Digital Parenting: Why Role-Models Matter
It might be something you say off-the-cuff while you are driving or cooking. It may even be the way you greet a waitress or hold the door for someone behind you…. your children are watching you and listening to you.
If you mention something ugly about a neighbor or another parent while on your cell phone or even online, again, your kid’s are listening.
Does this give them a pass to act the same way about their friends?
Watch your words.
You may think they are innocent words. You may think they are nothing, but to a child they can open the door to allowing them to behave the same way.
“Did you see Mrs. Smith’s dress? What was she thinking? The color didn’t flatter her at all.”
Although that may sound innocuous, it could be taken out of context if your child was to go over to Mrs. Smith’s home and say – “My mommy thinks your dress is ugly.” Let’s face it, that is how kids can interpret things.
Parents can be guilty of oversharing in many ways, as much as the youth (and they are watching!).
Brace yourself for a study that was released this year: One in five parents admit to sharing intimate photos and/or messages online or via text.
We have to constantly discuss with our teens about the consequences of sexual picture sharing (sexting), since they are serious and some states have criminal charges that can be brought against you and your teenager.
According to new research, cyberbullying on social media is linked to depression in teenagers.
Cyberbullying is not new. 73% of adults have witnessed online harassment of other adults while 40% of them have been victims of it. Why is this upsetting when it comes to grownups? Because they should know better! Who are the role models?
Sadly the part that continues to be disturbing is that many teens don’t tell their parents or another adult when they are struggling with being harassed online. Instead continue to silently suffer which isn’t healthy for anyone.
The main reason is they fear being disconnected from their lifeline, the Internet. Many parents will over-react and pull the plug, remove their devices. Panicking and not realizing they are punishing their child for something they have no control over.
Becoming a CyberParent or Digital Parent, is part of parenting today. There is simply no getting around it. From the moment you hand your toddler your cell phone to play those games while you trying to get ready or to keep them entertained, you are prepping for their tech-future.
Digital citizenship starts as soon as they start chatting – it’s really that simple.
Kindness, respect, integrity… offline simply blends into online.
This isn’t our generation anymore. Everything we are doing we need to consider it for online and offline.
Your online behavior will reflect your offline character and vice versa.
You are your child’s role model – lead by example. They will mimic the good and not so good.