The term influencer defines as a person or group of persons having a particular influence. In business English, the word influencer means those who can influence business decisions because of their reputation, position, or connections and whose opinions and actions are of greater importance. I want to share my point of view about influencers and their effect on our children, from the psychologist’s perspective.
Lately, the influencer has become an occupation. There are influencers for food, books, clothes, home decorating, thinking (!!), raising children. We even have children and even baby influencers. One part of the influencers really makes money. As is usually the case, we are very willing to ridicule and devalue all new things and phenomena, so I feel obliged to occupy their perspective for a moment. The world is changing. It is changing faster and faster. If we do not follow the pace of development imposed by modern society, we start to jump off the rails, and preschool children begin to teach us about the world in which we live. Influencers are simply people who have taken advantage of a change in marketing trends, perhaps even creating it themselves, doing what they know best. Whether it’s choosing clothes or reading books, we should by no means underestimate their ability to offer us what the market wants. I see them as people who have cashed in on what they know best. I can not see why it should be worse than what I am doing, or you who are just reading this article.
My dear friend recently noticed that the problem arose when our children started to look like influencers, ie when they started dreaming that they would become influencers, YouTubers, bloggers, instead of firefighters, architects, doctors, scientists. Basically, I used to be worried seeing many children really practicing the skills of posting on YouTube, recording a “room tour”, practicing makeup skills, and know the makeup tool better than their own mothers but recently I realized that our children are preparing for the modern world, not the world of 25 or 30 years ago, in which we, their parents, grew up. When I was a child, I thought that the profession of “make-up artist” existed only in Hollywood or in big TV houses, and today every village has at least one make-up artist. Why would it be wrong to learn this skill? Not all children can and should become doctors, mathematicians, astronauts. We need people who will be confectioners, shoemakers, goldsmiths, presenters, make-up artists, electricians, potters, puppeteers, actors, painters, inventors, copywriters, game creators … I am sincerely happy with the fact that I live in the modern world. They say the world has never been worse but I deeply believe that the world has never been better, the world has never provided more opportunities. We can be whatever we want to be. No matter where in the world we are, we have the opportunity to learn everything we are interested in with the help of the Internet and with that crumb of talent or passion, to become artists in our work. Until a few years ago, women who make cakes for different occasions were pastry cooks. But today, they have developed the craft to such an extent that they have become real artists, masters whom I admire.
People ask me: “You are a psychologist, so how come your children use the internet ?!” Oh yes, of course, my children use the internet. My children use the great benefit of the Internet because they live presence, they live in the modern world. I do not want my children to grow up in some imaginary world from the past. We witness that some people still cling to this old world we lived in. For them, this world’s technology is their enemy.
The thing is simple. I am an influencer to my children, I watch what they watch, what they search for, what they do, and what interests them, and I try to direct them to use what they have in the best possible way. The problem arises when you allow technology to raise your children for you when you give them a cartoon to have a little peace, calm a lively child, or get something done. This is certainly not the way. Your child is looking for activity, looking for stimuli, attention, communication. The child must also get bored without being entertained by someone or something. Only then does progress begin!
Be THE influencer to your children. Involve them in what you do without thinking they are too young to get involved in your “adult” business, whether you are cooking, collecting fallen leaves, changing bedding, reading a book, or doing some intellectually demanding work. Of course, go down to their level. Explain to them what and why you are doing what you are doing. Explain to them that you do not plant flowers because you have to but that we all enjoy the beauty, the colors, and the scent, for the bees to come and make honey. Take the helm and become the influencer your children will like and follow.
Andrea Vlašić, psychologist – clinical hypnotherapist, CBT psychotherapist IE