top of page

Dealing With the 21st Century Child

Updated: Dec 6, 2021

Before Taurus Riley started singing the introduction to his song, "Good Girl Gone Bad" featuring Konshens, many Jamaican and Caribbean children already had these words seasoned in their psyche from their parents' warnings:

"Well, who cyan hear dem go feel mi seh

When you finga mash no badda cry mi seh".

The introduction could translate from Jamaican Creole into English as: "Well, who can not hear, will feel. When your finger mashes, don't bother to cry". The first statement like the second statement represents choices and consequences, but the second statement is suggesting some ownership for our choices.

As parents own perceptions and beliefs about their children without overparenting and such, this can cushion generation gaps, especially if the parent is prone to say, "I tell you about these nowadays children, you see...!" Children of whichever generation, nation, tongue, or tribe will always need direction, understanding, and lots of room to explore their world.

When Friends for Change Foundation had asked me to present on the topic, "Dealing With the 21st Century Child" in November 2021, I decided to pen two poems to summarize my points.

"Concerning their siblings, they have fewer opportunities to interact

Their high level of stress is equal to little sleep and that’s a fact.

Fewer children are seen running around on the outside

Which would have been a perfect time for parents to play games on the inside.

If the 21st-century child is not so physical, we can at least agree, but not feel at ease

That after hours of sitting and eating, more children and parents are obese

And children exercising with parents could be a trend for tension release

So let’s consider our need for physical activity please.

When both parents are working, how do we define early childhood education?

And when sending children to school, who’s responsible for the child’s socialization?

Established are safe physical play spaces

And bicycle helmets for the child who races

Car seats and other technologies have certainly helped to reduce the child mortality rate

And forums for children’s self-expression has been empowering and up-to-date

Children have been coping with parents who share their images online without their consent

And cyberbullying and online safety and security issues will continue to be an argument

At the end of the day, it is best to anticipate change, being proactive rather than reactive

As we more than likely receive from our kids based on how we choose to give

The so-called “21st-century child” might evoke pictures of radical behaviour and attitudes

But many of these changes were like blackheads under the skin, before it protrudes

And like our teens who just hate to see the blackheads and bumps and is ever ready to have them popped

Parents and caregivers still have to do a little tidying up and sweeping before the place is mopped."

May each parent take on the mantra or chorus to the next poem, "Four C's for the 21st-century Child" :

"The 21st-century child needs the four C's

We promise to explore great possibilities"

Welcome to the 21st century where the village is now the globe

And our global children have some skills to probe

Digital technologies are taking on more tasks that are easy to automate

So, technologies are creating new jobs as fast as the ones they eliminate.

In order to survive, the 21st-century child needs the four C's whether they live locally or overseas

These skills include creativity, critical thinking, and communication

Let's not forget the skill collaboration

The 21st- century child needs the four C's

We promise to explore great possibilities

The 21st-century child needs creativity as much as roti needs curry

But building creativity skills can't be done in a hurry

It's a process, a skill that must be processed and soon you will realize

We really exist to refine, evaluate, brainstorm and analyze.

Thinking creatively might mean that our children will look at things from a different perspective

As they produce new, diverse, and unique ideas, caregivers must also be reflective.

Be careful how you outcast the child who might not be restricted to customs and rules

As some are merely trying to contain the energy which creativity fuels.

The 21st- century child needs the four C's

We promise to explore great possibilities

Critical thinking can balance creativity, so let's reason with our 21st- century children folks

One must ask important questions and seek to clarify points of view as one copes

Some parents were accustomed to being silenced when they lived under their caregiver's roof

But by now, we would know that a child's voice should be heard, and we have sufficient proof.

Yes, we're now talking about our third C, communication

A skill for the 21st- century child and everyone across the nation

Crisply articulating opinions and or expressing thoughts clearly

Are just a few things about communication which we must hold dearly

The 21st-century child needs the four C's

Let's promise to explore great possibilities.

The 21st-century child might want to use digital media as the main tool to communicate

And you might be so ignorant about some technologies, so you can't relate

If not technology, use your voice and experience to pass down culture and traditions

Which can add a unique twist to further the 21st- century child's ambitions.

Lastly, creativity, critical thinking, and communication skills will help to boost the skill, collaboration

As our global, 21st- century children work together and react to available information

Collaboration- with team members and working with diverse cultures should be our common goal

Let's collaborate with the 21st-century child and never forget our role.

Creativity, critical thinking, communication, and collaboration

For the 21st century child across the nation

Let's celebrate! Hip-hip-hooray!

Our children can survive yet another day.

The 21st-century child needs the four C's

Let's promise to explore great possibilities.

73 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


Post: Blog2_Post
bottom of page