Today I am writing to you about fears that are on the increase in upcoming generations. You may already recognize some of these in your children.
The first one is FOMO, fear of missing out. In today’s social media world, you can see photos of your friends online doing fun things. It’s logical to assume that you are missing out on something. Your children may see their friends doing things and wonder why they were not included. They may ask you why your family “never” does anything fun. The fear is real, although it’s obvious they can’t possibly be involved in everything they see online. They’re going to miss out on something. What can you do? Help them understand that you can’t do everything. You must make choices. You must set priorities. Those priorities should be in accordance with your values. As always, we adults can model appropriate behavior as well
The second fear is known as FOBO, fear of being off-line. Even adults are known to experience this when they become disconnected, lose Wi-Fi, or out of range. A recent study of teens in 13 countries across five continents showed 70% of them expressed this fear. We need to help our children understand the human need for silence. Occasionally the body has to re-group, and that happens when the sensory overload diminishes.
The third fear is FOMU, fear of messing up. Again, in today’s social media world our mistakes are broadcast with video. There are even websites dedicated entirely to epic failures. This causes our children stress. In today’s economy there are so many opportunities for those with an entrepreneurial spirit, but how can students take chances when they are so concerned about messing up? Help your children understand the risks versus rewards of any venture. Help them understand and appreciate the input of a few trusted individuals instead of the whole society they see on any social network.
Again, the key to all of this is to model appropriate behavior and talk with our children about the way to make good decisions. When your children do “mess up”, use this as an opportunity to discuss the fact that humans are not perfect. Only God is perfect. Remind them how valuable they are to you and to our loving God. He sent His own Son to suffer on our behalf. That’s real love, and we should all feel valued.
Blessings on your parenting,
Tim Miesner, Principal