updated 23 Oct 2012, 03:31
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Wed, Jun 06, 2012
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Refresh the way you connect with your kids
by Geoff Tan

Remember when you were first taught the alphabet?

It must have been something along the lines of: "A is for apple, B is for ball, C is for cat, D is for dog, E is for elephant".

I think that the way we teach children the alphabet these days will vary according to your age.

It is highly likely that grandparents, or older mothers or fathers, will insist on imposing learning methods that they learnt in school.

In contrast, a younger couple may be more experimental in their teaching style.

More importantly, teachers need to keep up to date with how they teach children what each letter of the alphabet stands for - in the context of this generation.

These days, when we tell our kids that "A" stands for apple, it may not be the fruit that they relate the letter to but, rather, the iconic technology brand Apple, which Mr Steve Jobs co-founded.

"A" - to the digital kids of today - could stand for the popular mobile-phone game Angry Birds, or Android.

In the same vein, "B" will probably be linked to Bluetooth, "C" to chat, "D" to download, and "E" to e-mail.

"F" could refer to the social-networking website Facebook.

"G" now relates to Google, while "I" could relate to the iPhone.

The list goes on - "M" is for mobile phones, and "P" for Playstation.

It is probably easier for kids to relate "S" to Skype and "T" to Twitter.

"W" is for Wi-Fi, Whatsapp, or Wikipedia, and "Y" is for YouTube.

Other than making an effort to refresh the way we teach our children the alphabet, parents can also stay relevant by incorporating modern-day mannerisms into the way they communicate with their children.

But not all of these instances turn out right - many, in fact, turn out humorously wrong.

Recently, I watched a YouTube video featuring American comedienne Ellen Degeneres exposing various faux pas parents make when SMSing their kids.

There was an SMS that a boy received from his mother, that read: "Your great aunt just passed away. LOL."

He quickly called his mother, and asked why she had been so insensitive in using the text-messaging acronym on an inappropriate occasion.

When he explained that "lol" meant "Laughing Out Loud", his mother said she thought it meant "Lots Of Love"!

So, while making an effort to connect with your children is the right thing to do, please ensure that you engage them at the right level - research well beforehand to avoid putting your foot in your mouth!

Happy parenting!

The writer is a senior vice-president of Singapore Press Holdings' marketing division.

For more my paper stories click here.

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