Land n Sand Jan / Feb 2014 - Page 31

like when you were young and had to go and find a phone in order to communicate. How do they think this has changed the way we interact? 11. Remember that your children are different. They have grown up in a very different world. They can ‘tune out’ of some things and ‘tune in’ to other things as needed. This is why if they’re watching TV or texting on their cell phone they may well not notice someone walking into the same room or even speaking to them. They’re not being rude. They’re ‘tuned-out’. Move between them and the screen or physically touch them to get their attention. 12. Allow them to play silly things like ‘Candy Crush’ or subscribe to pages like ‘I hate Justin Bieber’. Doing these things doesn’t mean that everything they do online is nebulous. Most of what they do is incredibly creative manipulating photographs, creating graphics, videos and songs. 13. Tell them to ignore online bullying and give them a lesson on constructive criticism. Take them to a blog/website where there are comments and go though the comments with them (metacritic.com is a good one). Discuss which comments are thoughtful and wich idiotic. 14. Cut them some slack. Our children have grown up in a digital age. We feel bombarded my all the information thrown at us thanks to all this new technology. They don’t. They are able to multi-task and filter far more than us. They are used to having several different things going on at once and are often able to focus better when there is more than one thing going on at a time. This is why school bores them and why they can actually study better for maths when they’re listening to music. 15. When it comes to online social sites - watch their backs, don’t snoop. Regularly remind them of the dangers of online life and ensure their privacy settings are appropriate. You’ll probably find that their privacy settings are far better than yours. Kids are techsavvy and there has in fact been a drop in online exploitation in the past few years because kids are so savvy and can easily recognise a dodgy character. Of these 15 points I believe No. 10 to be the most important of all. Communication is vital to everything (even sans technology) Communicating gets you and your children thinking and talking about what they’re doing, and it provides you with information about what they’re doing.