“Good job, you!” said my friend, when she saw my 6.5 month old twins, chubby and cheerful. Yes, they have come a long way from the teeny preemies they were.
I am deeply entrenched in the early years of motherhood, where doing a good job means fattening up babies, managing 3 year olds with a smile (Terrible Twos is a myth, because 2 was a walk in the park), and dealing rationally with the emotions of a 5 year old, neither too young, yet not quite old enough. I am a few years from having a tween and confronting issues of school work, friendship dramas and social media angst.
That last one is real, and can be a minefield of OMG-how-do-I-deal-with-all-the-issues-of-social-media-for-kids. (Personally, I think some adults are still grappling with it.)
Luckily for us and our children, my dear friend, Galit Breen has written a handy guide, Kindness Wins. It’s a practical, easy-to-read-and-refer-to book outlining 10 ways we can teach our children (and ourselves) how to be decent online, and always be kind.
I am a big believer of being kind, and with online life as real as offline, knowing how to conduct ourselves is essential. And more so for children just entering that world, where likes are a social currency one can hand out generously, or withhold with hurtful consequences; where typing a mean comment is as easy as 1-2-3; and where the word “troll” doesn’t mean an ugly, green monster who lives beneath a bridge – it means a person who acts ugly online, with no care as to how their actions (or inactions, as Galit will point out in the book) mean to the real people behind the screens.
Galit wisely and gently reminds us throughout her book, that we as parents, need to model kindness, and to not shy away from the difficult discussions of what is right or wrong when it comes to social media. Covering everything from what to post (or not), to how to act when others are mean (step in!), Galit guides us through the steps we can take to show kindness.
Teaching our children to navigate social media is such a new thing for all of us. I highly recommend you pick up Galit”s book to help you with it.
Kindness Wins launches on April 7. I received an advanced copy for review purposes, and no compensation, except in love and kindness from Galit.
Do you have children just entering social media? How are you teaching them to navigate it?