Through out human history, a person’s social identities have been treated with value; in some cultures more than others. Social identities were often based on a few defining traits that allowed other persons to determine what group a person belonged in or did not belong. Social identities and the associated groups continue to have value today. Race, gender, economic status, ethnicity, sex, sexuality, religion, (dis)ability, are examples of some groups. “What group(s) do you belong to? What are your assigned/expected roles in the group(s)? Where are you on the hierarchy of social influence? These were all questions that was woven into the fabric or most cultures studied over the years by anthropologists. Most of these identities were not a topic of conversation, not because they were not valued, but because in most cases they weren’t considered a topic of conversation. They were unnoticed.
Another group that is referenced often in popular culture, but is rarely in the context of conversations about the previously mentioned groups is generation; especially the impact of a person’s generation and how that influences their experiences with the intersecting social identities of racial, gender, economic status, ethnicity, sex, sexuality, religion, and dis(ability). Parenting Gen Alphas is about my experience growing up in the Zennial generation as a white, middle-class, Jewish, straight man with epilepsy working to be a good father for two Mexican-American daughters in Generation Alpha.
Why should we talk about generations?
“What group(s) do you belong to? What are your assigned/expected roles in the group(s)? Where are you on the hierarchy of social influence? These were all questions that are woven into the fabric or most cultures studied over the years by anthropologists. Most of these identities were not a topic of conversation, not because they were not valued, but because in most cases they weren’t considered a topic of conversation. They were unnoticed. That’s hardly the case for Gen Alpha. They were born into a world, or are being born into a world where one of the loudest conversations is about a black president or a white president, with an emphasis on their race.
My two Gen Alphas are growing up like most young children today. They are surrounded by real-time visual and audio information. From birth, my Gen Alphas’ lives have been publicly cataloged on social media, and videos of every minor milestone have been uploaded to websites that will forever own those videos. The idea of not having access to almost any desirable movie or television show is beyond their imagination. Children of Gen Alpha are growing up surrounded by constant change, ambiguity, and contradiction that did not exist for the childhoods of us, their parents.
The information shared in the blogs on this website are about being the parent of Gen Alphas. How I am learning or applying my learned knowledge to raise curious, creative, compassionate, collaborative, and committed children. All the research points to foster human connections in ways that no preceding generation of children has been able to connect. How we can provide predictability, structure, and routine by recognizing and talking to children about the constant change and ambiguity, while trying to clarify contradictions. How we can be the parents Gen Alpha needs us to be.
Drawing from my experiences as a father of two young Gen Alphas, twelve years of teaching 3 to 5 year-old Gen Zs, researcher on high-quality inclusion in early childhood, and parent and teacher educator, this website offers insight into my growth and learning while wearing all my hats in a world that values or does not value my social identities and those of my children. I share the lessons I have learned along the way, and reveal the lessons I still need to learn as a strive to parent Gen Alphas. Welcome and thank you for visiting!