Friday, 24 April 2015

We need to make children netizens!

The internet and social media sites are here to stay and we have two choices, crib, complain and watch as our children become victims of it or take things in our hands and prepare our children to become safe and secure users. When people started using cars we prepared our children about road and traffic safety, so similarly for any new aspect in our lives we need to prepare our children and make them aware of the good and the bad.
It starts with how our children see us using the Internet and social media sites. When parents use social media they should talk about it in conversations that include comments like- “I got an invite or poke from so and so and I did not accept as I was not sure about the identity and want to be safe.” “ I don’t think I will post this photo as I feel it is a little personal and I don’t want to share it with the whole world” when children hear and see us being safe rather than casual then it translates into their own behavior and choices.
Teenagers especially are vulnerable to social media sites. It is the age and stage of development of self identify, how they see themselves.  And teenagers see and judge themselves from what their peer circle thinks about them. So pressure is on how many friends, likes, pokes, posts etc. they have had, this makes them reckless about whom they make friends with and what they post. The teenager brain is at the final stage of developing impulse control and so they still, ‘act first and think later’. Make simple rules for them for their social media use-

1.     You will not share your date of birth, address and phone number or email id.
2.     You will not post personal photos, the definition being no cleavage, bare chest (for boys of course!) or photos that look sultry rather than fun.
3.     You will not post your daily schedule.
4.     Think before you bare your emotions on social media, people are just reading, and forwarding, so if you have issues discuss with your family.
5.     Just like there are predators on the street and when you were young we taught you not to talk to strangers or take things from them or go anywhere with them, similarly for social media we are telling you not to make friends with someone you do not know, do not give them any photos or information if they ask and do not visit any sites if they ask you. There are predators on the net too.

Another thing is to discuss Internet related crimes during healthy discussions in the family rather than adopt an attitude of ‘I told you so’. So when such crimes of identity theft or cyber kidnapping are reported in the media, turn it into a healthy thinking brain discussion with points like- ‘what do you think went wrong and made things easy for this predator? ‘how would you have avoided falling into a trap like this’? This will help your teenager take charge of decision-making and you would have equipped him/her to take thought-through decisions.

Do not spy on your teenager. Ever. A mother recently came to me for parenting guidance and she broke down and shared that to know what her son is doing on Facebook she created a false profile of hers as a teenage girl and then friended her own son. Now she is worried, as she fears the son will find out it is her and then she does not know how to handle the emotional breakdown that will follow. My advice to her, admit it to your son and say I know what I did was wrong. Because if the son finds out it will lead not only to an emotional breakdown but the most important attachment-relationship based on trust will be destroyed for her son. Our relationships define us, our personality and when the most trusted relationship in the world betrays you, you feel a sense of loss so great that you are left with only two ways to react, retaliate, or go into depression.


It is important that our children grow up as netizens and understand both Facebook and face-to-face, they tweet and also have conversations, they whatsapp and discuss and not just forward videos, they post photos on instagram that are not only fun but relevant too. Yes, it is important to help our teenagers understand that it is called social media for a reason, as it is about society and how individuals together can build a healthy society on social media. It is important that we are able to give them that important message that social media may be free but it has to be enjoyed like everything in life within defined boundaries if we want it to make us happy. 

16 comments:

jayshree shah said...

" we need to make netizens'
is mind blowing article . Simple rules for social media is true guide lines for all users.
Eg of predator is well connected to understand . Example of mother spy on teenager is so wonderfully explained that all mothers can learn lesson from it so nicely explained about trust and mistrust.
how to have healthy discussion to avoid cyber crimes.
Most important message that social media may be free but it has to be enjoyed like everything in life within defined boundaries if we want it to make us happy.
Thanks for such wonderful article

vaishali joshi said...

The article is really helpful for all parents & teachers. This all do & don's we will keep in mind while dealing with children so we will not loose trust of our relation. Thanks ma'am.

Ms Vaishali Chaudhary(PJK Chinchwad) said...

Very well said by Maam , that we have to train our children on what to post and our limitations and boundaries to do so. It is very important to be like a friend to your child and have an access to his account once in a day in his presence.Gain in confidence that this process is not to spy him but to protect him from commiting mistakes which might lead him in a wrong direction.Also we have to groom our children that there are options ,to which only the people he trust can visit his webpage ,he can stop and deny access if he wishes to people .trust your child and get his trust too.

Chindwara Pjk said...

Yes, indeed the very correct thoughts ma'am. Its really all about making kids and youths to learn that social media is good and is having a bad effect also. It's merely not about telling them but guiding them to chose rightly what to do with networking. The matter of the mother is an example and we really at times try to spy on kids and I think one day I would also have been one of them, but being a friend to my daughter ànd not being a mother, I would never do the mistakebecause i lovemy daughter and will guide her regarding the netizens and make them better citizens. The only thing is the trust and the way we project ourselves on them.

Chindwara Pjk said...

Yes, indeed the very correct thoughts ma'am. Its really all about making kids and youths to learn that social media is good and is having a bad effect also. It's merely not about telling them but guiding them to chose rightly what to do with networking. The matter of the mother is an example and we really at times try to spy on kids and I think one day I would also have been one of them, but being a friend to my daughter ànd not being a mother, I would never do the mistakebecause i lovemy daughter and will guide her regarding the netizens and make them better citizens. The only thing is the trust and the way we project ourselves on them.

Chindwara Pjk said...

Yes, indeed the very correct thoughts ma'am. Its really all about making kids and youths to learn that social media is good and is having a bad effect also. It's merely not about telling them but guiding them to chose rightly what to do with networking. The matter of the mother is an example and we really at times try to spy on kids and I think one day I would also have been one of them, but being a friend to my daughter ànd not being a mother, I would never do the mistakebecause i lovemy daughter and will guide her regarding the netizens and make them better citizens. The only thing is the trust and the way we project ourselves on them.

Jumbo Kids Nanded said...

It is very important as a mother to trust the child and be a friend to understand feeling of child. All the do and don't can be instructed to child in a very understanding nature so that they can understand the importance of it.

PJK Vadgaonsheri 2 said...

yes it is very important to educate the children about the usage of social media and the internet at the right time rather than to avoid them for not using it. This will help us to build health relationship with the children. Thank you mam for such a wounderful parenting tips.

shilpa said...

Best learning to those Parent who dont keep any trust on their own child instead if trust could be created in the child and would have maintain friendly healthy relation between the child and the parent , they would always be with each other and share about their day and discuss than Parent could take and opportunity to guide the child as per very well said in the article wonderfully put to read .

Jumbo Kids, Chakan said...

Parents do need to understand how their children are interacting on social networking sites.We need to freely discuss with our children and guide them about the risk involved in sharing personal information on facebook.We should have an open discussion and encourage our children to share both good and bad online experiences and guide them in usage of social networking sites rather than trying to control them.

Hema Mittal said...

A wonderful article on how social media can control/ruin your life if not handled with responsibility and within defined boundaries. It is very important to groom the children on the pros and cons of the web world.Simple rules and guidelines will help them make the right decisions. Privacy is everyone's right and your child also needs it, but parents tend to get apprehensive when it comes to the web world. Trust your child. Guide properly and let them explore........

Kalpana Mahalwar said...

As rightly said "Half Knowledge is more dangerous" so due care for guiding teenagers on social media from time to time is very much needed, as sometimes they are carried away by peer pressure or anxiety to know new things. At that time parents and family members have a crucial role to be played.

Jumbo Kids Malad said...

Thank you ma'am for sharing such a wonderful and knowledgeable thought, it is definitely going to help all adults to better understand their children...And also to accept social media as a boon and not a curse...
Its we as adults need to teach our children to select a right way of technological learning.

aamani josef said...

It's a very informative blog for us as parents to understand the brain functions in every aspect of life. very informative blog for us as parents to understand the importance of selecting the best preschool for their kid.
Thanks a lot for the same.

Kalpita Bhirud said...

I Kalpita Bhirud main teacher of PJK Plus Vile Parle thank you for sharing such a important and knowledgeable blog. Every parent should understand and talk about social media freely with their children and explain them about the boundaries, which is very important.

Ramola Menezes said...

I Ms. Ramola Menezes teacher at PJK Plus Vile Parle thank you maa'm for sharing this article with us.This blog is helpful in a special way for teenagers. Parents should make simple rules and guidelines very clear to their children and also the pros and cons of social media and how it should be used in the right way.