Today I finish a mini-series (click here for part 1 and part 2) on what’s happened the last decade with students. It was ten years ago we first heard the term: “Helicopter Parent.” It was about the same time, we heard the term: “Frustrated Teacher”. According to nationwide polls, parents became the number frustration of educators, even more than bully-kids or troubled students. After a decade of over-parenting and misdirected parenting, I plan to take a few days and unpack what’s happened to the young people and what we can do to correct it. I will offer a challenge and an idea to lead students each day this week.
Here’s idea number three…
Don’t think INFORM, think INTERPRET.
Consider this fact. This is the first generation of kids that don’t need adults to get information. It’s coming at them twenty-four hours a day, as they remain connected to their phones and laptops. They have lots of information. What they need from us is interpretation. Their knowledge has no context. They lack the wisdom that comes only from years of experience. Adults must help them make sense of all they know; to help them interpret experiences, relationships, politics, work and faith via a wise, balanced lens. Discuss together what’s behind movie plots, books, technology. Teach them how to think. Our goal must be to provide them with a healthy worldview.
This is why we plan to release a whole new Habitudes book on January 15th called: Habitudes For the Journey. It contains thirteen images, each representing timeless principles and decisions students must make in times of transition. It will ask questions like:
- Where do you get your energy from—the future or the past?
- What values have you developed that you really own?
- Who do you have in your life that keeps you on the right path?
- When you encounter something or someone new, do you build a wall or a bridge?
This resource is perfect for first-year students, or first year programs at schools, as well as parent-student conversations at Starbucks.