Weekly Update: December 21, 2011

2011 has been quite a year! Over the last 12 months, it’s become clear to many more people that our economy is changing quite dramatically:

Median household earnings have fallen to 1996 levels, and household wealth is plummeting.

We have more unemployed people in the U.S.than at anytime since the 1930s.

The average American now owes 150% more than what he or she earns.

Analysts are finally starting to admit we’ve pushed too many kids to get college degrees.

Meanwhile, student loan debt is up over 500% since 1999.

No wonder so many young adults have to move back home with their parents!

Today’s parents grew up thinking that jobs are plentiful, that college degrees are a requirement for success, and that our government will keep our financial situation from overheating. Looks like we’ve been wrong on all counts.

But we can change. We can open our eyes to the reality of the situation and prepare our kids for a different world than the one we were prepared for. As I noted in Thriving in the 21st Century:    

The “mass production economy” is on its way out (literally headed east), giving way to a new American era where being innovative, self-motivated and flexible are the keys to survival. We’re learning that looking out for ourselves and our families is our own responsibility. In many ways, we’re returning to our American roots.

The frontier we now face is not one of harsh winters on the prairie, as the pioneers did, but an economic climate where the needs of those who have become dependent on it are no longer guaranteed to be filled. We can no longer rely on a company to keep us in paychecks until we retire with the gold watch as our parting gift. We are now on our own.

As we fumble through this new era, trying to learn skills and attitudes needed for our survival, we must include our children on that journey. It’s no longer enough to find a house in a “good” school district, send the children out to the bus stop and hope for the best. As we’ll see in subsequent chapters, there are many ways we parents can prepare our children for this new economic reality. In doing so, we’ll have to expand our definition of educating our children for the future far beyond getting them to the bus stop on time.

We can combine our personal knowledge of who each child is with updated knowledge of what our children need to learn in order to allow our children to thrive in the 21st century. Futurists are compiling skill sets that will be essential for our children’s economic survival, yet the public education establishment appears oblivious to their work. We can’t assume that the people who run America’s public schools know what to do now, because they do not. Few things are as slow to accept change as bureaucracies. That’s why we parents need to take back the job of preparing our children for the future.

So this is our challenge. Please join me in 2012 as I continue to share information that will help you prepare your children to thrive in the 21st century. Here are some links to get you started:

Why you can’t raise your kids the way you were raised.

Children, Computers and Time

Your Child and College

Teaching Children to Be Frugal  

Teaching Children to Recognize and Appreciate Quality (Part 1 and Part 2)  

 

Next update: January 4, 2012

Happy New Year!

Barbara Frank

http://www.thrivinginthe21stcentury.com

 

 

 

 

 

Weekly Update: October 26, 2011

News and Info for 21st Century Parents

Underemployment is becoming a big problem, which is why we’ll need to encourage our children to develop a business (or two) on the side.

This family has found nature to be a great encourager of creativity in their children.

Family income is now at 1996 levels and dropping, one more reason to raise children who are money-smart.

How can you counteract the socialistic b.s. your kids are being taught in school about economics? Encourage entrepreneurship, a.k.a. real-life learning.

You know times have changed when a corporate attorney can become a Lego artist earning $16,000 per sculpture. 

What Homeschooled Kids are Missing Out On

The more time teachers are forced to spend incorporating social reprogramming into the curriculum, the less time they’ll have to include basic skills into their lesson plans.

Parents Who Didn’t Get the Memo

What could be more important for the social development of a four-year-old than a spray tan?

You Can Say That Again!

Our education system-much of it-belongs in the time when we traveled by horse-back and canal boat. (Blaine McCormick in At Work with Thomas Edison)

 

So, how are you preparing your children to thrive in the 21st century? Check out the links to the left for articles and information that will help you.

See you next Wednesday,

Barbara Frank

http://www.thrivinginthe21stcentury.com

NEW! Subscribe to these weekly updates via RSS or email: see your options in the top right corner.