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Print That Connects

By December 27th children utter the familiar words, “I’m bored.

The presents have been opened. The cookies are getting stale. The holiday company is leaving. It’s an ideal time to encourage children to write thank you notes.

Yes, really. Messages delivered on paper.

Research shows that even though Millennials (most new parents are Millennials) are driven by digital media, print has become a welcome retreat from the online space.

Fake news, online stranger danger (scams, viruses, malware, hackers, etc.) and the blare of digital advertising means print communication stands out among the clicks. In addition, print makes a stronger emotional connection than clickable content.

So, doesn’t helping a child write a thank you note make sense?

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Instant gratification nation

How patiently is your child waiting for Christmas?

We can hardly complain about antsy kids when we consider how
impatient we are.

Our tech obsession has led to an increased sense of impatience. How long would you wait for takeout? When ordering a ride from an app, how long would you wait?

Christmas is almost here. That’s one less thing for which to wait!

Junior chefs

Many of us bake holiday treats from recipes handed down through family and friends.

However, junior chefs, who have grown up watching cooking videos, tend to be more visual and intuitive.

Instead of following step by step instructions, some young chefs don’t rely heavily on written recipes. Instead, many of these hobbyists look at a wordless image online and let creativity rule.

I challenge, them though, to try that with a meringue!

A shift in shopping?

Will holiday gift giving reflect the trend toward giving experiences instead of products?

Some parents who are concerned about raising materialistic children make conscious decisions to limit the number of toys and outfits they buy. They still shop, as I can verify after finding my way through the crowded Lego aisle at Target.

But it will be interesting to see if things like toy and clothing subscription services and online resale shops see sales bumps during the holidays.

Family time Halloween

Which family in your neighborhood will win the social media competition?

As retailers race to the bottom this weekend, cutting prices on Halloween costumes, families are creating original costumes that are Instagram-worthy. One of the trends this year: parents and kids dressing around a unified theme.

This shift toward Halloween becoming an all-family event will hopefully result in fewer gory masks and costumes than we’ve seen in recent years.

The shopping dance

If I mentally push back, I can remember when grocery shopping was simple.

Yogurt fit on a single shelf. There was one type of lettuce and it came on a head. I only shopped at one store.

Remember?

Now, we constantly balance quality vs. price as we zip between Aldi and Walmart on the bargain end and Whole Foods on the “nicer” end.

Families might be eating healthier, but shopping is more complicated…and kids still only eat mac and cheese.

Easier parenting?

In some ways, monitoring a child’s tech use is getting easier.

Apps allow remote locking, offer location tracking, and limit time on a device.

My concern is that it’s too easy to substitute tech monitoring for effective parenting.

Helping a child effectively use a device is one aspect of parenting, but gatekeeping, filtering or blocking is a single part of being a good mom or dad.

No app, filter or site will help a child make meaningful sense of his experience. No program can duplicate your family value system.

Tech is a tool, not a parent.