Will My Children have Great Interpersonal Skills in This Tech-Saturated World?

5 years ago

iPad, iPhone, SmartPhone, Kindle, Kindle Fire, etc... I know, I know, the list can go on.

Goodness, my children live in a saturated world of technology and gadgets and 140 character statements. They will NEVER know a time when technology wasn't an enormous part of their lives. Period.

The best thing that I can do NOW is cultivate and nurture excellent communication skills in them with people face to face and NOT simply over clicking 'send' because it seems to me that interpersonal skills are almost extinct today. It's a bit scary!

But these are the times we live in. I get it. The perils of technology and children. The fact that my daughters are growing up watching my husband and I constantly 'connected' and 'plugged in' to the whole gamut of social media makes me worry for them.

I worry that they will not have the ability to connect with people on a face to face level when Facebook and Twitter are the ways that even I am connecting with people lately. I worry that they'll be 'socially' limited. I worry that they'll totally suck at communicating on a human level when they're adults. I worry that instead of resolving an issue with someone, in the flesh, that they'll simply revert to an e-mail or a text message or worse a Facebook status update. I worry that they'll be fantastic at the whole social media do's and don't's but NOT the real LIFE social do's and don't's, i.e., DO send a handwritten thank you card & DON'T show up at someone's house unannounced. Do you know what I mean?

I worry.

But within all the 'worrying' I do, here is a list of what I am cultivating and nurturing in them. For goodness sake, I can only hope that they'll have great (or at the very least, acceptable) interpersonal/communication skills.

1. Allow them to tell me how they feel when they feel it to my face BUT respectfully. If I respect them, they will only emulate the same behavior.

2. Write 'thank you' notes each time they receive a gift or are given a thoughtful gesture. Although this is not necessarily an 'interpersonal' skill, it does require 'personal' handling. It's time consuming, YES, but the rewards are endless. I'd like to know that I'm raising 'appreciative' little individuals.

3. Allow them to 'see' my husband and I in disagreement or pouty-looking mohttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifments AND also see the RESOLUTION to our tiff, disagreement or pouty moment. What's the point of the frowns if they can't see toothy smiles and hugs and kisses later?

4. No matter what a situation brings forth, it is extremely important that they a) apologize & b) do it AUTHENTICALLY. None of that half assed passive aggressive garbage I often encounter! If you don't mean it then don't say it. Go cool your head off and then come back and be genuine, dammit!

5. Make sure that no matter what career path they choose, they NEED to be well versed, well read and well on their way to dealing with any type of person that 'strolls' down their path OR 'trolls' on their blog post, tweet, Facebook status update or Klout score. I will raise Internet & social media savvy daughters. Period.

Photo Credit: Girls at a Computer via Shutterstock.

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