Parents have it tough these days. The Internet seems to have melded seamlessly into our lives. And parents of this generation are faced with the many challenges of raising digital natives–kids who were born into the Digital Age and who are expertly handling digital gadgets as if these were toys. Jeng Plata happens to be the mother of a digital native. How does she cope with all the LOLs and the YOLOs? Wait… what do these even mean?
Parenting Challenges in 2014
by Marilyn Plata
The entire context of my daughter’s reality is far different from my own childhood reality.
In her reality, new words are invented, technology changes fast, and new discoveries are happening all at once. As I scramble to stay abreast of the latest internet terms: “lol”, “yolo”, “jgh”, there’s meme generator, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites my daughter is so keen in using. There are so much behavioral shifts and I have to be fast enough to see where all of them are coming from. For instance, there are moments of silence on the dining table just because all of us are on our smart phones checking or updating our status. Sometimes, just when everybody is in the mood to say something funny, a good old laugh will be replied by “LOLs Nanay!” Honestly, there are moments when I feel I am not fast enough.
My daughter is an on-line student. And she likes it. She is coping with all her other activities such as training for swimming. But she can also take on-line exams while five other tabs are open on her computer, not to mention the chat tabs. And yet she does it so well…I am so amazed! She is headstrong and heart-strong in keeping her goals. She brings home medals and recently, she even perfected an exam! She has the confidence in dealing with new people and she can carry a conversation or two with people she just met.
Then it dawned on me. Yes, I may not be comfortable in this “new world”. I may not embrace her world. But I just know one thing… a parent-child relationship is a day-to-day discovery. I am learning and will continue to learn. But I appreciate the fact that my daughter is, too. We both learn to be patient with each other while we help each other bloom. And although everyday is different, one truth is constant: all is done in love.
Marilyn C. Plata is an entrepreneur who hates comfort zones. She cannot be too redundant; from being a print journalist/tv segment producer to becoming a pre-school teacher and a restauranteur, she is now plunged to her latest challenge as a brand strategist. It’s all about putting all the pieces together. One should be hungry like crazy to leave the familiar. But after all the adventures, at the end of the day, resting is when she crawls into bed with her husband and daughter to cuddle. She does not hate comfort zones after all.