With today’s world being so combined with technology, its very easy to get caught up in online fights, Facebook rants, and off the cuff tweets. And it isn’t just in the blog world or whatever niche you are working in, but with teens its especially rampant. When I was a child and a teen, the internet was something slightly foreign. Heck, when I was in college computer screens were still black and text was green.
I think the biggest fight online back then was whether you used Prodigy or AOL.
Then came the onslaught of chat rooms, forums, blog sites, websites, email, myspace, friendster, twitter, facebook and a slew of other places that not only could you connect, but you could rant off whatever you felt without considering that someone on the other side could ultimately be offended. Hey, I have done it and I have had it done to. As a blogger, we often write articles or interests that are unfair as well, even something like pushing politics or parental skills can be offensive, and I know that I have matured plenty over past days of rude and unthoughtful articles. Its so hard to express back to our kids to do the right thing when so often adults are not leading by example.
Now with my daughter only 7, she rarely sees beyond Kidzui, but I know a time is rapidly approaching where I am going to have to explain to her all about this digital age we consider normal now.
In fact the “internet” talk is as important as the sex talk in your child’s life.
Self Esteem Toolkit & Resources
If you are finding yourself right now living a life where your kids are online, make sure you are prepped with the resources and knowledge to deal with their questions and truly help them understand why being online is a responsibility not to be taken lightly. Dove, in line with its positive image thinking, has developed A Girls Guide to the Digital World to assist parents and caregivers a way to bring those hard conversations to life. A few topics discussed are:
- Online Friendships (and not forgetting to take them offline as well)
- Thinking before you text
- Positive Self Image
This is reality and its no longer just virtual.
Returning to school, the fact is that the new normal of ipads, ipods, smart phones, and internet websites, are a part of our kids daily lives and future challenges. Not only do we have to educate them and keep them safe from physical harm, but emotionally and mentally keep them strong when so much is going on around them. Additionally we have to make sure our children do not participate in hurting others in such a permanent way. Back when I was in school, kids could taunt each other at lunch but by the next day it was over. Today’s society can taught and continue to read and berate each other.
And while words are not supposed to “hurt”, the truth is that they can and that they do.
Recently I read a news story about a young man that took to twitter at his high school and anonymously made people in his school feel good by focusing on the positive in them. I think there are plenty of kids working on making social media a better place for their generation.
You can follow that twitter account here.
You can continue the positive online influence by educating your smallest to your tallest and getting involved with fun online activities and opening the conversation with these toolkit and resources.
Have you had the “internet talk” with your kids yet?
*article facilitated on behalf of Dove