Good Digital Parenting
Blog | Oct. 7, 2014

Short Chats Are Better Than No Chats

Founder, Parents' Universal Resource Experts, Inc

Did you know that spending 15 minutes a day listening and talking with your child can help build the foundation for a strong relationship? It can also provide support for your child to come to you with a problem, such as bullying or cyberbullying.

Many parents today are always on the run, not to mention stressed out about making ends meet financially. By the time the evening rolls around everyone is exhausted and the last thing parents may want to do is chat about digital lives.

If you didn’t already know, October is Bullying Prevention and Awareness Month. However, this doesn’t mean it’s not an issue we are faced with year-round.

With short chats, we can have small doses of how you can better protect your children from online harm through daily cyber-intakes of information that can empower them to make better digital decisions when you aren't around.

C - Communication is key. Offline parenting will help online safety. Never stop talking about your child's daily lives online. It is just as important as how their day was at school. 

H - Help is always a call or text away. Be sure your child knows you are available to them no matter what. They should never have to fear you will judge them, especially if they are victim to online harassment. Their safety is your priority – online and off.

A - Action plans. Talk to your child about action plans for cyberbullying. You are your child's advocate and you will be there to help them implement steps to prevent online cruelty. This starts with telling a parent or adult when an issue arises, and continues with learning how to block and report.

T - Treat others as you want to be treated. It comes back to that old cliché. It is the most important rule online and off: Always treat people with kindness. It is a priority. 

It is imperative to understand that in today's society the online world is as important to our child's lives as their daily offline world. We must also treat it that way. 

Talking to them on a daily basis, even if it is only for a few minutes, about their virtual lives, is just as essential as asking them about their homework. 

This might be a short post, but hopefully it is meaningful enough for you to start having some chats with your kids today and everyday – even if it's only for a short time. Every minute counts when it comes to online and offline safety and preventing harm.

Cover image courtesy of Flickr.