You are the embodiment of the information you choose to accept and act upon. To change your circumstances you need to change your thinking and subsequent actions.
We all depend on information to drive our decisions, our actions, and sometimes even our outlooks. How often do you see yourself or others googling to get instant data or information on anything (Any. Thing.) what arises and raises a question? I’ve heard kids as young as preschool say, “ya just gotta look it up on your phone!” A recent article in Scientific American cites “resent research suggests that they (millennials) use Google as a sort of auxiliary memory. It goes onto question whether pervasive googling interferes with memorization or does it free up “more important stuff tan data retrieval.” The article goes on to point out that our growing, collective and individual inability to sustain attention over the written word in sustained and undistracted ways deprives us of contemplation that allows for deeper thinking. All that noise and distractions may not really allow for deeper thinking but make it harder because we’re losing the ability to think beyond literal comprehension or memorization? Ouch.
There is yet more research to hint that our brains are adapting to this pace of life and whether a “simple every day task like searching the Web” in fact “appear to enhance brain circuitry.” This will surely be a debate for years to come, as we see the effects technology has on a generation and those who follow. Perhaps the circumstances are causing us to change your thinking and subsequent actions in ways we don’t quite understand (yet).
But I digress, partially as a result of surfing the web.
As parents, pre-technology and in our current state, we rely on how we were parented, our life experiences, what we’ve read, heard, watched, researched to guide us. That information is miraculously processed with the complexities of our unique nature, our relationships, ethics, values, work, and a myriad of circumstances within and beyond our control to manifest in the type of parent or teacher we are and our environment and relationships. And now, many of us turn to technology to gather research, opinions, experiences or just to connect with others in similar circumstances.
I know this, because I live it. I witness it for myself and as a listener and observer of others. It’s part of what drove me to begin this blog. Sometimes we all need more than our gut and our heart to help us navigate the path to authenticity and fulfillment of our hopes.We have good days and not-so-good days. And in those pauses between madness and euphoria, we often take time to pause – to assess, research, re-calibrate, on-line and offline.
Over the years, I’ve noticed patterns. My friends and writing mentors Debbie Reber and Michele Woodward, pushed me to dig deeper with my theories and ideas about the readers with a couple of surveys. This hunting and gathering helped clarify my thinking and confirmed what I had pieced together. Here’s a bit of what I learned from the numbers and anecdotal responses:
- 86% of Wonder of Children (WOC) readers get parenting advice on the internet;
- Nearly 60% find books on specific topics of interest – mostly recommend by trusted friends or teachers
- Face to face conversation is another big source of info – 75% of readers still prefer good ‘ol conversation!
- Many commented that knowing individual children is as important as knowing what’s typical or atypical for an age and to see children in the context of a developmental process
- Having “professionals” or outside opinions on behavior and development help readers reconcile what they witness with what is considered “normal” or “temporary”
- Many, many readers say sometimes they just need new perspectives or ideas, often because they “get stumped” or are “at wit’s end!”
- “I’m not an expert or authority on child development..we’re learning as we go and doing the best we can with what we know (which, hopefully, expands as we continue learning).”
- “As parent, we are sometimes caught in the moment and can’t see the bigger picture. knowledge can help defuse the daily frustrations.”
- Traits most readers report feeling are very important to instill include: empathy, self-confidence, problem solving, listening and resiliency.
I’m grateful to each and every respondent. This last survey gave me loads of information to consider and act on. It reinforced my belief that parents are doing the best they can and very often, turn to trusted resources to help them navigate uncharted waters, problem solve, support their children, and nurture their children to be contributors who can work hard, care about others, and follow their passions in respectful and responsible ways.
I hope you’ll continue to come to the blog and/or the WOC Facebook page, as resource for child development, parenting and strategies to help you enjoy the ride!