Be Conscious of Messages (Solution 10)

28 Oct

For the past ten days I have been posting strategies for building stronger and healthier relationship and communication skills between boys and girls. My goal was to present ideas for bringing kids together to enhance their interaction. Today we reach the end of our top ten list, and I am pleased to present the final solution.…..Solution 10: Be Conscious of Messages

What is a message? Well, according to dictionary.com, it is as follows:

 mes•sage [mes-ij]
noun
1. a communications containing some information, news, advice, request, or the like, sent by messenger, radio, telephone, or other means.

Messages inform, messages teach, messages influence the way we view things. And there is no doubt about it…kids receive messages from numerous suppliers about what it means to be a boy or a girl on a pretty constant basis.

Some messages are important, some irrelevant, some downright damaging. While there are certainly benefits to living in an information rich environment, there are drawbacks as well. We can’t always control the sources from which our kids receive information that contributes to their self-concept, and it would be unrealistic to suggest removal of any of these. Setting boundaries and limits is always important, but ultimately, this is the world that exists today, and our kids need to learn to live successfully in it.

This is where we adults have a very important role to play. By being aware of the outside information kids are sorting through, and being mindful of the messages kids receive from our own words and actions, we can better help them navigate the waters. We can talk to our kids about what it really means to be female or male. We can explore with them the images they see and messages they hear. We can listen to our kids as they express what they believe to be true about themselves. And we can teach our kids to question the information they take in. By encouraging our kids to think for themselves (combined with the marvelous values and morals we are all obviously instilling), we can teach our boys and girls to make responsible, respectful and wise decisions that make them feel proud of the individuals they are.

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