I am very excited to announce that Kiwi Commons, where I am a resident expert resource, has revamped their website and blog. Kiwi Commons is an organization dedicated to providing “the best Internet safety resources for parents, educators and youth workers across North America. To encourage proactive strategies for youth and online safety through education, discussion and community building.” I had the honor of writing one of the first blog posts on their new website, Talking to Kids About Their Online Networking. Here’s an excerpt:
Negotiating conversations with your child about their online social media usage can be tough. I was at a friend’s house yesterday and she was complaining about how the three teenagers in her house always turn the computer monitor just enough towards the wall that she won’t notice when they visit Facebook, and other distracting websites, when they claim to do be doing homework. One of the teenagers in my friend’s house was standing in the living room with us and looked distinctly uncomfortable as his mother complained about him to me (her friend and his previous sex ed instructor). Neither I nor the son were really sure exactly who she was talking to – was she asking my advice about appropriate parent/teen interactions around media usage, was she looking for her son to apologize and spend less time on FB in the future, or something else entirely? It just wasn’t clear.
Most, or maybe even all, of my overheard and recounted conversations between parents and youth about social media are ineffective. The problem, I think, is that most parents have an inherently different understanding and approach to social media when compared to the young people in their lives. Bridging this gap in understanding can be hard to do, but it is the first crucial step in allowing useful conversations to take place. Because it is typically the parent who wants to have the conversation in the first place, it is the parent’s job to reach out and try to understand their kid’s approach to social media.
To read the rest of my post, along with specific recommendations for parents on how to navigate this relationship, take a look at the post on Kiwi Commons.
I also encourage you to take a look at my fellow experts and their websites – they are all interesting and worth your time.