If you are new here, then welcome. I'm so glad you're here and I'm so happy to tell you that reading this list will let you know without a shadow of a doubt whether or not this is the space for you.
I teach parents and educators how to keep up with their kids' online use.
And at first blush you might be thinking, "I'm in!"
I need you to know two things first.
First, what I teach here is different than anything else you're going to find out there.
It is all based on my personal, unique position of having a masters degree in conversations that teach + a decade of classroom teaching experience and working online and in social media for 8+ years and having been shamed online and seeing firsthand what it takes to come out on the other side.
And second, everything that I teach comes back to this center:
We have to move from taking care of ourselves and our own children to taking care of each other and each other's children.
This topic is too important.
This topic is too important to me to let you start digging in here, and further down the line realize that we're mismatched, and have you dismiss the need to teach your kids about the online world because of that.
So I'm laying it all out here.
So I'm laying it all out here so that you can decide if you want to learn about this topic from me.
I am a good fit for those of you who:
- Want to keep up with your kids' online use (even as they start to know more about the online world than you do)
- And for those of you who know in your heart-of-hearts that you can, should, and WANT to raise a leader, a change-maker, a kindness warrior
- *At the same time
Is that you?
If so, then first, I'd love for you to try a free sample of my book, Kindness Wins. Click the button below to get it immediately.
And second: the "rules" below are my promises to you.
They are different than anything else that's out there, and I live and teach by them because they work.
If you've been here for awhile, not a single part of this should be a surprise to you. Welcome back, I don't take for granted one bit that you are choosing to trust me with this topic. Thank you. Truly.
Let's dig in.
I will never tell you to keep your kids off line—This isn’t realistic and technology is good! We want our kids to have the opportunities that the online world provides them.
Hand-on-heart, we want our kids to have their small moments, to NOT be that kid at the football game, ignoring their friends, staring at their phone. We're afraid that they're missing out on running through sprinklers, eating popsicles, laughing till their bellies hurt. But we have to zoom out—if their small moment is there, even if there is a screen involved, then it exists, it counts, and it is good.
Don’t follow the age guidelines—If you wait until they’re 12/13 and then hand them a device with full access and a whole lot of rules—you’ve waited too long. It’ll be too much all at once and they won’t be able to grasp it all. Also, their need for independence is fierce by then. At age 10, they expect to hear your input + observations more, give it to them.
Most people go about creating a cell phone contract completely backwards and it ends up ineffective and unused. This, all of this, has to be created together.
When you build your connection because of technology, not despite it, you will have a kid you can trust and you will not need, want, or use a monitoring app.
1. These aren’t fool proof—our kids are so savvy and they will get around them
2. When we use these, we rely on them to parent for us, and we stop making
talking to our kids a priority—this is when our kids become vulnerable.
3. Respect begets respect and monitoring apps do not send a respectful message.
I definitely will never tell you that you should rely on monitoring by keeping track of every single move your kid and her friends make online. Not only is this unrealistic and unsustainable, but I know that you don’t have time for this.
—> You are, however, responsible for getting online and understanding the apps that your kids want to use—just one app at a time and just while they’re still learning. I am a huge proponent of parenting yourself out of this job.
There is no shortcut to this. No app to do it for you. Do you really want there to be one? We need to roll up our sleeves and parent through this one.
Truth bomb: A kid who has been taught to be balanced, safe, wise, and kind online can use any app well with or without you. But this doesn’t happen with luck or by accident. It takes a couple weeks to teach and to put this in place. A couple weeks —> lifelong habits.
We worry a lot about the “other”, telling our kids to not share their info with strangers, to only allow friends to follow them, etc. but the real danger is with the people who know you, the ones who are your friends one day and not the next, the ones who are still learning and muddling their way through. It’s on our kids to learn what to post and not post rather than where they post and with whom—and it’s up to us to teach them how to do this.
This is the long game: We teach them how to be balanced and safe online today so that they can become wise and kind online every day.
I will absolutely help you teach your kids how to be balanced, safe, and wise online. But the truth is that our work is so much bigger and more important than this. It’s up to us to be and raise the change makers, the leaders, and the kindness warriors. This, too, can be taught and it is what we are here to do.
Are you in the right place?
If yes, then welcome. I am so glad you're here.
And I am so excited to create a better, kinder internet for all of us and our kids.
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AUTHOR: GALIT BREEN
Hi, I'm Galit. Best selling author, TEDx speaker, parent educator, researcher, mom. I'm going to help you raise and teach your digital kids. I've been teaching and working in social media for 8+ years. If you are so over vague, surface level online safety advice and are ready to actually teach your kids and students what they need to know to make an impact + raise a leader, we're going to get along just fine. Learn more about me here.