You don’t need research to realise that life moves very quickly. The real-life experience of watching our own children grow up is how we know how fast time really goes.
Grow team member Christine Matthias shares the reflections she made while reading the book Generation Alpha by Mark McCrindle and Ashley Fell.
“By being a reflective parent, embracing the small moments and consciously building relational bonds, the positive impacts will be lasting.”
I was recently inspired by a chapter in the book Generation Alpha. The tag line of the book is 'understanding our children and helping them thrive'. I was excited to see many of their suggestions* were things I did with my girls as they grew up and I see them now thriving as adults.
1. Don’t just take photos and videos – reflect on the journey with your children.
I am a mad keen photographer so I have many, many photos and videos of our family. I used to take over the dining room table with my scrapbooking but now I create them digitally. I still order the hardcover book so they are sitting on our shelves and we often look back through them and talk about the experiences and remember the stories.
2. Have a readily accessible quote book.
These are some of the favourite times to look back at funny things the girls said. Their Dad would send their anecdotes in emails to extended family, so I would print them out and put them into their scrapbooks. Nowadays we are constantly finding ways to upgrade the older videos so we don’t lose those memories.
3. When you are together, share stories.
Probably a favourite time for us is sitting around a campfire. The girls will ask us to share stories of when we were their age. And they still love hearing about stories of when they were little and all the things we did together. It’s fun when they re-tell their versions of what they experienced and remember.
4. Recognise and celebrate the changes.
It is interesting having our adult children come home and visit. We love hearing how they are shaping their habits around things we did as a family. It is nice to know that they want to adopt many of those habits. There are also ones they have developed themselves and that is fun to celebrate. (And sometimes very hard not to try and tell them your way was better… or that they really should hang their clothes up!) When they visit now – I just shut the door so I can’t see the exploded suitcase.
5. Say yes. Embrace the moments when they arise.
I can happily say there are few moments when I look back and think I did not take advantage of those moments to say yes. It was not always convenient, but I often made the day-to-day things just as important so they realise that life has many aspects. Jobs need to be done and as a family they can be shared by everyone and in turn make more time for those extra special moments.
“Parenting is one of life’s greatest challenges, but also one of its great privileges. If children experience relationships where they feel nurtured, connected and protected, it will set them up well for any future relationships they might have – maybe even, one day, with their own children.”
Take some time to reflect on these five statements and how your family has thrived....and remember, it's never too late to start creating new memories.
(*Excerpts from Generation Alpha (pages 184-185)
Generation Alpha are the most globally connected generation of children ever. Covering those born between 2010 and 2024, these kids are living through an era of rapid change and a barrage of information - good, bad and fake. For parents, teachers and leaders of Generation Alpha looking for guidance on how to raise their children, worried if their kids are spending too much time on screens, concerned how global trends are impacting them and wondering how to prepare them for a world where they will live longer and work later, this is the book you need.
If you would like to learn more about how to intentionally minister to ALL generations, please contact the team at Grow Ministries. Register your interest by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and a member of our team will contact you.