of inner resources, of open mindedness, of self confidence, unique qualities, emotional resilience, courage, compassion, self belief and love.
How do we raise our children for these qualities in 2019 and beyond? When life is fast and busy, and looks so different to the child rearing times of our ancestors.
For early humans, ‘alloparenting’ gave us the edge, the competitive advantage.
Alloparenting is the sharing of parenting amongst other members of the community. This amazing feature allowed homo erectus mothers to ease the stress of raising their infants solo.
Since human babies are born more helpless and less mature than other species, the demands on the mother are huge. Alloparenting has allowed the success of our species!
However, if we look at our modern societies, we see anything but alloparenting.
We see a multitude of single parents, working mothers and fathers, families living isolated from grandparents and relatives. We see stressed parents.
How can stressed parents ensure the success of our species?
Stressed parenting seems to go along with our stressed lifestyles. We feel stressed with so much on our plates, and so our children receive our stress through our tone of voice, our lack of presence, our rushing and our over scheduling, and the cycle continues.
If we model mismanagement of stress, what are we teaching children?
Surely for us to continue thriving and surviving, we need to make time and space for what’s important. And if those human qualities of care and creativity, of flexibility and self mastery are pivotal to success in future generations, then let’s reap the lesson of alloparenting and place less stress on the parent.
How can we place less stress on the parent?
We need help and we need time. So we need to look at, view, prioritise and reflect on our lives and find a way. A way to find balan
ce. There must be a way we can live in balance and cultivate the inner qualities to drive the success of our species for ourselves and for our children.