5 Trends Our Children Are Facing That Were Irrelevant In Our Times
"Kids these days..."
If you find yourself saying this more, it is obvious that a generation gap is present.
It seems like teenagers today pick up new skills a lot faster than before. Do you notice that our children are picking up more hobbies and talents at their age compared to how we were when as teens?
Times have changed and people will too. As Albert Einstein mentioned:
“The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.”
What are some trends or behaviours that you notice catching up with the young now that we in the past would have little understanding about? We have identified a few trends that are catching up with our teens:
With the advancements in technology, we are seeing the future generation picking up technology skills faster than before.
Schools are implementing coding enrichment classes as part of their curriculum in 2020, and this starts from as young as upper primary students. One participating school, Waterway Primary school, believes that the introduction of computing classes can improve computational thinking which is relevant to real-life problem-solving.
In Singapore, computing courses are rising in popularity. NUS Computing adds that A level applicants applying to Computing in their top 2 choices has been increasing by 50% since 2014. More disciplines are also introducing basic programming to their students as one of their core modules. Parents are willing to invest to have their children learn coding at a young age, as seen by an increase in demand for kids’ coding classes reported by Straits Times.
As programming becomes a valued skill by companies, what do you think about students learning programming at a young age? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.
2. Digital Money
Previously, the value of money was mainly introduced in schools where students learn to manage their allowances in canteens. What has changed is that children are entering into a digital age and can be paying for convenience already, unlike some of us who had our first cards after getting a job. Most of the stores accept cashless payments from QR codes to prepaid cards to credit cards.
However, the absence of cash has caused some parents to worry as they are not used to educating children when money is not visible. This was addressed in the U.K. by a pocket money app, GoHenry, which allows parents to better understand and teach their children digital financial literacy through a Visa Card and a kid's friendly mobile application. More and more companies (especially in the western countries) such as Greenlight (US) and Spriggy (Australia) are diving into the children finance space as they saw the importance of educating children on financial literacy in our increasingly cashless world.
Taby resonates with the cause and we want to provide a teen-friendly wallet to parents as well as their children in Singapore where such services are limited for the young.
3. Educational Courses
Similar to coding, upskilling is the new trend! Parents enrolling their children in enrichment classes such as piano, taekwondo or learning a new language. The demand for such enrichment lessons also increases. This can be partly due to young brains finding it easy to absorb more things, as found by scientists at the University of Oxford. So why not make use of these fresh minds?
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic had also shifted our classroom education into a Home-Based Learning (HBL) system for a period of time in Apr 2020. As issued in the MOE 2020 Education Work Plan, HBL is going to be integrated more to get them accustomed to digital learning. We can expect to see our children home more next year onwards.
4. Social Media
Did you know that Gen Z spent the most amount of time on social media compared to other generations? (source) Teenagers these days rule social media.
Unlike the previous generations who were gradually introduced to the advancement of the Internet, children nowadays are born into it. Under security concerns, most platforms require users to be at least 13 years old with parental consent. This has pushed social media companies to create alternative platforms to allow for more inclusiveness without compromising on the laws that prevent them from access. For example, YouTube has created YouTube Kids and Snapchat has introduced SnapKidz catered towards those under 13 years old.
As guardians, it is our responsibility to make sure that our children have a healthy relationship with the Internet. The web can provide us with lots of information and misinformation as well. Help your child by ensuring that they are following helpful content. Teach them how to respond when they are facing online predators the way you teach them for real-life situations. Nothing beats constant communication with your children about their online behaviour especially if they are new to this space.
Children these days have learnt to be more vocal in expressing their thoughts, and the prevalence of social media provides ease of discussions and outlets for people. With information spread so easily, issues on inequality, rights or global crises become more prominent. Youths have a better picture of the future that they will be in, and they learn to use their voice.
Greta Thunberg, Source: Teletrader
One notable example is 16-year-old climate activist, Greta Thunberg, who advocates for government bodies to pass environmental bills by protesting outside the Parliament. Soon she influenced a global movement, Fridays for Future (FFF), which is a school strike for the climate with the belief that there’s no need for education if there would be no place for the future generations. This movement has been participated by more than 13,000,000 people across the globe.
Closer to home, we have Youth for Ecology which is encouraging more discussions around youths regarding the environment for the bigger picture. It is heartwarming to see the young standing up for their beliefs. However, believing and talking about it can be done easily, understanding the perspectives is challenging. Therefore, ecoYOUTH’s approach can help to educate through healthy discussions and involve the young for better solutions.
“Kids these days” isn’t a new slang. Society constantly evolves, and humans are always adapting. We can see that our children are growing up in environments different from our own. As parents, we have to empathise with the generation and be part of their upkeep of the up and coming trends. As capable as our children are, it is good to keep yourself updated with what’s going on so as well that you are even more aware than them. It's time to move along with their trends.
Taby is a fun and intuitive pocket money app which aims to cultivate better money management habits between the parents and the child in our increasingly cashless society. Join our FREE waitlist below!