Topics of this podcast: Families and the digital age and Love and imperfection in the family.
Teens cannot imagine a world without social media. Reflecting on the impact of digital media – will help them to be more aware and more discerning and to put it in its correct place. Sherry Turkle in her book Alone Together commented that today we expect more from technology than from each other. As adults we can see how technology is “stealing our time away” and “dictating the pace”. Family life is an opportunity to discover where we can reclaim that space for “real connection” with each other in a meaningful way (messy) and where we can help the girls to own their role in family also. We have explored with our students where they can find fun, give support, work at a particular relationship and take on their unique responsibility for their family?
Family life is not perfect, it is not meant to be, that is a myth. Wherever there are humans, life is “messy” (not total chaos). We are in a world where “perfection” is highly rated and has seeped into our culture as almost a “core-value or virtue”. But “perfectionism” and teenage sensitivity to social justice coupled with a tendency to be judgemental can make parenting a little more complicated. And you as a parent can have the sense that you are not getting through. Why? Because you nor any family is perfect – because we are human and this can be a challenge for our teens to get their heads around. The simple fact that perfection is not what we are striving for, but flourishing, is something that needs to be unpacked with our teens. As adults we need to bring perspective to our teens. Each of us is a work in progress. Life’s project requires patience, understanding, tolerance, and generosity. Failures are part of the human journey and it is love that widens our lens and that of our teens. No one is a sum of annoyances. Love does not need to be perfect to be valued. Authentic dialogue is important which allows us to listen and discuss.