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Posts Tagged ‘friendship’

Parenting In Social Media Age- Keep Kids Safe Online (Guest Expert)

Friday, December 6th, 2019

technologysonParenting has changed drastically in the past decade. Instead of dinner bells ringing children home, they now have cell phones. Social media has become an obsession and a favorite past time. With the changes in technology, changes in parenting become necessary.

You can keep your child safe in the social media age with a few tips to help you stay up to speed with today’s technology and your child’s plugged-in world.

Learn the Technology

First and foremost, for parents to be able to help, it is important that they understand how technology works and accept that technology is a big part of young people’s lives, says Silje Vallestad, CEO and founder of Bipper, a mobile safety app company. As cyber bullying situations continue to increase, parents must know how to operate and monitor apps, social media networks and various technology to ensure that their children are acting appropriately and that they are treated respectfully in what is a 24/7 public environment.

“For kids today, being stripped of their access to the social communities and technology in general is considered so bad that they won’t ask for help or tell parents about negative experiences,” says Vallestad. “Parents need to understand that there is a difference between the digital childhood of kids today and their own upbringing, and that access to technology is as important as access to paper and pens.”

Although social media is extremely important to your child, it doesn’t mean they should have full reign of the technology. “Parents should never grant kids access to technology without guiding them in the world of technology and to be able to guide their kids, they need to understand technology and online services,” says Vallestad. “I believe in parents spending time educating themselves, combined with frequent conversations between parent and child about the use of technology in general and use of specific services in particular.”

Use Technology to Bond with Your Child

Monitoring your child’s social media use does not have to be a negative experience, wherein you are acting the part of a spy. Use technology as an opportunity to learn something new from your children and brush up on your own skills. Vallestad, the mother of three kids all using technology, says she uses mobile app alerts that provide information on which social media applications her children are downloading.

“When I see that they have installed apps I either don’t know much about or that I’m worried about (such as SnapChat or Instagram), I make a point of having a good conversation about these services,” she says. “They teach me a lot about technology and the services while we talk about how things can be used for good or bad.”

These conversations can help to create trust between a parent and a child and allow opportunities to talk about how technology can be used to harm others and how to react in those situations. “With our frequent talks on tech, where I show that I’m both interested and involved in their digital lives and also allow them to use technology, I believe we have fostered an atmosphere where they will feel safe to tell me if something bad is happening,” says Vallestad.

Have a Plan of Action

As you are learning the technology, it’s important to remember the top three actions to take when your child is engaged in social media, according to Vallestad.

  • Technology is Important to Your Child: Understand that your kids need to use technology and be part of the online communities where their peers are. It’s part of their lives and if you remove it, you will probably create a growing gap between you and your child instead of fostering an atmosphere of dialogue.
  • Open Conversations are Necessary: Engage in open and trusting conversations with your kids about technology. Let them tell you, show you and teach you. Reacting with anger or shock to things you might see could result in your kids closing down conversations. Try to stay calm and ask questions. Together, you can agree on rules. Sometimes you both may come to the conclusion that a particular service is not ok. Other times, it is ok but you may require that you will be a friend or follower.
  • Research is Key: Do your own research on services and use that research to ask your kids the right questions. However, don’t automatically assume that your kids are using a questionable service in a wrong way simply because there is a lot of information online about that service being used negatively. Do keep an open eye and make sure you are neither naïve nor ignorant about social media.

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Raise Confident and Assertive Children

Thursday, August 5th, 2010

Ways to Raise Confident and Assertive Children

from Podcast by Judy Helm Wright

When children learn to be compassionate, caring and learn they may not be the centre of universe they become more confident. They need to realize that they are an important part of the earth, but it does not revolve around them.

Confidence and Self-Esteem is not something children receive at birth. Parents and caring adults need to model respect and how to set boundaries in order to teach these qualities.

When we teach our children to give service, and care about people outside the family unit it also teaches them empathy. Service teaches them about diversity and to go outside their comfort zone. Children should be taught that the bedrock of civilization is respect for others, and gives the child a connection to the world around them and a stronger connection to the family.

Growing up we taught our children that before they turned 16 years of age they had to put in 60 hours of Community Service. The idea behind this was to teach them that there are other people and situations in their community which need attention., and helped them to focus some of their energy on the community around them, instead of just on themselves.

There are literally thousands of techniques to teach children how to be more confident. One of my favourites is to read with children.

By reading with children we can help expand their way of thinking beyond their small world. Stories can teach them how to be empathetic and show them that there are different types of people and lifestyles in the world. It can take them out of their comfort zone, which helps them to become more confident.

When children feel safe and secure they feel more confident. The feeling of safety is what every human and animal needs to feel confident. When one person acts with compassion, it can have a ripple effect. Others see what they are doing and find ways they can help as well. It spurs others on to think about ways they can give back to their community.

By completing tasks which make us uncomfortable we learn the we can do anything. It helps us to become compassionate, caring and self sufficient confident people!

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Why Do Kids Bully, Tease and Threaten Each Other?

Wednesday, June 16th, 2010

Welcome to our community of kind, thoughtful people who want to raise our children to have respect for all

Bullying is when there is an imbalance of power.Do you remember your own childhood? Did your siblings tease or taunt you? Did you pick on others who were smaller or less powerful than you were? Was it a chore to go to recess for fear of being called mean names or excluded from games? Were others in your class mean or unkind to you because of something that you could not help?  Do you still carry those scars with you as an adult?

Bullying, intimidation and inter-personal conflict are encountered by all of us at one time or another during our lives. If we were lucky, we had caring adults who helped us problem solve and recognize that the teasing had little to do with us and more with the thought process of the bully.

Bullying is about Power

Bullying is deliberate psychological, emotional and/or physical harassment of a person.  It can be one bully to one target, as in families. Or it can be group or gang oriented. Many children engage in bullying every day.  Even though each child and circumstance is unique, those who bully or demean others in order to gain power do share some common characteristics.

  • Likes to make fun of others
  • Prone to violence when  things don’t go their way
  • Aggressive with adults and siblings
  • Enjoys extremely physical contact activities
  • Has a manipulative personality
  • Likes to blame others
  • Frequently bends the rules
  • Enjoys the power of being a leader and having followers
  • Lacks impulse control

Why Do Some Kids Bully and Some Don’t?

When I was interviewing kids about friendship for my book The Left Out Child it was very obvious that there is a shorthand on the playground.  Everyone knows who is in the popular group, the jocks, the brains and the weird ones.  There is constant jockeying for position to be included and involved with the group. There is a hunger for acceptance and approval in every level, including home.

Those kids who do not give in to the temptation to tease or threaten others have developed social skills and have learned to find other ways to fit in and get along.

Adults Need to Teach and Model Respect

Children need to be shown other methods of solving problems by the important adults in their lives. Children see family and adult dynamics as how they should act in social situations. It will take a village to teach and show respect and kindness to one another.

We can do it. The world is counting on the next generation to be more peaceful than the last.