I am developing my own system to help parents of teens. It is with sadness that every day I find people with poor problem solving skills, people who did not know there were other options to solve their problems… and what could be more useful than parents able to help children to learn how to solve any type of problem effectively? How much confidence and hope can that bring to anybody?
Hopefully children have the proper parenting they deserve and they become healthy teens. How to help parents to achieve this? In my experience, parents need to help their children to learn to think. This is as simple as helping them to see other options (or to look for them), think about the consequences in the short and long term, to be disciplined to commit to plans to achieve what they want, to be able to learn what they want because they know how to study and enjoy doing it, etc.
When I created www.learningmentor.org, my main purpose was to have a list of websites where people can learn things for free. Regrettably, it is so difficult to access the wonderful educational programmes that sometimes are shown in the TV. With the internet, again, it is so difficult sometimes to find the websites that can help you to learn what you want, the way you want. Not only that, but to provide access to free software that children can create things with what they are learning, publish things, etc. In our era of content marketing, everybody should use their educational years to find out the topics they are more interested and think how to combine them and present them in unique ways, in their own perspectives, in their own formats such as papers, books, comics, presentations, videos, etc.
I would suggest books such as “Reinventing education. A Thought Experiment by 21 authors” edited by Vincent Nolan and Gerard Darby, where among other things, it is promoted the need to encourage in children the desire to learn and teach children how to think. When I createdwww.microworkshops.org my idea was to organise some videos about personal development that can motivate people towards their own improvement.
It is important to think about social change, about ways of life, about learning how to live in a society with so much consumption, so much publicity and social media…
It is not easy to change, to improve, unless you keep out of distractions. That is why I have started a website called www.onlinegym.club, not thinking only about the physical health, but also about the mental, social, emotional, financial and spiritual health, and the importance of having some social media influence to remind us the need of healthy routines. I am creating some more websites, such as www.professionaldevelopment.club, to help workers to be ready for their next move. In a society with a high level of uncertainty, in which changes happen at any time, it is important to be ready for the next move. You can move yourself or get ready for when the right time comes.
One of the projects in which I am more interested is on my other websitewww.thethinkingking.com. Through this website I would like to provide effective education (seminars for teens, facilitations for parents, innovation for employees and businesses). Parents need to be able to compete, not only with the content of social media, but with the attraction and the time that they take away from children to think. This means that parents have to be very effective in the way they help their children, not by just telling them what to do, but by listening carefully, asking the right questions, with the a helping attitude, in the right time, in a collaboratively exploring manner, humbly and trying to understand and learn, so that children can think about it (Is it not that same approach we would like from our children?). In my own experience with a teenager that when he was 15 years old was a bit challenging, I was amazed by how using techniques learnt from being a facilitator, from using cognitive behavioural therapy and motivational interviewing, not only contributed to help the child to think better (what also lead to a sustainable improved behaviour), but also to change from having some type of discussions to having interesting dialogues based on ideas and thoughts, what lead myself to learn by thinking from other perspectives. Some of my books explore this topic, specifically, I would recommend “Creative Thinking for Londoners. Learning different things in different ways”.
When thinking about our social media and about computers, my thoughts are about how to change the programmes that some children have, the instructions they have learnt that lead to their own destruction, to their continue distraction, their lack of thinking time, forgetting they already have access to the tools to improve their lives. We need to understand the long life possibilities of change and the enormous availability of resources that can be used to improve ourselves. More important than that, to stimulate the desire to use the tools we have in our hands to improve ourselves and our society.
First published in www.miguelacha.com