Generation Alpha. If this is your first time hearing this term, don't be frightened by it. To understand what generation Alpha is, you must first understand what millennials are. Millennials are the group of humans who were born between 1981-1996. They went ahead and had children, which were then born or will be potentially born from 2010-2025. This generation is referred to as Generation Alpha.
This generation may also be born from parents that hail from earlier generations, aka Generation X or Baby Boomers. However, having Millennial parents is the most common.
What Defines Generation Alpha?
Generation Alpha is primarily defined by the high amount of exposure to technology. The year that they were born in the year Apple made the first-ever iPad. Not only that, it is the same year that Instagram launched.
The result of this is that every kid born into generation Alpha is likely to be very good at using technology. Whether they want to play a mobile game like Angry Birds or feel like watching their favorite cartoon on YouTube, you just need to hand them a tablet or smartphone and they can accomplish most things on their own.
How To Raise Generation Alpha
The generation raising Alpha is mostly Millennials, which is a great thing. Due to this age of social media, there is a plethora of information when it comes to parenting techniques. Any questions you may have, you can get an answer at your fingertips. That is probably how you are reading this article too.
One of the biggest hurdles when it comes to raising Generation Alpha is exposing your children to social media. There are many videos out there and other sorts of content as well that are highly unsuitable for kids to watch. You can use programs to monitor their social media activity or curb it all at times, but is that effective?
Children these days have a huge concept of privacy and personal space, and rightfully so. Parents of Generation Alpha have to be cautious and careful as to not overstep boundaries between their children and them but at the same time protect their children.
Instead, it is way more appropriate to instead open up to your child and let them know they can come to you with any issues without them fearing a negative reaction from you.
Tip 1: Get Expert Research on the Generation Alpha
There are many online resources, but that begs the question, which resource do you use? What parenting techniques work? Where is the science more accurate and well termed?
Generally, websites that are links to verified academic journals are generally safe, although it may be worth checking the referencing and sources. Government or ministry and department of health websites may also have good information.
Be wary of third-party websites and remember that not everything online is true and there will be plenty of bad advice out there and advice that is just not suitable for your unique family dynamic.
Tip 2: Use Online Forums With Other Generation Alpha Parents
The age of the internet is beautiful. Online platforms like Reddit are both resource-based and interactive, meaning you have information and you can speak to other people who are experiencing the same thing. A brilliant way to do that is to join Facebook groups as well, considering Reddit is a daunting and a platform unfamiliar to many. But do take everything with a grain of salt and do your research as advised above before implementing anything.
Tip 3: Keep an Eye out for Dangerous Habits of Generation Alpha Kids
A lack of control of habits can make a habit dangerous. There's nothing wrong with your child browsing social media but doing so for hours at a time can develop a strain on their eyes. It is better for them to browse a little at a time and do other non-gadget-related activities in the meanwhile.
If you keep having fights with your children and you feel like getting professional help, that is completely understandable. Learn how to manage parent-child conflicts so that you can raise a child who can handle conflict in a healthy manner.
There's nothing wrong with your child watching videos on YouTube. However, there is plenty of adult content and graphic content on YouTube which should not be viewed by a child, especially one that is left unmonitored. There is a way to set a ban on adult content and there are channels that produce content that is both educational and family-friendly.
Spending a lot of time on activities online is fine but parents must remember to always ensure time for their child. Be it before dinner, after work, or even in the mornings, parents must take out time to spend with their Generation Alpha children. Isolating them may lead to stunted social lives and rebellious behavior. Click here to read about why eating meals together can make a family stronger.
If you have any concerns about your child and feel that you need help to support them, speak to your GP to find out about your local resources. You can also reach out to specialized counselling services that assist and support parents.