Born in the late seventies, I am either one of the youngest members of Generation X or the very oldest of the Millennials. I entered my teenage years without an email account, and left for college without a cell phone. I had a beeper, and I remember the Gulf War. I was already an adult when the planes struck on 9/11, and dial-up Internet was a thing of the past by the time I hit my junior year of college.
I've read a million parenting articles geared towards making sure our kids enjoy the perks we knew and loved during our coming of age, but what are the shared experiences that make up parenting a Generation Z kid? After consulting with parents and educators, I've created a list of five Generation Z truths I believe are universal.
- We still don't know if we should let our kids play videogames, but we tend to recognize that we are denying our kids technology at our own risk. Studies are mixed as to the effects of technology on child development, but one study suggests that children who play an hour of video games a day are more social, less hyperactive and happier than their non-video game playing peers. The caveat -- the study also found that playing more than three hours a day is harmful.
Many of us entered adulthood excited about the future. As we prepare our children to come of age, we need to focus less on our differences and more on our shared goals. We all may adhere to different parenting philosophies, but some parenting truths are universal. We all want our kids to inherit a world that is better than the one we were born into. Together, we can guide the next generation down a path of opportunity, success, and perhaps most importantly, a path towards personal and communal fulfillment.
What would you add to the list? I look forward to reading your comments!
Stacey Steinberg is a child advocate and professor trying to balance her love for the law with her unique ability to capture the beauty of everyday life. You can follow Stacey's photography on Facebook and read more of her posts on her website.
HuffPost Parents offers a daily dose of personal stories, helpful advice and comedic takes on what it’s like to raise kids today. Learn more