Online Bullying: What to Do!

Online Bullying: What to Do!

How Parents Can Prevent And Deal with It

By Ariane Robinson

It’s true, kids can be cruel. I still vividly remember the insults thrown at me by a group of “popular” girls at my junior high. Their ridicule made it hard for me to attend school, but I knew at the end of the day I would be able to escape from it and return home where I felt loved and safe.  

Unfortunately, bullying today is not something that’s confined to schools or only known about by a small group like it was for me. Cruel comments can spread in a matter of seconds on social media, and children can be bombarded with messages not just at school, but in their homes at all hours of the day. Once these messages are shared, they may never be erased, and it can be hard to track down with whom they have been shared.  

Cyberbullying is used to harass, threaten, humiliate, or otherwise hassle someone. It is dangerous for our children because it leads to low self-esteem, suicidal ideation, anger, frustration, and a variety of other emotional and psychological problems (Hinduja & Patchin, 2018). 

As parents, this is something we must have on our radar, as it is likely our child will either be the victim of cyberbullying, have a friend who is being bullied, or be a bully themselves. Studies have shown that about one out of every four teens has experienced cyberbullying, and about one out of every six teens has done it to others (Hinduja & Patchin, 2018). Articles like The Most Dangerous Apps of 2019 can help parents be aware of apps where cyberbullying might occur. Below is a list of some signs parents can look for to help their children. 

SIgns your child may be experiencing cyberbullying are if he or she:

  • unexpectedly stops using their device(s)
  • appears nervous or jumpy when using device(s)
  • appears uneasy about being at school or outside 
  • appears to be angry, depressed, or frustrated after texting, chatting, using social media, or gaming 
  • becomes abnormally withdrawn
  • avoids discussions about their activities online

 Signs your child may be cyberbullying others are if he or she:

  • quickly switches screens or hides their device
  • uses their device(s) at all hours of the night 
  • gets unusually upset if they can’t use device(s) 
  • avoids discussions about what they are doing online
  • seems to be using multiple online accounts, or an account that is not their own 

In general, if a child acts in ways that are inconsistent with their usual behavior when using these devices, it is important to find out why (Hinduja & Patchin, 2018).

Experts offer these guidelines for parents and children if they are faced with a cyberbully (Smith, 2014):

  • Take a screenshot or save a text message.
  • Block or unfriend the bully.
  • Report the bully to the website.
  • Tell a trusted adult, like a family member or teacher.

What parents can do if they find out their child is the bully (Sizer, 2012):

  • Find out what happened — Ask your child to tell you, in his own words, what happened and what his role was in the incident. Joel Haber, Phd says,  “Kids have to take accountability for their behavior.” If your child tries to push the blame onto someone else, be firm and reiterate that you want to know what their role was in the bullying.
  • Encourage empathy with the victim — After you find out what your child’s side of the story is, ask them to imagine if they were in the victim’s shoes. How would they feel if someone did the same thing to them? 
  • Have your child make restitution — This may be challenging if the bullying happened online. Barbara Coloroso, the author of The Bully, the Bullied and the Bystander, notes the nature of the Web means that “rumors on the Internet can be hard to fix.” In extreme cases, she recommends that cyberbullies be forced to pay for a Web scrubber, which helps bury nasty Web pages in Google search results.
  • Try to get to the root cause of the bullying — Get to the bottom of what might be causing your child to be a bully. Are they looking for some type of acknowledgment, attention, or control? Do they fully understand the pain and ostracism they are causing?
  • Involve the school — Keep close communication with your child’s guidance counselor and teachers. Let them know you do not support bullying, and to notify you if there is any behavior at school of which you should be made aware.
  • Be a role model — Parents need to make sure their behavior is not sending a message to their child that it is ok to make someone feel bad about themselves. For example, do you gossip and spread rumors? Do you roll your eyes when you hear something you disagree with? Are you curt with salespeople? These types of parental behavior can give kids the idea that it is ok to bully others or put them down.

Parents can teach their kids about appropriate online behaviors just as they teach them about appropriate behaviors offline. Bringing Digital Citizenship Into Our Homes helps parents navigate this conversation if they are not sure where to begin. They can reinforce with their child how and why others should be treated with dignity and respect online. 

It is vital that parents work to maintain an open, honest line of communication with their children, so their children will want to reach out when they experience something upsetting online. If you are looking for an easy way to begin talking to your child about cyberbullying and using tech for good, check out Noah’s New Phone: A Story About Using Technology for Good.

Ariane Robinson is the mother of five children. She is a Marriage and Family Studies major and a certified facilitator with PREPARE/ENRICH. She enjoys working with families and helping to strengthen their relationships.  

Citations:

Hinduja, S. & Patchin, J. W. (2018). Cyberbullying Identification, Prevention, and Response. Cyberbullying Research Center (cyberbullying.org). 

Sizer, B. B. (2012, November 08). What to Do When Your Child Is a Bully. Retrieved from http://www.pbs.org/parents/education/going-to-school/social/what-to-do-when-your-child-is-a-bully/

Smith, N. C. (2014, August 19). Watch out, cyber-bullies: Kids have new tools to fight back. Retrieved from https://www.cbsnews.com/news/watch-out-cyber-bullies-kids-have-new-tools-to-fight-back/

Inspiring Kids to Choose Their Own Body Image

Inspiring Kids to Choose Their Own Body Image

By Hannah Herring

Growing up, my hair was almost always long. By the time I was twenty, I had allowed my hair to grow past my hips. One day, I woke up and announced to my roommate that I was getting my hair cut. We found a salon and walked in. I informed the hairdresser that I wanted it chopped off at about my jawline. I thought she was going to fall over from shock. She looked at me in surprise and after asking some more questions, put my hair in a clip and cut it off. Snip snip snip. I was free. 

When we walked out of the salon a little while later, I realized that, for years, I had been carrying around all of that weight (literally) because other people liked my long hair. Suddenly, I was free. Since then, every time I get my haircut, I feel a similar freedom. People can say whatever they want but I love my hair now, more than I ever had before!

In the book Messages About Me: Wade’s Story one of the characters says, “I’m happy being me, and my parents say I’m pretty awesome just the way I am.” That is the kind of body image that we should want our children to have! We need to build our children’s self-image in healthy ways so that they can stand on their own, ignoring the peer pressure, negative media presence, and comparisons that social media feeds us. But how do we do that?

Here are 3 ways to help kids develop a positive body image:

  1. Have healthy discussions together. Ask questions or give prompts that help your kids remember what is good and beautiful about their bodies. For example: 
    • “What have you done today that took some effort from your body?” 
    • “Look at how far you ran! Aren’t your legs amazing?” 
    • “Tell me about something kind you did for someone else today. How did you have to use your body to assist them?”
  2. Be a good example. Even if you struggle with your own body image (as many of us do) try to speak positively about yourself. Through our children’s habits and quirks we often see the things we fault in ourselves. Why? Because a child will do what we do, not always what we say. So speak positively, act positively, and be optimistic! Express gratitude for your body every day, especially when you are feeling particularly bad or down about it. Our words and actions are POWERFUL! If we begin a habit of complimenting ourselves, we will start to feel better about ourselves and even change the way we think (Cuddy, 2012). For example:
    • “Wow! I got such a good workout today! I love that my body allows me to run every day!”
    • “I love this shirt! I think it’s super flattering on my body. I love my body!”
    • “I’m really grateful for my body. I am so blessed. Look at everything that I got done today. All because my body is healthy and works well.”
    • “I’m so glad I’m healthy. That’s what is important! Don’t worry about your size. Take care of your body and your body will take care of you.”
    • “I think that you have a beautiful body. When people make fun of you or tease you, tell yourself that what they’re saying isn’t nice and that their words do not change how beautiful you are. You can do so much! What are some of your favorite things to do with your body?”
  3. Teach them to be critical thinkers. Encourage your children to talk about why they decide to dress or act a certain way. Did they see something on TV? On social media? When you hear them saying negative things about their bodies, ask them why they said that. Help them to recognize how the media and peer pressure are affecting their perceptions of concepts like “beautiful”, “good-looking”, “handsome,” or “perfect.” For example: 
    • “That’s a new style. I like it. What made you decide to try it out?”
    • “Did you do your make-up differently today? Do you like this new way? I think it looks nice. It accents your eye color well. Where did you get the idea?”
    • “You just said that (name of a girl/teacher in a class/social setting) is gorgeous. What makes her so pretty? Who else do you think is pretty? What makes a person truly beautiful?”
    • “Wasn’t that a great movie? I loved it! The guy was pretty muscular. Do you think that’s attractive? What do you think makes a man good-looking? Do you think they may have used a computer to enhance the way his muscles looked?”

You have a huge influence on your children’s self-image. Help them remember what’s great about their bodies and about them. Speak positively about your own body. Encourage your kids to talk about their reasons for dressing, acting, and reacting the way they do. They will begin to see that they can choose for themselves how to see their body–despite what media or others around them say. Let’s help them see that they have that ability! It takes practice, but it’s worth it!

For more information on teaching your kids about body image, check out our books Messages About Me: Wade’s Story, A Boy’s Quest for Healthy Body Image. and Messages About Me: Sydney’s Story, A Girl’s Journey to Healthy Body Image. 

Hannah is from Utah and is a graduate student at Friends University studying Family Therapy. She plans to go into counseling with an emphasis in addiction recovery and trauma. From a large family, she loves children and their protection and education is top priority.

Citations: 
Cuddy, A. (2012). Your body language may shape who you are. Retrieved from https://www.ted.com/talks/amy_cuddy_your_body_language_shapes_who_you_are?referrer=playlist-the_most_popular_talks_of_all

Social Media and Kids: 6 Tips for Curbing Isolation and Loneliness

Social Media and Kids: 6 Tips for Curbing Isolation and Loneliness

By Ariane Robinson

Thanks to social media, video chatting, text messaging, and emails it’s easy to connect with friends and family.  All-day long we text, post, and comment. Wouldn’t that mean that we are closer and more connected to others than ever before? According to recent research, this is not the case. In fact, the opposite is happening, we are feeling more isolated and alone. Studies show that rather than feeling connected by social media, young people who use it are actually more likely to feel socially isolated and lack a sense of belonging. (Pawlowski, 2018)  

As parents, it is important that we teach our children the importance of face-to-face interaction and how to build healthy relationships beyond these screens. Otherwise, our children may end up experiencing the side effects of what some researchers have referred to as the “loneliness epidemic” (Pawlowski, 2018).  While all of us may experience some feelings of loneliness in our lives, prolonged feelings of loneliness can become a real issue with serious side effects. These side effects are comparable to “smoking up to 15 cigarettes per day, obesity, physical inactivity, and air pollution” (Holt-Lunstad, 2010). 

How can we be lonely, when we are literally in communication with people all day long? One explanation could be, that as humans we are social creatures who need to experience the real companionship of others. A screen cannot replace these interactions and experiences.

If you suspect your child may be experiencing loneliness because of to much social media, then it’s time to talk!

Here are six strategies to help:  

1. Limit Alerts. Encourage your children to turn off the alerts on their phones. This will enable them to be present in the moment instead of constantly dividing their attention. It can be very hard to interact with people if you are constantly distracted by the alerts you are receiving, and what is happening on social media (Pawlowski, 2018).  If someone is constantly checking their phone when you are having a conversation with them, it can make you feel like they are not that interested in what you have to say. 
2. Limit Social Media Platforms. Studies have found that using more than two social media platforms can increase depression and anxiety.  The reason for this is because we end up getting overwhelmed with all the posts and information, (Pawlowski, 2018) not to mention the amount of time it takes to be actively involved on numerous platforms. 
3. Encourage More Face-to-Face Contact.  Have your child visit friends from time to time, rather than just texting. Talk to them about the importance of making eye contact, smiling, and having a conversation (Pawlowski, 2018). You can be a great example for your child, by putting your phone down when they are talking to you, and making sure you are fully present in the moment.
4. Prohibit Social Media Before Bed. Using social media before bed has been shown to cause poor sleep. Encourage your child to have at least 30 minutes without their phone or device before bed, so their mind can wind down and prepare for sleep (Pawlowski, 2018). It may be helpful for your child to keep screens out of their bedroom, so they are not tempted to use them and disrupt their sleep. Loss of sleep can make us feel low, and slowly chip away at our feelings of happiness.
5. Set Time Limits for Social Media. It’s easy to get trapped into mindlessly scrolling on social media. Talk to your children about setting a specific limit on how much time they can spend on social media. (Pawlowski, 2018) It may also be helpful to sit down in your family and create a media plan for the whole family. Once again, parents need to set a good example for their children by adhering to limits and sticking to the plan established by the family. 
6. Help Kids Avoid the Comparison Pitfall. On social media everyone’s lives seem so much better than our own. Help your kids understand that what we see on social media is not always an accurate reflection of what’s really going on in someone’s life. Our book Petra’s Power to See: A Media Literacy Adventure, can be a great tool to help parents teach their children how to decipher the images seen on social media and other media sources.

As a parent, if you ever feel concerned that your child’s loneliness is not improving, or they are showing signs of depression, don’t hesitate to contact their doctor for help. In some cases, your doctor will refer you to a specialist who can provide them with the help they need. 

For ideas on how to start the conversation check out our newest book Conversations with My Kids: 30 Essential Family Discussions for the Digital Age.

Ariane Robinson is the mother of five children.  She is a Marriage and Family Studies Major and a certified facilitator with PREPARE/ENRICH, a program designed to help couples develop skills to improve their relationships. She enjoys working with families and helping to strengthen their relationships. 

Citations

Andrews, C. (2018, May 22). Creating a Media Guideline for Your Family. Retrieved from https://educateempowerkids.org/creating-media-guideline-family-3/?nabe=6404814404845568:4,6655531510136832:0

King, K. (2018, May 14). Tick Tock Goes the Social Media Clock: Finding Balance Between Social Media and Family Time. Retrieved from https://educateempowerkids.org/5103-2/?nabe=6404814404845568:4,6655531510136832:0

Pawlowski, A. (2018, April 23). Feeling lonely? How to stop social media from making you feel isolated. Retrieved from https://www.today.com/health/how-stop-feeling-lonely-social-media-can-worsen-loneliness-t127466

Holt-Lunstad, J. (2018, January 02). Potential Public Health Relevance of Social Isolation and Loneliness: Prevalence, Epidemiology, and Risk Factors | Public Policy & Aging Report | Oxford Academic. Retrieved from https://academic.oup.com/ppar/article/27/4/127/4782506

Van Orden, T., Alexander, D., & Melody, B. (2017, September 20). Suicide Prevention: Strengthening Our Kids to Handle Stress and THRIVE. Retrieved from https://educateempowerkids.org/suicide-prevention-strengthening-kids-handle-stress-thrive/?nabe=6404814404845568:4,6655531510136832:0

Social Media Bullying: Understand It. Stop It!

Social Media Bullying: Understand It. Stop It!

By: Courtney Cagle

Amber was browsing Instagram when she saw an unappealing picture of one of her school peers. Curious, she started going through the comment section to see what her friends were saying about the picture. Her friends were posting comments such as, “Could you cover up any less? #slut,” and “That boy better stay away from her. Her STDs are so bad you could catch it from the air she breathes.” Amber laughed at the comments and decided to join in. 

She didn’t stop to consider how her actions would affect the girl in the picture, she just wanted to impress her friends. After typing out a few messages, she decided on, “Yeah, she must have been drunk to think this was actually a good pic!!” The next day at school, Amber saw the girl from the picture as she was walking down the hall. As soon as the girl noticed Amber she turned and quickly walked away. Amber then realized that her comment must have hurt the girl’s feelings, but her feelings of guilt quickly disappear when her friends mentioned how funny her comment was.  

Stories like this happen nearly every day in American high schools. More than one in three teens have experienced cyberbullying online. 25 percent of these kids reported repeated bullying through their phones alone. Although most parents believe cyberbullying can be easily stopped by blocking someone online, many teens have reported that their cyber-bullies will simply create new accounts and continue to relentlessly bully them no matter what precautions are taken (Cyberbullying Statistics, 2015).

As a parent, you might feel helpless in a cyberbullying situation. The first thing you can do is know and watch for warning signs that your child might be being bullied. Some of these signs are:

  • Feeling sick or faking illness
  • Difficulty sleeping or nightmares
  • Changes in eating habits, binging, or skipping meals
  • Sudden avoidance of social situations
  • Loss of interest in hobbies or school
  • Decreased self-esteem

If you suspect bullying, you may wonder what your role is? How can you help decrease the effects of cyberbullying? While it can feel difficult to approach your child to ask if they have been cyberbullied it is important to support and help. 

Here are six things you can do as a parent to help prevent bullying:

  • Be media literate, especially social media literate. Most of us have a very limited ability to “read” media, especially social media. Sometimes can be difficult for us to accept that everyone, our family and friends included, are “selling” a message through their social media. We need to be savvy enough to see the underlying messages of all forms of media including social media, fake news, and online ads. A great resource to help you and your family become media literate is Petra’s Power to See, A Media Literacy Adventure. Although it’s geared toward kids ages 6-12, I guarantee you and your teen will learn A LOT from this book!
  • Talk to your child about the incredible potential in technology. If your child feels like you are discounting the good things about social media, they may not feel open enough to talk about the risks of social media. They need to know you understand that technology isn’t all bad. When discussing technology remember to cover both the dangers AND the positives. Teach them to use technology for a healthy, deliberate purpose (Johnson, 2017). For more information on how to teach your children how to use technology for good, check out our book Noah’s New Phone: A Story About Using Technology for Good
  • Be upfront and honest with your child about the risks of social media. Educate and help your child understand that social media can be dangerous. Explain the risks and what they should do if they encounter something harmful. This will arm them with knowledge and help them be safer while using social media. 
    • It is also critical for your kids to know that they can come to you if anything happens. When you talk about the risks of social media, ask them about what they have encountered and remind them that they can always talk to you if they need to. (Baron, 2017). Check out our Ultimate Guide to Social Media for everything you need to know!
  • Be thoughtful about how you approach the conversation. Make sure when you talk to your child you use language in the form of facts, i.e. something that you personally saw or heard. Refrain from using judgmental language like, “You’re rude,” “That was stupid,” or “It’s ridiculous to talk like that.” Judgmental language can lead to negative emotions and prevent open communication from happening with your child (Baron, 2017). 
  • Establish firm rules and boundaries with your child. Create a media guideline with your kids. Make rules with them and allow them to take part in establishing boundaries. Including them in the process will make it easier for them to follow and accept what has been decided. If they know and understand the rules, it won’t be as hard for them to show you their social media feed or text messages when you suspect they are being bullied (Andrews, 2016).  Make sure your child knows that you reserve the right to look at their technology if you are worried about their safety or mental health. Remember, if you believe your child is being cyberbullied, you should ask to look at their social media and their messages. Our Ultimate Guide to Social Media has a helpful Social Media Contract to help establish firm guidelines.
  • Have meaningful, daily communication with your child. If you are communicating with your child on a daily basis, it shows them you are willing to listen.. Ask them questions about their life, how they are feeling, what they did that day, etc. You want to dive deep and learn about them so you are best able to help them. Make sure they are comfortable to share when they’ve been bullied online or elsewhere. It’s important to open the lines of communication and allow them to come to you with their concerns.

We must know what is going on in our children’s lives. Cyberbullying is going on all around us, and it’s important to keep your children safe as well as educated. For more information on bullying, signs, and what you can do, check out our article, Giving a Voice to Bullying Victims.

As you continue to talk with your kids about bullying and social media, it may be helpful to learn about the most dangerous apps of 2019, some of which your kids might have. Remember, don’t just focus on the dangers and negative aspects of online behavior; teach your kids how to use technology for good. Our book, Noah’s New Phone: A Story About Using Technology for Good, is a great place to start. 

Engaging stories, great discussions!

Courtney Cagle is a senior at Brigham Young University-Idaho graduating in Marriage and Family Studies. She loves kids and wants to help create a safe environment for all children to learn and grow.  

Citations:

Andrews, C. (2018, February 12). Creating a Media Guideline for Your Family. Retrieved June 20, 2018, from https://educateempowerkids.org/creating-media-guideline-family-2
Baron, J. (2017, December 12). Talking to Your Kids About Cyberbullying Part 1: Tools for Parents. Retrieved June 16, 2018, from https://www.stopbullying.gov/blog/2017/12/12/talking-to-your-kids-about-cyberbullying-part-1.html
Cyber Bullying Statistics. (2015, July 07). Retrieved June 16, 2018, from http://www.bullyingstatistics.org/content/cyber-bullying-statistics.html
Johnson, J. (2017, September 13). Teaching My Children to Be Great Digital Citizens. Retrieved June 20, 2018, from https://educateempowerkids.org/teaching-children-great-digital-citizens
Warning Signs for Bullying. (2018, February 07). Retrieved June 16, 2018, from https://www.stopbullying.gov/at-risk/warning-signs/index.html

5 maneras en que los niños pueden usar los teléfonos inteligentes para bien

5 maneras en que los niños pueden usar los teléfonos inteligentes para bien

Por Haley Hawks

Traducido por Luis Antonio Mayen Castellanos

Nací en 1995, y me pareció que estaba en medio de una gran revolución tecnológica. Recuerdo cuando mi escuela pasó de no tener computadoras, a clases obligatorias de computación, con papeles escritos a mano, literalmente, algo del pasado. Recuerdo cuando pasamos de proyectores de video a una pantalla de proyección más sofisticada. La ciencia salta y avanza cada día. No quería comprar un teléfono, computadora o videojuego porque sabía que al día siguiente, o la semana, o el mes, otro competidor lanzaría uno mejor.

Pero si pensé que mi generación estaba llena de pantallas, eso no es nada en comparación con la tecnología que nuestros hijos tienen hoy.

Según un estudio realizado por Common Sense Media, los adolescentes pasan casi nueve horas al día en línea y los pre-adolescentes pasan un promedio de seis horas en línea sin contar la tarea. De hecho, el 24 por ciento de los adolescentes informan que están en línea “casi constantemente (Lenhart, 2015)”. Con tanto tiempo en línea, puede ser fácil para los niños y adultos olvidar sus modales, perder el tiempo, volverse apáticos con la realidad y dolor de los demás, o incluso convertirse en acosadores. ¡Podemos cambiar el rumbo de estas tendencias desastrosas!

Aquí hay 5 maneras en que podemos enseñar a los niños a usar el tiempo de pantalla para hacer del mundo un lugar mejor:

  1. Enseñar altruismo
    • Una vez, un amigo mío señaló que el Internet está aquí para quedarse, lo que significa que debemos aprender la etiqueta y ser activamente civilizados en nuestra comunidad de Internet, al igual que nuestras comunidades reales. Con demasiada frecuencia, las personas no parecen comprender el concepto de que lo que sucede en línea ES realidad. Debemos enseñar a nuestros hijos a interactuar con cuidado, amabilidad y respeto, ya que las personas con las que están interactuando están justo en la sala con ellos.
    • Si etsan en las redas sociales, enséñales a:
      • Publicar buen contenido
      • Difunde la felicidad felicitando amigos y siendo positivo.
      • Anímalos a unirse a grupos que tienen un propósito en el que creen.
  2. Promover el aprendizaje independiente
    • ¿Tu hijo a menudo olvida cuando se deben entregar las tareas, incluso cuando se las escribes y se las recuerda? Una forma de facilitarlo tanto a los padres como a los niños es descargar una aplicación como Class Manager que actúa como planificador y planificador de tareas. Hay muchas aplicaciones geniales como esta que te permite:
      • Introducir todas las tareas.
      • Links de tareas a una clase específica.
      • Establecer listas de prioridad.
      • Recibir notificaciones de cuando se vence la tarea.
  3. Voluntario, Voluntario, Voluntario
    • ¿Alguna vez has querido que tus hijos estuvieran más involucrados en temas sociales? ¿Has considerado usar internet? Casi todos los tipos de organizaciones en las que tu hijo pueda imaginar o estar interesados ​​están en internet. Tómate una tarde para investigar juntos qué tipo de grupos sociales les interesa promocionar. Por ejemplo, simplemente pueden consultar justserve.org, que tiene muchas oportunidades locales increíbles. Ellos pueden:
      • Unirse a un movimiento
      • Fomentar un movimiento a través de las redes sociales y en la vida real.
      • Educarse y ser empoderado para aprender más y enseñar a otros
  4. Ver su teléfono como una herramienta
    • Ayuda a tus niños a ver que su teléfono no es su amigo, no es su fuente constante de entretenimiento, sino una herramienta maravillosa para el bien. En lugar de usar las redes sociales, enséñales a usar aplicaciones como Charity Miles, que dona dinero a una organización benéfica por cada milla que camina, corre o monta en bicicleta. Esto no solo fomenta las donaciones caritativas sino también la salud física. Otra aplicación es Acts of Kindness, que ofrece pequeñas sugerencias sobre cosas que puedes hacer todos los días para marcar una diferencia positiva. ¡Dale a tus hijo la posibilidad de cambiar el mundo hoy con sus teléfonos!
  5. Fomentar el ingenio en línea
    • Tu hijo es un hotbox de nuevas ideas. Los niños están constantemente viendo y experimentando el mundo de nuevas maneras. Queremos que compartan esas primeras experiencias con ojos brillantes. Si les damos a nuestros hijos los recursos y les enseñamos el camino, pueden ser grandes instigadores para la positividad digital. El internet necesita nuevas positividades y creatividad. Nuestros hijos nacieron para cambiar el mundo para mejorar con la tecnología.

Pero para que esto suceda, necesitamos apuntarlos en la dirección correcta. Antes de enviarlos a esta aventura, debemos asegurarnos de que estén preparados para controlar su propio comportamiento. A medida que alentamos a nuestros hijos a usar el tiempo en pantalla para bien, se convertirán en mejores ciudadanos digitales y en miembros más fuertes de la sociedad. Podemos ayudarles a tener confianza y a defender las cosas que creen con coraje, compasión y esperanza.

¿Necesita más ayuda para enseñar ciudadanía digital? Echa un vistazo a nuestra lección usando la tecnología para bien.

Haley Hawks tiene una licenciatura en ciencias en estudios matrimoniales y familiares de la Universidad Brigham Young de Idaho. A ella le apasiona aprender, especialmente cuando se trata de relaciones y de la vida familiar. Ella espera poder algún día educar en un entorno mundial para promover la bondad en la familia y destruir los ideales que dañan a la sociedad.

Citaciones:

Informe de referencia: los adolescentes de EE. UU. Utilizan un promedio de nueve horas de medios por día, los adolescentes de seis horas. (2015). Common Sense Media. Obtenido de https://www.commonsensemedia.org/about-us/news/press-releases/landmark-report-us-teens-use-an-average-of-nine-hours-of-media-per-day

Lenhart, A. (2015). Adolescentes, redes sociales y visión general de la tecnología 2015. Centro de Investigación Pew. Obtenido de http://www.pewinternet.org/2015/04/09/teens-social-media-technology-2015/



No tengas “La Charla de Sexo” con tu hijo: ¡tengan muchas!

No tengas “La Charla de Sexo” con tu hijo: ¡tengan muchas!

Por Amanda Grossman-Scott

Traducido por Luis Antonio Mayen Castellanos

La primera vez que tuve una conversación sobre sexo con mi hijo mayor, probablemente le di demasiada  información. Todo comenzó cuando asistí a una proyección para padres de la película que muestran a chicas de cuarto grado sobre la menstruación. La enfermera que presentó la película dijo muchas cosas, pero lo que realmente me llamó la atención fue esto: los niños confían en la fuente de información que escuchan de primero. Si al principio dudaba de esto, era creyente al final de su charla. Señaló la forma cómica en que los niños pueden estar completamente convencidos de algo simplemente porque un amigo les ha dicho que es así o porque en su experiencia limitada, así son las cosas.

La gran charla

Mi hijo tenía seis años y recuerdo haber pensado: “Dios mío, ¿y si llego demasiado tarde?” Esa misma noche fui a casa e imprimí un diagrama anatómico de un niño, preparé notas … para hablar con mi hijo de seis años. La noche siguiente le mostré el diagrama y le pregunté si sabía qué era el sexo. Me miró y dijo con orgullo: “¡Tengo 6 años mamá!” Está bien … ¿tal vez empezamos con vocabulario? Nombré las partes del cuerpo, las diferencias entre niños y niñas, expliqué lo que significan las palabras como “sexo”, “esperma” y “huevo”, y contacto físico positivo y negativo. Su respuesta fue un ceño fruncido y algunos gestos de incomodidad. Pasé difícilmente el tema del sexo. Después de unos diez minutos, preguntó si podía ir a jugar. Así que la “gran charla” terminó, ¿verdad? Ni siquiera estuve cerca.

A qué edad comenzar a hablar del tema

He oído que hablar con un niño a los seis años es demasiado joven como para abordar el tema del sexo. Pero creo que estas conversaciones deberían comenzar tan pronto como un niño pueda comunicarse. Cuando lo bañamos, le enseñamos el término correcto para su pene y otras partes del cuerpo. Cuando estaba embarazada de su hermana, él se preguntaba cómo mi cuerpo cambió así.

Cuando su hermana llegó a casa del hospital con diferentes “partes privadas” que las suyas. Estas son grandes oportunidades que utilizamos para enseñar actitudes saludables sobre el sexo y la imagen corporal. Los padres nunca deben omitir una oportunidad de enseñanza: es un buen momento para responder preguntas y tener una comunicación honesta y apropiada para su edad con los niños.

Seguir hablando

Aproximadamente un año después de la “gran charla”, mi hijo preguntó sobre sexo después de escuchar a un niño en la escuela mencionar la palabra “sexo”. Me había estado intentando creer que mi hijo estaba bien informado hasta este momento. Mi objetivo era perder el tiempo. Le pregunté si podía esperar hasta que papá llegara a casa para que todos pudiéramos conversar juntos. No le importaba.

Esa noche, todos nos sentamos juntos. Mi esposo y yo le explicamos las relaciones sexuales usando la terminología correcta y nunca diciendo “Mamá y papá hacen esto …” porque sentimos que deberíamos mantenerlo más abstracto: “el pene entra dentro de la vagina”, etc. (Tampoco lo hicimos, para no poner alguna imagen en su cabeza de mami y papi, ¡Rayos!).

Y hablando…

Después de esa noche, decidí que quería estar más preparada para futuras conversaciones. Tengo un libro para niños sobre sexo y sexualidad. Ahora, cuando es hora de hablar con mis hijos o hacer preguntas, utilizo “el libro”. ¡Es bueno tener una ayuda visual y está mucho más a su nivel que mi diagrama anatómico original! Hemos tenido innumerables conversaciones (breves y largas) desde esa noche y siempre aprovechamos la oportunidad para revisar y asegurarnos de que nuestros hijos entiendan cosas que hemos visto en el pasado, tales como: formas apropiadas de mostrar afecto, contactos físicos positivos y negativos, higiene adecuada, de qué está bien hablar con amigos, etc.

A medida que crecen, abordamos nuevos temas, como la forma en que cambian sus cuerpos, los hábitos alimenticios y de aseo, la forma en que se sienten acerca de sí mismos y de los demás, la pornografía y los problemas de privacidad. En todo momento tratamos de mostrar respeto por el tema y por los sentimientos de nuestros hijos. Si quieres que tu hijo sepa que respetas su opinión, ¡pídela! Lo hará sentir empoderado e independiente.

¿Dónde puedes encontrar todas las respuestas correctas?

El hecho es que no hay una sola fuente que te diga exactamente qué decir o cómo responder perfectamente a cada pregunta que tu hijo pueda tener. Pero puedo decirte esto: cuanto más hablamos de sexualidad, más cómodos podemos estar hablando de sexualidad con nuestros hijos. Algunos niños están mucho más abiertos a hablar sobre eso que otros. En otras situaciones, es posible que tengas que forzar la alimentación de la información que consideres necesaria, antes de que se escapen gritando con las manos sobre los oídos.

¡Pero no dejes de intentarlo! No siempre lo dirás correctamente, esto está garantizado. Pero alimenta la curiosidad que tienen y hazles saber que el sexo y la sexualidad son partes naturales, hermosas y normales de la vida y deben ser tratados con respeto.

¡Echa un vistazo a nuestros libros 30 días de conversaciones sexuales para iniciar conversaciones increíbles sobre este y otros temas a veces difíciles!

Grandes lecciones, discusiones rápidas y simples.

Errores comunes que los padres cometen cuando hablan a sus hijos sobre el sexo

Errores comunes que los padres cometen cuando hablan a sus hijos sobre el sexo

 

 

Por: Ariane Robinson

Traducido por: L. Antonio Mayen Castellanos

Para muchos padres, la parte más difícil de tener “la conversación” con sus hijos es saber cómo iniciar la conversación. Mientras crecía, recuerdo a mis propios padres andar de puntillas alrededor de la conversación, porque no sabían por dónde empezar. Incluso hoy en día, con todas las excelentes herramientas para ayudar a los padres a navegar en esta importante discusión, todavía hay algunos errores comunes que muchos padres cometen cuando hablan con sus hijos sobre el sexo.

 

Cuatro de los errores más comunes son:

  1. Empezando demasiado tarde. A menudo, los padres esperan para hablar con sus hijos hasta que comienzan a pasar por la pubertad, o porque se preocupan por el comportamiento de sus hijos. Sin embargo, la conversación debe comenzar mucho antes que esto. Los padres deben tener un diálogo continuo con sus hijos sobre el sexo, el desarrollo humano y la imagen corporal desde que tienen tres años hasta que crecen. Con el tiempo, esta conversación puede crecer y evolucionar junto con el niño. Incluso a la temprana edad de tres años, los padres pueden hablar sobre la anatomía, las funciones corporales esenciales, el contacto físico con el tacto no saludable y los aspectos básicos del sexo. Si está buscando más sugerencias y ejemplos sobre cómo hablar con sus pequeños sobre el sexo, consulte el artículo Hablando con los niños pequeños sobre el sexo para obtener información y consejos sobre este tema.
  2. Pasar juicios ásperos. Los niños están observando a sus padres todo el tiempo. Si un niño nota que un padre actúa molesto o juzga las conductas de otros, puede tener miedo de hablar con su padre. Por ejemplo, si un niño oye a un padre decir que las personas que ven pornografía son “repugnantes”, entonces si ese niño ve imágenes inapropiadas, es posible que no quieran decirle a sus padres por temor a ser vistos como “repugnantes”. Es poco probable que los niños sean honestos con sus padres si sienten que los rechazarán o desaprobarán sus preguntas o comportamientos. Es importante que eliminemos la vergüenza de nuestras discusiones sobre el sexo. El podcast Cómo hablar con los niños sobre el sexo explica cómo hacer esto y cómo tener conversaciones importantes sobre la pornografía.
  3. No contestar preguntas cuando se les pregunta. Los niños son naturalmente curiosos. No es raro que tengan preguntas sobre sus cuerpos, relaciones o comportamientos que ven a su alrededor. Si un niño le hace una pregunta a un padre y este no se siente cómodo respondiéndolo, o si no sabe la respuesta, nunca es prudente cambiar de tema o ignorar al niño. Si los hijos se sienten escuchados y validados por sus padres, es menos probable que busquen respuestas de fuentes externas y es más probable que acudan a sus padres para obtener información. Los padres deben ser la primera y mejor fuente de información para sus hijos. Si no está seguro de cómo ser una fuente de información sobre el sexo para sus hijos, consulte el artículo, 8 maneras de comenzar a hablar con su hijo sobre el sexo.
  4. No ser honesto. La honestidad es una calle de doble sentido. Si los padres esperan que sus hijos sean honestos con ellos, entonces deben ser honestos con sus hijos, especialmente cuando se trata de preguntas sobre el sexo. Por ejemplo, si un niño de cuatro años pregunta: “¿De dónde vienen los bebés?”, Entonces los padres pueden responder de manera simple y sincera diciendo: “Las mamás tienen un lugar especial en sus barrigas. Se llama “útero”. Los bebés crecen dentro del útero hasta que están listos para nacer ”(Educate Empower Kids, 2015). Esta es una gran respuesta porque la información que se comparte no solo es honesta sino que está a la par con la comprensión del niño pequeño (Myers, 2014). Tener conversaciones abiertas honestas con nuestros hijos es algo que debemos hacer a menudo. El artículo, No tenga “La conversación sexual” con su hijo: ¡tenga muchas! da sugerencias sobre cómo seguir hablando con sus hijos honestamente sobre el sexo.

En un mundo donde los niños son bombardeados con mensajes e imágenes sexuales, merecen tener información confiable y precisa, ¡y quién mejor para recibir esa información que sus padres! A medida que nos esforzamos por evitar las dificultades mencionadas anteriormente, nuestros hijos se sentirán más cómodos confiando en nosotros.

 

Si desea obtener más información sobre cómo hablar con sus hijos sobre el sexo, consulte los libros de 30 días de conversaciones sexuales. Estos libros están disponibles para ayudar a guiar a los padres con niños de todas las edades, brindándoles las herramientas que necesitan para sentirse cómodos y tener conversaciones abiertas y significativas con sus hijos sobre el sexo.

Ariane Robinson es la madre de cinco hijos. Ella es una Especialista en Estudios de Matrimonio y Familia y una facilitadora certificada con PREPARE / ENRICH. A ella le gusta trabajar con las familias y ayudar a fortalecer sus relaciones.


Citaciones:
E. (2015). 30 días de conversaciones sexuales para edades de 3 a 7 años: cómo empoderar a su hijo con el conocimiento de la intimidad sexual (Vol. 1).
Myers, P. (2014, 29 de diciembre). 4 errores que cometen los padres cuando hablan con sus hijos sobre el sexo. Consultado el 25 de abril de 2018, de https://childdevelopmentinfo.com/development/4-mistakes-parents-make-talking-children-sex/#.Wt91WIjwaUk

Kids Can Change the World with Their Phones: Do Your Kids Know How?

Kids Can Change the World with Their Phones: Do Your Kids Know How?

By Ariane Robinson

So many amazing changes and movements have been created by teens across the world. Powerful examples like Malala Yousafzai’s fight against the Taliban for girls’ education and the students behind the more recent #neveragain movement after recent school shootings show the incredible impact young people can have on their communities and the world.

As parents, we can teach our children that they too have a powerful voice and that thanks to technology, they also have easy access to various platforms to raise awareness about issues they care about. These platforms can help empower our children to use technology for good and encourage them to become critical thinkers and problem solvers.

Fostering critical thinking and problem-solving in our children, can begin by asking impactful questions such as:

  • What do you want to do with your life? Who would you like to be in five years? In 10 years?
  • Who would you like to help with your friends? In our community? In our country?
  • What kind of changes would you like to see in the world? 
  • How can technology help you make those changes?

After answering these questions with your children, you can then use the following resources to help your child to understand their world and discover ways that they can make positive changes:

  • Find ways to connect your children to others around the world. Using websites like Epals is a great way to do this. This is a website that can be used to connect a child’s classroom to other classrooms around the world. Talk with your kids’ teachers so that they can get a closer look and better understanding of the struggles that kids their age are facing around the world. (Lynch, 2018)
  • Teach kids to use digital communication such as Google Slides to advocate for social justice in their local communities. Children can create a presentation for city council members, or create a YouTube video about the importance of clean water. (Lynch, 2018)
  • Help kids stay aware of current events and find ways to respond to them.  Most of the current movements these days have a big social media presence. It is important to teach your children how to evaluate the information that they find on these social media pages and their credibility. (Lynch, 2018)  If parents are not sure how or where to begin when teaching children about evaluating media and media credibility, the book Petra’s Power to See: A Media Literacy Adventure can be a great help.  
  • Teach kids to ask themselves these questions when evaluating the credibility of information they find online, including social media posts, news stories, and other accounts: 
    • Location of the source – Is the person who is sharing the information actually located in the place they are tweeting or posting about?
    • Network – Who is in their network and who follows them? Do I know this account?
    • Content – Can the information be corroborated from other sources?
    • Contextual updates – Does this person usually post or tweet on this topic? If so, what did past or updated posts say? Do they fill in more details?
    • Age – What is the age of the account in question? Be wary of recently created accounts.
    • Reliability – Is the source of information reliable? (John Hopkins University, 2018)
  • Find and use apps with your children that are designed to promote social change (Lynch, 2018). For example in 5 Ways Kids Can Use Smart Phones for Good,  it mentions apps like Charity Miles and Acts of Kindness which allow kids to incorporate small suggestions that can make a difference in activities they may already be doing every day.
  • Talk with children about resources online that are useful in helping to educate and improve learning. There are many free or low-cost resources such as Khan Academy and Massive Open Online Courses.  You can use Khan Academy with children as young as preschool all the way up through high school, and they offer fun classes in everything from telling time to making web pages

As parents, it’s important that we teach our children that they matter and that they can make a difference! We can educate ourselves, and then guide our tech-savvy kids to use technology to better themselves and those around them by exploring issues that they are passionate about. 

For a fun, simple way to begin the conversation about how to use technology for good and to create positive change check out Noah’s New Phone: A Story about Using Technology for Good.

Ariane Robinson is the mother of five children.  She is a Marriage and Family Studies Major and a certified facilitator with PREPARE/ENRICH. A program designed to help couples develop skills to improve their relationships. She enjoys working with families and helping to strengthen their relationships. 

Citations:

John Hopkins University. (2018, April 2). Guides: Evaluating Information: Evaluating Social Media. Retrieved from http://guides.library.jhu.edu/c.php?g=202581&p=1335031

Lynch, M. (2018, May 06). Leveraging Edtech for Social Good. Retrieved from http://www.thetechedvocate.org/leveraging-edtech-for-social-good/

What Online Predators Don’t Want YOU to Do

What Online Predators Don’t Want YOU to Do

By Kelli Bouck

As I scrolled through the photos on my phone, I was caught up in all the spectacular pictures I had just taken while on vacation with my sisters, until my eyes fell upon something I never expected to see. Right there, among my vacation photos, appeared a number of very graphic naked pictures of my two youngest boys, ages 9 and 12.  I was out of the country, so I frantically dialed the phone trying to reach my husband. All sorts of horrendous thoughts were running through my mind; “Who took these pictures?”, “Were they posted on the internet?”, and “Is there an online predator asking my children to send pictures of themselves to him, and if so, how did he find them?”  

My husband and I talked with the children and learned that, fortunately, there was no stranger soliciting my children for photos, nor had they posted the pictures on any kind of social media website. The bad news was that they had come across some naked pictures on YouTube and decided it would be funny to take some of each other with our iPad, which happens to share the cloud with my iPhone.

How did this happen? My husband and I had set up parental controls on all of the computers, video game systems, and televisions in the home. None of our 4 children owned his own cell phone, and we had a password locked iPad.   

How Likely is My Child to Become a Victim of an Online Predator?  

A report published in 2014 in the United Kingdom found that 23% of children ages 8 to 11 have a profile on a social media account (“Online,” 2017), and in another report published in 2015, it was shown that 88% of American teenagers between the ages of 13 and 17 personally owned a smartphone (Symons, Ponnet, Emmery, Walrave, & Heirman, 2017). These trends show that the internet is here to stay, and as parents, we need to better understand our role in protecting our children.  

Statistics show that approximately 1 in 7 youth that uses the internet have received unwanted sexual solicitations, while 1 in 25 received an online solicitation for sex in which the solicitor then tried to make contact offline. In 27% of incidents, the solicitors asked the youth to share sexual photographs of themselves. Parent’s knowledge of their children’s problematic online activity (looking at porn or posting personal information) was found to be lacking when compared to what was reported by their children in a 2004 EU kids online study (Symons et al., 2017).  

So, What Should We Do?

We need to do exactly what online predators don’t want us to do, and that is to teach our children online skills that will keep them safe. It may seem kids today know much more about the internet than their parents and in some regards this is true. They can navigate the web with great deftness, but they lack the maturity and discernment needed to avoid dangers.  It is precisely this combination of online prowess and immaturity that online predators are counting on to deceive children and put them in harm’s way. This is why it is imperative to teach them responsible behaviors, monitor their online use, and foster healthy open communication. My husband and I found a number of helpful tools that we were able to use to teach our children responsible online behaviors, including the following list:

  • Never post personal pictures
  • Don’t accept friend requests from anybody that you don’t know 
  • Never give out any personal information, such as your name, phone number, address, birthday, or school
  • If someone you don’t know starts an online conversation with you make your parents aware
  • Never agree to an in-person meeting with anyone that you’ve met online unless a parent will be accompanying you
  • Don’t use your real name, create and use a screen name
  • Do not add locations on your posted pictures or the “check-ins” feature on Facebook
  • Tell your parents if you read or see something that makes you feel uncomfortable
  • Tell your parents immediately if an online interaction makes you feel unsafe

Monitoring our children’s internet use is important as they learn to utilize these new behaviors,  here are some suggested guidelines:

  • Place the computer or gaming system in a common area where their use can easily be monitored. Also, monitor time spent on mobile phones and tablets
  • Spend time online with your child
  • Bookmark your child’s favorite sites for easy access
  • Listen to your child if they report any uncomfortable online exchange

Knowledge of your child’s internet activity will increase through monitoring, but even more effective is the creation of a warm, loving environment in which your child feels safe in communicating openly with you (Symons et al., 2017). Lastly, be mindful of your own online activity and the details you are sharing on social media about your family and kids. Posting about your child’s whereabouts and activities could be inadvertently providing online predators with information they should not have.

What if My Child Encounters a Suspicious Person Online?

If your child reports to you that they have been solicited in an inappropriate manner by any person online, document all related online activity as much as possible and report it to local law enforcement or contact CyberTipline (part of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children) they specialize in handling cases of online predators. Be sure to praise your child for their honesty and courage to get help.

Empowering our children with knowledge is one of the best ways to protect them, Educate and Empower Kids has a number of excellent parent resources to assist you in this effort. The following books provide conversation starters, information, and age-appropriate activities that can help to tackle sensitive subjects: Conversations with My Kids 30 Essential Family Discussions for the Digital Age and our 30 Days of Sex Talks series

.

Kelli Bouck is a stay at home mother of 4 very active boys.  She is a Marriage and Family Studies major at Brigham Young University- Idaho and hopes to continue in her passion for working with children with developmental disabilities and their families as a special needs life coach.  

Citations:

Online Social Media and Risks: An Exploration into Existing Children Practice. (2017). 2017 

International Conference on Electrical Engineering and Informatics (ICELTICs), 

Electrical Engineering and Informatics (ICELTICs), 2017 International Conference on, 195.

Symons, K. Ponnet, K., Emmery, K., Walrave, M., and Heirman, W. (2017). Parental Knowledge of Adolescents’ Online Content and Contact Risks. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 46(2), 401-416.

UNA SIMPLE LECCIÓN PARA ENSEÑAR A TUS HIJOS DE CONTACTOS FÍSICOS POSITIVOS/CONTACTOS FÍSICOS NEGATIVOS

UNA SIMPLE LECCIÓN PARA ENSEÑAR A TUS HIJOS DE CONTACTOS FÍSICOS POSITIVOS/CONTACTOS FÍSICOS NEGATIVOS

Ayuda a tu hijo a comprender que hay buenas maneras de contacto físico y otras que no son apropiadas. Capacítalos enseñándoles a conocer el propósito y el significado del contacto físico positivo y que el negativo es un mal contacto que los hará sentir incómodos.

Les enseñarás habilidades sobre cómo decir no, cómo protegerse y cómo informar algo que es inapropiado.

Esta no será una discusión de una sola vez, querrá reiterar estos principios continuamente.

Esta lección probablemente conducirá a otras discusiones valiosas como anatomía, caricias inapropiadas y depredadores sexuales,

los cuales se pueden encontrar en 30 Días de charlas sobre sexo, empoderando a su hijo con el conocimiento de la intimidad sexual. (Disponible en Amazon.com)

Download the Lesson Here!

• Enséñale a tu hijo a acercarse a ti si alguien los toca donde la ropa interior se cubre o de una manera que los haga sentir incómodos o confundidos.
• Cada vez que tu hijo no esté bajo tu cuidado por un período de tiempo, es una buena idea recordarles las formas de protegerse y prepararse.
• Puede ser útil practicar maneras en que un niño pueda acercarse a un padre o adulto de confianza con información sobre “contacto físico apropiado”.

Consulte nuestras útiles guías para ayudarlo a hablar con sus hijos sobre la intimidad sexual saludable. Cada libro contiene 30 lecciones útiles con temas como Relaciones Saludables,Cada libro contiene 30 lecciones útiles con temas como Relaciones Saludables, Depredadores, Anatomía, Curiosidad, Identificación Sexual y más.