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For parents and teachers…There’s a new adversary in town. It’s the auto play.

Entertainment and indulgence have become an automated activity with countdown clocks to the next episode on Netflix, to the next match in online gaming, to the next YouTube video. Even our meals can become automated with the delivery apps that recommend your preferences.

There’s benefits to this automation. It frees up our minds from having to make too many decisions as well as the time of manually completing the task. “Be Kind, Please Rewind” is a phrase our kids will never know.

Our kids are growing up with access to instant gratification from very minimal effort. And yet as parents we know that self-esteem and confidence are derived from overcoming challenges and success can be determined by ones ability to delay gratification.

How can we instill the work ethic in our kids that will set them up for challenges later in life?

Do they need to earn their time on video games? Do we treat time on electronics as a currency that we pay them in exchange for chores and good behaviour?

For us, the greatest thing we can teach our kids is the joy of skill acquisition. The confidence they gain from being able to do something they once were incapable of is empowering and hopefully inspires them to want to learn another skill.

The electronics we see as a distraction can also be used as tools. But like I told our son this week, tools, like a hammer, can be used to build a house but also take one down. It’s about deciding the outcome we want to use the tool for and then utilizing it to best meet that outcome. In our home, and through Build a Biz Kids, we are looking for ways to use these tools to learn new skills.

What has worked for you? What tactics, strategies and communication models have you used to get positive results from your kids when addressing technology for good?

We would love to hear from you. It takes a village and an open network of knowledge sharing to trial and error each child (and parent) as individuals to reach the desired results.

Stay tuned as we share assorted strategies that Build a Biz Kids, and Parents, have utilized with success, as well as those that crashed and burned.

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