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Build your own custom blue print on how to be a Future Smart Parent to your unique and special children in 2023
Hi there! I’m that mom who started working with a (very wise) team of futurists way back even before I had kids and I soon realised how the world was changing and what worked for both parents and the younger generations before us wasn’t necessarily going to be what worked for us going forward.
It quickly become very clear as we started our own parenting journey a few years after joining the TomorrowToday team that with the knowledge we had access to, that we were going to be parenting quite differently to the status quo.
And so, after many years helping our corporate clients to prepare their people for the Future of Work it became very evident to me that my true passion was going to be using what I’d learnt from our team and their networks about the new set of skills needed for the future and share that with other parents on similar journeys to ourselves - parents who are parenting a little differently, yet very much intentionally, for a changing world, but who also need some help as they venture into this pretty much, unchartered territoriy.
Now you can just imagine us starting out as new parents wanting to raise our kids for every success in the 21st century. I was full of ideals, full of promise, and full of hope. In theory it all felt relatively easy, I had big dreams for how we would raise our kids…
real life kicked in
❌ How does the saying go about being the worlds best parents until you actually have a kid :)
❌But seriously, we were intentionally raising kids to be out the box thinker’s, but that didn’t necessarily work well when we sent them to school to sit in a class with 26 other little ‘out the box’ thinkers.
❌ It was easy to celebrate neurodiversity and the different thinking that this world so needs, but raising a neurodiverse kids comes with many challenges that can be so very stressful for both parents and child.
❌After experimenting with making coding their ‘second language’ we fell short with knowing where to get the help with this, and how to motivate our little people to get involved and excited about this language.
❌We also realised that focusing on the bigger picture of what we wanted and having these big dreams for our kids sometimes made us forget about the fundamental necessity and gift we have of just actually focusing on building real and deep connections with our kids.
❌ We want our kids to follow their passion, their ikigai, but had to catch ourselves when that dream or passion appears as something we don’t buy into…
*What we have learnt without a doubt is that*
Being a Future Smart Parent will be an ongoing journey. One that is filled with love and grace, and where we experiment, where we fail and of course where we also can celebrate the things we do get right.
Raising kids to be successful means a hundred different things to each and every unique family. There’s no ‘right’ road, but rather a thousand different paths that can, and will, each lead to a variety of wonderful destinations.
But that having a ‘map’ of sorts is helpful. And having a community to walk these paths with is both comforting and advantageous.
There’s no one size fits all handbook, but rather, as parents we have the privilege to be intentional about what paths we take our kids on, where we guide them and how we provide them with the tools they need to navigate these individual paths that they choose to explore.
And so I took the pressure of myself… I gave myself the permission to know that this wasn’t a sprint. We were in this for the marathon… with lots of juice (and a million snack) breaks along the way.
✅ We gave ourselves permission to try different things like unschooling, and homeschooling and that it was ok that Minecraft taught our youngest to read. (I know right, that still actually freaks me out sometimes!)
✅ We realised there were many things we first needed to unlearn before we could relearn what our kids actually need. (Like the idea that change will wreck them, or that they have to go to university or that their grades will be what define them
✅ As a Mom who fought and survived cancer during the global pandemic in 2020, our family realised that there’s stuff we need to teach our kids that’s more important that getting straight A’s… Mental health, how to take a deep breathe, empathy and why we need to save our planet.
✅ That we live in a world where we can choose where and how we work, and that doing what makes us come alive rather than going to university to follow our parents dreams is totally allowed!
✅ We realised that we need the village and really can’t do this parenting journey on our own. In addition to our amazing teachers and sports coaches, we need psychologists and mentors, tech experts and futurists. We need path finders and dream writers… We need our community to be part of our kids learning curriculum.
✅ And on a side note, we also learned that having our kids learn at home for a number of years wasn’t the right long term solution but rather a season, and we’ve been lucky enough to find a ‘school’ that’s a middle ground and where both kids are happy, learning and still playing each and every day.
✅ We’ve learnt that we can take things at a day, month and year at a time and we don’t have to have everything planned out perfectly. We’re learning to adapt I guess and in that we’re teaching our kids adaptabily - one of the greatest skills and requirements of the 21st century.
The best thing?
Coming to the realisation that we don’t have all the answers, and never will!That curiosity and experimentation is now part of our family values. And that sometimes it’s not about raising them for the future, but also just sitting side by side them when they need us.
That by being open to new mindsets, and a attitude of continuous learning, we can keeping guiding our kids and give ourselves the grace of making mistakes and trying new ways.
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