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Today's Kids Are Changing in Unique Ways

Today's kids are changing in unique ways. Here are some key points to consider.

There are more "only child" children than ever before. Growing up as an only child can do two things. It can result in children playing alone more often and it can create a longing to have friends to play with.

There is a record number of children being home-schooled. This can also create a longing for friendships.

Today's kids have more pets than ever. They see their pets as their children/babies. Their pets are considered playmates.

The pandemic has caused many kids to miss out on key interactions and experiences. In many instances, kids have shifted to digital experiences and platforms for social interaction. This allows them to connect with current friends and meet new children via online platforms such as TikTok, Instagram, YouTube and Google.

While instant communication is available for today's kids, it does come with some risks from online predators. Parents must be aware of this and take steps to keep their children safe.

Algorithms allow today's kids the opportunity to pursue their interests and passions more quickly and at a deeper level. If a child is interested in something like trains. They can instantly have access to unlimited information about the subject.

Kids look to social media celebrities and influencers for advice and instruction about their interests. An example is a child who is into soccer. With one click, they can have lots of soccer influencers and advisors available to give them advice and tips on playing.

Family dinners have changed. Go back 20 years and sitting down for an evening meal together was a high priority. Families would share about their day and engage in family conversations. This has changed significantly. Dinner time is sportsoften grabbing fast food on the way to a sport's practice or other event outside the home.

Internet access. Kids today have access to the internet from birth. Previous generations did not. Go back 20 years and social media sites like YouTube, Facebook and TikTok did not exist.

Today's kids spend less time outside. Some of the reasons for this is over-scheduling. Kids have their schedules booked up with sports, music lessons and other activities. Parents are also hesitant to let their kids play unsupervised due to fear of crime and abuse. 20 years ago, childhood meant playing outside. Now kids play on their screens.

Today's kids are connected all the time through their smartphones. A Pew poll in 2018 found that 95% of teens have a smartphone. 45% report being online constantly. 12 is the most common age for a child to receive their first smartphone.

Interestingly enough, today's kids use their phones for texting more than they do for talking.

Their families are more diverse. 20 years ago, a family consisted of 2 married parents - a man and woman. But the definition of "family" has changed and now includes single parents, same-sex parents, couples living together unmarried, etc.

Encyclopedias can be found online. All the information kids need for school work, research, etc. is available at the click of a keyboard. These are just a few of the changes that are affecting how today's kids grow up.

It should also have an effect on how we minister to children. Think about these questions.

What changes do you need to make to stay relevant for today's kids?

How can you build relationships with today's kids?

How can you best minister to today's families?

How can you encourage and equip parents to raise their children in God's ways?


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