What are the relationship skills needed to nurture Ohio’s families into the future. Let me refer back to an earlier post Parenting Today = Tomorrow’s Leaders to guide us in this exploration. This past post tackled the question of what parenting strategies to use for helping youth prepare for work and family life as we move in the future.
In keeping true to the Ohio State University Extension’s mission – “engaging people to strengthen their lives and communities through research-based educational programming,” Extension professionals throughout the state engaged local community members in the Vice President’s Conversation on the Future of Extension. The future-building and visioning phases of the project occurred during the first six months of 2015 with the goal of identifying the most challenging trends and issues for Ohioans over the next 20 years. The following question was asked:
More than 500 people contributed more than 1,200 ideas through a participatory dialogue research approach. This statewide data was analyzed and categorized resulting in a list of 17 trends and issues. A forum of industry experts, elected officials, community leaders and futurists was convened for further reflection and analysis resulting in OSU Extension Forecasting Research – 17 Descriptors.
The information shared in the Trend Research: Social Skills, Competencies and Relationships Across Community and Family Environments descriptor highlights the interpersonal skills and civic participation that affect families and communities throughout Ohio. The trends shared include the following emergent family, essential life skills and civic engagement topics.
- Rates of marriage and divorce
- Changes in parenting
- Changes in family types
- Communication methods
- Interpersonal interactions
- Voter participation
Now that you have explored the descriptor topics, the Family & Consumer Sciences Healthy Relationships Team would like readers to join in a discussion to further reflect on and offer ideas for future family life programming with the goal of assisting Ohio families build 21st century family relationship skills. Extension educators look forward to hearing from you!