Family relations of the future

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Family relations of the future

Author: Yvonne Nieuwoudt

The familiar saying, “our children are the future”  was replaced by what Pieter de Villiers in Face the Future(2005) calls the “one day” perspective. Even his progressive viewpoint has changed into the “right now” perspective.  Kids have become little geniuses in not only the IT pasture, they have also developed advanced insights into relationships, politics and religion. We, as parents have to acknowledge this; kids need to be treated as equals. The natural question would be the “why”, but the first conundrum is the “how”…

According to Bush and Codrington (2008), it all started with globalisation. Nicholas Negroponte has a saying that goes, “You can expect to have on your wrist tomorrow what you have on your desk today, what filled the room yesterday.” Thomas Friedman in Future Proof (2008) explains 10 “flattening” factors. These factors have minimized the world in terms of   communication, information processing and the speed of learning and reflecting. We are indeed emerging into a world of change and possibilities, where increased global collaboration talented people with no boundaries, time zones and languages.    How do we, as parents, keep up with the constant changes that our children seem to effortlessly integrate?

“The paradigm of ‘do as I say’ will soon make way for the future family of cooperation, and equality.” The following process by Bush and Codrington (2008) can be followed:

The two authors describe the triangle as the “conscious commitment” triangle. These three elements (connection, choices and conversation) will aid as a compass navigating the up-skilled parenting style in the Age of Possibility. Pieter de Villiers in Face the Future (2005) describes kids of future family to be much less emotionally reliant, where they are able to think independently, plan and organise their own lives. Therefore the optimal family of the future will have a healthy balance beween the above mentioned concepts.

Do you agree with this?



N. Bush & G. Codrington. (2008). Future Proof. South Africa: Penguin Books.

Pieter de Villiers. (2005). Face the Future. South Africa: Junxion Publishers.


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