Expectations can cause you to think incorrectly and believe the wrong things. In a recent post in Genuine Life with Jodie Stevens, Jodie writes about the lessons she has learned about harboring incorrect expectations that keep us from understanding the value of forgiveness for your own benefit; to pursue happiness in a world where people are imperfect and disappoint. This is an important lesson for parents who may be harboring inappropriate expectations of their children; who they will become, what careers they pursue, etc. and the disappointment translates as a disconnect with your children.
For kids, this is true when it comes to accessing people and information in their cyber-powered communities and searching the internet. Knowing something, and knowing what to do with the tools and information are two different things. If children believe that all they need to know they can simply google, their world view does not include the role of Wisdom (James 1:5) that makes it possible to reap the benefits of technology and be cyber safe.
And so parents have certain authority to govern the home with boundaries that reinforce how important our children’s lives are, and grant children instructive experiences to learn cyber-safe use of devices and apps.
“I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do, and I understand.” Chinese Proverb
Rites of passage typically provide some definitive criteria for conferring roles, responsibilities, rights and privileges and social standing to individuals as they mature in society.
Cyber rites of passage give parents a way of helping children to appreciate delayed gratification for access and independent use of cyber tools.
Tips for parents:
Establish cyber rites of passage, which establish User Levels, that indicate age range and responsibilities associated with learning independent access to the internet and mobile devices. Two critical examples are the Ranger Level (ages 6-10), and the Junior Explorer Level, (ages 11-16):
- Ranger level – ages 6 -10 years: No privacy. Devices are issued much like checking out a library book. They must be returned within allotted timeframes for use. Social media: not recommended.
- Jr. Explorer Level – ages 11-15 years: No privacy. Demonstrated understanding of the importance of setting and maintaining boundaries regarding personal data. Parent or guardian conducts random checks on the applications being used. Supervised use of social media is okay. YourSphere.com is recommended for social media training.
For more information see A Google World in the Garden of Eden: Five Family Safe Strategies for Texting and Social Media.
Joanna Jullien is an author, educator and speaker on strengthening the parent-child relationship in a cyber powered world. She a mother of two grown sons, the author of The Authority In Me: The Power of Family Life in the Network Culture, produces The Sacramento Cyber Safety Examiner column on Examiner.com, and is the CyberParenting advisor on The Fish 103.9FM. Her new book, A Google World in the Garden of Eden: Five Family-Safe Strategies for Texting and Social Media is now available for PC and all eReader formats including Kindle, Nook, iPad.
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- Email: Jullien@surewest.net