(This is a reprint from my Sacramento Cyber Safety Examiner column on Examiner.com)
Keenan Davis, founder of R. Keenan Davis Law, serving the Placer County region, helps families with the modern issues pertaining to family law and elder care. A father of eight grown children and 13 grandchildren, he was a featured speaker at the Banana Moments Foundation symposium on Teaching Digital Natives to Know their Own Worth last Oct. 3 in Carmichael. The theme of this symposium is conversation tips to help youth know that their worth as human beings is not tied to sex and money. Davis offers some excellent suggestions to encourage youth find their fit in the family, and understand how to creatively respond to the financial demands of life in a healthy way.
“Social media is so incredibly superficial,” he said. “It is easy to be manipulated. So building trust with youth at home is incredibly important.” Davis describes trust as a cord of strands, wound together like a cable. “These are the deposits we make into the emotional bank accounts of our children through our regular interaction with them,” he said. “So we need to control our reactions to the things they say and do they will not be driven away.”
We know that trust is built upon a consistent experience with individuals over time. For the Davis family, the trust building experience was a weekly Monday Family Night gathering where with open dialogue about what is happening in the lives of every member of the family, as well as lessons to impart the spiritual wisdom of their faith. “We used to gather our family of 10 people together on Monday evenings to talk about things,” he said. “We had a loose but effective agenda structure of opening prayer, announcements, a lesson, and then a fun activity. Sometimes it was orderly; sometimes it was chaos. Most of the time it was fun. It certainly did two things: it told the kids we loved them and made time for them and it provided a regular forum for teaching and training.”
Through the lessons of family interaction, kids can learn how to fit in by choosing to be a contributing member of the group. For Davis, it is all about leading by example to show kids what it means to have a work ethic and discipline. “It is important to work with your kids, don’t just demand work from them. Together you can experience being tired at the end of the day from doing good work is a satisfying feeling.”
By the same token, Davis encourages parents to help their children experience earning money by giving them paid jobs at home. This is especially helpful when your child has a desire to do something that requires more money than they have. Davis shared an anecdote of one of his daughters who raised money for a mission trip by selling brownies she made at an incredibly high price. “People bought them because they knew it was for a good cause,” he said. “And then someone stepped in with a major donation.”
Davis encourages parents to help youth understand that money is a resource to be earned and managed, but not your only focus in life. “It is easy to believe that having more money will make you feel secure or safe,” he said. “But money is not the objective. If you want something to happen and it is good, and you think through how to fill in the steps to make it happen, then you can determine how to raise money to support that goal.” Help your child become creative about ways to raise the funds to achieve their dream or desire, and they will learn that earning money is about engaging people in a worthwhile endeavor that blesses everyone.
(Disclosure: This examiner is the founder of Banana Moments Foundation.)
ABOUT: Banana Moments Foundation is a non-profit education center founded in Roseville, CA to strengthen the parent-child bond in a hyper-connected world. The BMF mission is to restore families with the mustard seed of faith that declares liberty already belongs to the soul because one God, the Creator of all humanity, grants every human being intelligence and free will to choose what to believe, and that is power that can never be taken, but is easily surrendered to the bully, the drug or the device. To that end, ten percent of all BMF proceeds are donated to prison ministries. Your Donations are greatly appreciated.
As the Sacramento Cyber Safety Examiner, my personal mission is to educate and inspire parents from all walks of life and social settings to realize their inherent authority to govern the home and educate the child about their own power; the personal power that comes from the spiritual resilience of your chosen faith. And so I write for Examiner.com to express the passion of my mother heart to a diverse audience.
Joanna Jullien is an author, educator and speaker on strengthening the parent-child relationship in a cyber powered world. She is a mother of two grown sons, the author of The Authority In Me: The Power of Family Life in the Network Culture, produces The Sacramento Cyber Safety Examiner column on Examiner.com, and is the CyberParenting advisor on The Fish 103.9FM. Her new book, A Google World in the Garden of Eden: Five Family-Safe Strategies for Texting and Social Media is now available for PC and all eReader formats including Kindle, Nook, iPad.
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