Parents’ social media habits are teaching children the wrong lessons

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Many of today’s young teens were born in an era before social media. By the time they entered preschool, most of their parents had Facebook accounts. And many parents — new to social media — excitedly shared their children’s personal and embarrassing stories. I have written in the past about how parents must consider the effect this sharing has on a child’s psychological development. Children model the behavior of their parents, and when parents constantly share personal details about their children’s lives, and then monitor their posts for likes and followers, children take note. While most parents have their children’s best interests at heart when they share personal stories on social media, there is little guidance to help them navigate parenting in the digital age.

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Everyone Makes Mistakes: Teaching Kids How to Fix Things When Texting Goes Awry

Instagram, texting, kids and cellphones, tweens and smartphones, friendship

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As parents or teachers we can get too focused on PREVENTING digital mistakes that can ruin friendships and reputations. We need to offer mentorship to our kids on how to repair things (when possible). We can model this in our own social media lives.

In my student workshops, I ask kids to brainstorm about how to correct such a mistake. A common problem is an “overshare,” where they have shared something too personal about themselves. Another is when your child shares a friend’s good news—or even a secret.

They know that they can’t put the overshare or secret “back in the box,” but kids’ instincts are to try to limit the damage. Quickly. In these workshops, they suggest taking down the offending post, deleting the picture, and apologizing, or at least letting people know that it was a mistake.

But how can they make it right? In many settings, from youth groups to religious schools to public schools student propose solutions that are concerning or ill-advised. For example,  many kids will try to “spread some lies” to cover up when they’ve shared someone’s secret and that person is upset with them. Another bad idea: “I’ll let them get revenge.For example: I’ll let my friend spread a rumor about me. As a parent and educator, I find myself shaking my head! But,  when embroiled in a social error, kids feel an urgency to take further steps to fix it “for good,” quickly.

These problem-solving techniques came from 5th and 6th graders who are just learning how to negotiate complicated social relationships. Many of these kids are just getting their first communication device, which adds another layer of complexity to the equation. It is important to look at where these kids are developmentally when we consider getting them a smartphone.

We have to help kids understand that rumors, lies, and revenge strategies just exacerbate the situation. Kids are focused on the immediate issue, and often have trouble seeing the larger picture. Sometimes when the parameters of trust in a relationship change, it takes time to fix—and your child can actually make it worse by trying to fix it in one gesture.

9 Things To Ask Siri That Your Kids Will Find Hilarious

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Want to hear your kids laugh, but find that funny faces and silly sounds just aren’t cutting it? Have knock-knock jokes been falling flat in your household of late? Lucky for you, those mini handheld computers we tote around everywhere have the solution, and its name is Siri. If you have an Apple iPhone, here are a few things to ask Siri that are sure to make your kids giggle and guffaw

The Guilty Secret of Distracted Parenting

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Parents at the playground looking at their phones while their children play, unsupervised. Parents at the Little League game checking their email and missing the all-important at-bat. Parents at dinner focused on the action on their screens, rather than the real people around the table.

We don’t always like to admit it, but taking care of small children is often quite tedious. When my three children were small, I wouldn’t have made it through without a certain amount of distraction.

 

The BBC Dad: Lots of Articles

 

This was awesome! Here are a bunch of articles, analyses and memes:

  • Breaking Down the Father on BBC Being Interrupted by His Children
    [link]
  • When the Children Crashed Dad’s BBC Interview: The Family Speaks
    [link]
  • The Real Reason Everyone Loves The BBC Dad Video:
    “Who can resist a little kid in glasses?” [link]
  • ‘Mommy, Come Wipe Me!’ and Other Perils of Working From Home
    [link]
  • This Parody Imagines How a Woman Would’ve Handled That Viral BBC Interview
    [link]

Nielsen: Age 10 is mobile adoption sweet spot

Kid-Smartphone

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Given the ubiquity of smartphones among today’s kids, gaining insight on usage patterns and mobile motivations is an ongoing endeavor—and one that Nielsen has undertaken in its most recent Mobile Kids Report.

Released today, the Q4 2016 study examined smartphone usage among US kids ages six to 12, as well as their parents’ attitudes towards mobile devices and wireless services.

Among the findings is the fact that age 10 appears to be a sweet spot for mobile service adoption (22%), followed by age eight (16%). Ages nine and 11 are tied at 15%. Just under half (45%) of US kids receive a service plan between the ages of 10 and 12…

Of the parents surveyed, 90% say being able to easily reach their child was their top reason for providing wireless service before the age of 13, while 80% admit they give their child access to wireless service in order to track his or her location.