Consider this. When we were kids and would get together with friends, if we wanted to take pictures, we did so with a camera. And, then we got the pictures developed. It took a few days. When we got them back, we put them in a photo album, framed them, or gave copies to friends. We didn’t ‘post’ them on social media for audiences of 100’s/1000’s to see. Bullies were a bit different, too- they were there in the flesh. What happened at school or on the playground happened in front of a finite group of peers. When it happened, it was tragic and humiliating. It still is, no doubt, and today there is a whole new breed of bully- the cyber bully. This kind of bullying is made easier when it doesn’t have to be done face to face- but certainly no less hurtful. In fact, according to www.nomorebullying.com , over half (52%) of young people report being cyber bullied. That means every child has a 50/50 chance or great of being a victim of cyber bullying at some point.
This speaks to the purpose of this blog: being an electronic parent and finding the best ways possible to instill traditional values in a very non-traditional world of communication. A world where social media is a vast community without many enforceable rules or boundaries that makes is tempting, exciting and liberating for kids who believe they are in control and feel immune to the very real dangers lurking online.
As parents, we know our kids need boundaries to be safe. It’s up to us to pull together as a community of engaged parents and exchange ideas and best practices to teach our children appropriate boundaries, protocol and behavior online- as soon as they are old enough to show an interest in getting online. Keeping kids safe is a whole lot harder when we can’t always control who they are exposed to and who they are interacting with like our parents could when we were young.
Stay tuned and chime in! I will post regularly, and I promise to keep my posts relevant, concise, and real life. I look forward to seeing what you, as electronic parent peers of mine, are experiencing, thinking, and doing to get ahead of the curve while your kids are young and you have the opportunity to establish appropriate online behavior. And, if your kiddos are teens, I look forward to all of your own experiences, thoughts and ideas that may be helpful to us all as parents trying to pave the way in a new era to keep our kids safely connected. 🙂