Henderson County Schools Digital Parenting
We have many hopes for our kids. We want them to grow up to live happy, successful lives. We hope they'll pursue their dreams. But at the bottom of all these wishes is the hope that our kids become caring human beings -- people who are kind, respectful, and honest.
How do you bolster these strengths as well as teach key skills such as teamwork, communication, and perseverance? For the most part, kids will learn these things by following example and through experience gained at school and in their communities. Digital Parenting is not something we watched our parents experience. It is new and can be challenging.
Since movies, TV shows, books, video games, and social media are such a huge part of kids' lives, it makes sense that kids can learn important lessons about character through media. Here are some specific things you can do or say to reinforce character:
Not only can watching sports with kids be a really fun way to bond over a favorite team or player, it can be a perfect opportunity to point out character strengths from teamwork to perseverance.
Watch movies together.
After the movie discuss the lessons learned by the characters and how those lessons can be applied to relationships or situations in their lives or other choices the characters could have made and how things would have turned out differently.
Play video games together.
Gaming as a family offers the chance to practice teamwork, problem-solving, communication, and perseverance, while also having fun. Choose multiplayer games where gamers are required to work together to win. Model positive, respectful communication during the game (try "I need help over here" instead of "you idiot!").
Take a time-out.
Most households are abuzz as various mobile devices alert us to text messages or Instagram posts, but we can help teach our kids self-control by resisting the urge to respond immediately.
Share social media.
From Facebook and Instagram to YouTube and Snapchat, social media is ripe with character lessons. Most teens and kids use social media effectively and well. However, there are times where we all (adults included) use social media to hurt, be aggressive, and place blame.
For additional information visit: www.commonsensemedia.org
CHALLENGE: ALL children’s and teens’ phones should be charged at night in their parent/guardian bedroom.
Superintendent of Henderson County Schools
Digital Parenting Video Series
Update for March 2019
Momo is a sinister ‘challenge’ that has been around for some time. It has recently resurfaced and once again has come to the attention of schools and children across the country. Momo has been heavily linked with apps such as Facebook, WhatsApp, YouTube, and most recently (and most worryingly)... YouTube Kids. The scary doll-like figure reportedly sends graphic violent images and asks users to partake in dangerous challenges like waking up at random hours and has even been associated with self-harm.