Adults think we can teach kids to be prepared for the future. The truth is, the kids are living the future, and most adults, well, we’re living in the past.
Kids use technology without question. Kids are early adopters. Kids are the first to try new things and head into the future.
They are teaching themselves things they will need to know when they are adults. We are pompous if we think we have any ability to prepare them for the future that lies ahead of them.
They have far more power to prepare for their own future than we do. All we can do is teach them the things of the past. And, if we’re lucky, be as involved as they are in the embracing of the present.
Only by embracing the present can we, adults, even guess what our kids will need to know in their future. Otherwise, we’re teaching them to be prepared for the past.
To be prepared for the future, and to truly help our kids learn, we have to assume, that we really have no idea what they’ll need to know. And instead of making them learn skills that were useful to us when we were young, we need to help them learn skills that are useful to them now.
The now is the only place that has any indication of what we need to know for tomorrow. And our kids are much better in living and learning in the now than we are teaching them to be there.
I hope I am never too old to be in the present with my kids. I won’t ever be able to really understand what it was like for them to grow up during the turn of the century, or how they perceive it. But just knowing that, gives me a great advantage, and perhaps the ability to be a part of the way the world is changing.
Plus it’s fun. It’s much more fun and interesting to learn along with my kids about all the things that are in the world now, and to see where things are going, than it is to hold on to how things used to be.
When we stop growing, we stop living. Kids show us how to grow. It’s an opportunity that I am not going to pass up!