There are three ways to use the new PKR:

  1. Browse and click on color-coded boxes that appear as if by magic as you scroll down.
  2. Click on a category for all the ParenTips under that particular category.
  3. Go to the Site Map (link) for an:
    • a) alphabetical list of all ParenTips.
    • b) A list of all 8 categories with every ParenTip in that category listed alphabetically.

Or mix and match! Have fun as you get the information you need!

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No, I’m not talking about past tense and future tense (although I hope our kids are getting enough grammar in school to learn to write and speak well so they can express themselves).

I’m talking about THE past and THE future.

Young people today do not seem to have a grasp of the past. Many children today don’t know much American history. They don’t read as much as children used to. I learned a lot about what it was like to have lived in times past when I read biographies and autobiographies of famous people and when I read fiction set in times past. In the pre-electronic era I had lots of time to read and reading and daydreaming were the only ways to transport you from your reality to another time or place. Now of course that can happen with the click of a switch or the press of a keyboard key.

To me it is sad that children no longer use the ACTIVE act of reading to be transported into the past but even sadder is that many children do not seem to daydream about the future or be able to project themselves into the future the way kids in my generation did.

I think the “loss” of the past and the future is related to the fact that we all live in a virtual world. We expect instant connections and we get them–at the computer. But though we can connect to Singapore in a nano-second we are connecting less with each other because we spend so much time on the computer. And because everything happens so fast and demands our attention right NOW we are immersed in the PRESENT, a present which is so demanding on all the screens we use that we lack the psychic energy to think about the future, our own or collectively.

Perhaps one of the best reasons for limiting screen time is to give your kids time to think about the future. But you also have to find ways to get them future-oriented. And you need a better way than the old, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”

Share how you decided what to be when you were growing up, look up careers together at the library or on the internet, invite friends with interesting professions over for dinner, talk about the future of Planet Earth, follow up on future-oriented school projects, involve your child in extracurricular activities that may lead to future interests like science clubs.

Find your own ways to get your children thinking about all those wonderful possibilities out there: new fields like the neurosciences, no barriers because of gender or race, new technologies to work with, new markets to trade with, new peoples to work with, new (and old) problems to solve.

Help your child think and dream about a future!