From the moment we hold our own baby in our arms, we have a deep instinctual desire to keep that baby safe.
We read all the “latest” info on child development, never thinking that maybe the old tried and true that our Mothers told us might be best. Sometimes, as a parent, we become fatigued from repeating the same message…think of having a 2 year old or a teenager. Well, imagine being a grandparent and still wanting to keep your children and grandchildren Safe, Healthy, and Drug Free! Exhausting.
I received a long, descriptive definition about the “latest” drug trend, Dabbing. I was perplexed about how to handle the information. The dilemma: if we broadcast all the particulars, will it give some enterprising kid an idea to try it?
Well, as usual, I tested out the message on my family. New technology gives us the power to connect to everyone through text chats. So on one of the family exchanges, I casually asked, “does anyone know what Dabbing is?” The exchanges ranged from dabbing as a verb with a cotton ball, to a dance, to a drug.
Finally, in exasperation, one 16-year-old granddaughter wrote, “you are all crazy, it is a dance.” Then, my factual son-in-law looked it up and provided a video of the dance trend, but also stated that I might also be right that it is some kind of drug trend. His niece than asked her uncle to demonstrate the Dabbing dance for us, which he did…Hilarious!
Then, another grandchild chimed in with, “Mamaw thinks everything is a DRUG.”
I share all this to encourage you communicate with your family in many different ways; preaching and lectures are two tools that frequently don’t work in today’s environment. Why? There are 5 major trends that are surrounding us today, based on research by Marketing Guru and Georgetown Professor Robit Bhargava, Phd.:
- Everyone is a star (selfie society)
- Mindfulness (maybe when the mind is quiet, harmful messages will be reduced)
- Corporations care (ex: CVS is not selling tobacco)
- Content marketing which offers pros and cons of topic and then leads you to a sale. (everyone gets to make their own choice)
- You don’t have to be perfect.
Today, I leave for meetings in Tallahassee, where I will deal with the same issue: how to help kids grow up safe, healthy, and drug free. I’m going to try to keep a sweet disposition and deliver factual messages in ways that others can hear the message. After all, communication is not so much what you say but what the other person heard!