Tips for Raising Digital Natives
Our friend and digital parenting expert, Devorah Heitner, PhD, of RaisingDigitalNatives.com, is serving up big time parenting advice that can revamp the way you approach conflict resolution with your digital native. Catch an excerpt of her latest post below and read the entire thing here.
Kids deal with small conflicts every day—it’s part of growing up. But their conflicts now have a different dimension, and are often made more complicated by technology. While today’s devices allow us to be connected in ways we couldn’t even imagine when we were kids, technology has added layers of complexity to the social sphere.
If you are a regular reader, you know me to be very tech-positive. I believe that the benefits outweigh the hazards—if and only if we develop the necessary skill sets to use the technology the right way.
That’s good news. If we treat it like a skill set, that means it can be learned—and more importantly, taught. The challenge is that there’s a pretty wide continuum of unkind and difficult behaviors, ranging from perceived slights to thoughtlessness, unkindness to intentional drama and gossip, and in extreme cases, bullying.
A further challenge is that the rules, conventions, and expectations are still evolving. While it seems like text messaging has been around “forever,” it’s still new enough that everyday behavior is not yet governed by a clear set of cultural norms. It’s still very much in flux, which makes parents feel like they are “behind the times,” and “can’t keep up” with what their kids know.
More good news—if you feel equipped to help your kids handle a face-to-face conflict, then . . .