Forget Gen Z, This is Generation Auto-Play

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.

What To Do With Screen Time?

Screen time is no longer sitting in-front of a television. It’s a pocket computer that has access to the entire worlds database of information. At this point – when used with purpose, the screen is not a distraction but a tool.

There are two reasons I embrace screen time with my 9 year old son:

1 - Education & Learning (and Teaching)

I often check in with my son when he’s on the iPad. I’ve found him on an app learning how to code a video game; I’ve found him on Wikipedia teaching himself some interesting facts about Ireland because St. Patrick’s day was coming; I’ve found him watching a video on how currency works since the gold standard was abolished. I found this out as he usually gives me a lesson on what he has learned for the day with a big grin on his face because it's usually about something I didn't actually know myself.

Literally any question he can think of can be answered with the right app or properly worded google search. There is no information that is unavailable to them.

2 - They Are Inspired To Be a Producer

If your child(ren) is anything like mine, they no longer watch TV because they are completely absorbed in YouTube videos. Originally this was an odd concept to me. Why would they be interested in watching someone play a video game instead of playing one themselves? Kids, just like them, are becoming famous for playing video games or becoming famous for being great at trick basketball shots.

What I’ve learned is that beyond the comedic value of well timed insults or puns, these videos are inspiring our kids to realize anyone is capable of producing similar content. There is an audience for every video uploaded to YouTube. Our kids are watching people just like them who become successful by becoming an expert in their field. I hope they see the effort and practice put into this success. I hope this world of opportunity inspires them.

My motivation for my son is to not just be a consumer but a producer of content. Like a favorite song quote of mine “…If we don’t make it ourselves it isn’t fun, it’s entertainment.” It’s a matter of motivation when using the tool; are they interested in being entertained or inspired?

Have a young child that wants to create or take action on a passion? Take a look at our programs for young KidPreneurs. Summer Camps are Open for Registration Now!