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Supporting 21st century kids

Published: November 3, 2023

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How can we be proactive in supporting the needs of parents, teachers, and all those raising and educating 21st kids? What can we work on to create the best possible conditions for 21st century success? These are big questions that deserve serious thought. Here’s a start on supporting 21st century kids — from a global, digital, mindful perspective.

Supporting 21st century kids from a global perspective

With the global nature of the world, there are more ideas, more knowledge, more awareness. But also more opportunities for conflict and challenge, as we’re more likely to come up against ideas and perspectives that challenge our own assumptions. Supporting 21st century kids means preparing them to interact with difference as we encourage curiosity, humility, and empathy. How?

  • Expose kids to a diversity of people, ideas, experiences, and approaches.
  • Support organizations that span advocacy work in multiple countries
  • Develop and implement curricula in schools that allow a diversity of background and experiences to help encourage cross-cultural competency.
  • Choose to engage with media that respectfully and responsibly reflects a variety of countries/languages/cultures
  • Research to understand more about cross-cultural families and how to support them.
  • Create policies, curricula, programs, and media that recognizes the unique experiences, needs, and realities of cross-cultural families
  • Be mindful of and open to cultural diversity and differences in family support
  • Educate teachers and others who interact regularly with kids in being culturally sensitive

Supporting 21st century kids from a digital perspective

For 21st century kids, life and digital technology are inseparable. Screens are inextricably woven into ways in which we engage with each other, receive and process information, and conduct the daily business of life. That’s why we need to think about how we can help make these tools for doing good rather than implements of harm. How?

  • Design technology with child rights, needs, and safety in mind.
  • Implement robust programs in schools to teach students to be digitally savvy.
  • Create policies that protect children’s wellbeing in the digital space.
  • Conduct research on the impact of digital technologies on kids’ learning and development.
  • Conduct research on best practices for parenting and educating kids in the digital world.
  • Make the research widely accessible with clear practical implications to all audiences
  • Support and join nonprofits and organizations that are already working on this

Supporting 21st century kids from a mindful perspective

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Building supportive spaces for 21st century kids is a big job and it requires an intentional approach. But what does that even mean? Staying thoughtful and purposeful isn’t easy with all the noise. Parents, teachers, and everyone who cares about kids will benefit from guidance on being mindful of their roles, responsibilities, and approaches. This includes acknowledging how emotional intelligence can help make the most of our 21st century opportunities and mitigate many of the challenges. How?

  • Strengthen schools’ capacity to provide support to families
  • Through education and awareness promote parenting strategies that support healthy development and strong relationships
  • Help parents turn down intensity with common sense, research-informed guidance
  • Support social emotional learning skills curricula in schools
  • Create policies that safeguard kids’ general mental health, and specifically relates to media and digital technologies.
  • Create parent education and awareness about the importance of emotional intelligence and provide practical strategies for how to nurture and encourage it in kids.

Join the cause!

Building supports for 21st century kids

Many of these ideas already have great people and organizations working on them. But all of them could use more good minds and caring adults. Have thoughts? More ideas? Working on solutions? I’d love to hear from you! Get in touch and join the movement with The Global Digital Mindful Project.