Uncommon Experiences

It’s no secret that kids live in a different world than their parents. They have their own subculture, and that subculture has its own host of subcultures within it. Increasingly younger kids have their own private, electronic lives ranging from Facebook accounts, Instagram profiles and Twitter feeds. All of these are unique to the child, and in many ways parents can be kept at arms length from a child’s developing worldview.

Topics: Family Discipleship | Fatherhood | Motherhood | Technology

It’s no secret that kids live in a different world than their parents. They have their own subculture, and that subculture has its own host of subcultures within it. Increasingly younger kids have their own private, electronic lives ranging from Facebook accounts, Instagram profiles and Twitter feeds. All of these are unique to the child, and in many ways parents can be kept at arm’s length from a child’s developing worldview.

This distance in shared experience makes it entirely possible for a parent and child to look at the exact same thing and see two completely different things. Now, thanks to a lenticular lens, a child and adult can look at the same poster and literally see two different images.

As the above example points out, adults and kids are seeing two very different images in the same poster. They are engaging the same sign but having completely different experiences. The Gizmodo article rightly points out that while lenticular technology is used well in this instance, there is no doubt that toy manufacturers, electronics companies and the like will soon use this type of technology to simultaneously convey one message to kids and a different one to the adults with them. The gap between generations is growing and will likely continue to grow at a dizzying pace.

If we are to effectively disciple our kids, we have two options: We can enter into their world or create common experiences.

Ultimately, entering into our kids’ worlds has limited value. Children have exponentially more free time to master electronic media, and they consume hours upon hours more media in a week than adults. While we should seek to be aware of our kids’ worlds, it’s impossible to stay as up to date on their culture as they do.

The better option is to create common experiences. Attend church together. Go to the park together. Take a family vacation. Take up the phones and turn off the TV. Have a game night. Go on a family mission trip. Look for ways to minister to neighbors together. Plant a garden. And above all, talk about your common experiences and how the gospel informs them.

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