As the mom of a kid, a preteen, and a teen, not a day goes by when one of us is not online or watching TV or using a cell phone. It’s a fact of life: we are a connected family. By connected I mean connected to devices with a plug that allow us to communicate with the outside world. Of course, we could just walk outside and talk to our neighbors, but the reality is that the preteen and the teen have to participate in webchats for class, go online to find assignments on teachers’ websites, or send inane text messages to each other which say “yo yo yo yo.” The text message? I have no idea why preteens think that it is funny to send this sort of thing. It’s a preteen thing.
Not to be outdone…my husband is online for work reading e-mails, putting out fires, rounding up the 6- year-old’s soccer team for practice. I’m a blogging, tweeting, Facebooking, social media type, so I’m rooted to the computer chair as well. The 6-year-old is the least connected due to his age and the fact that his sisters won’t budge from the computer chairs. His turn will come!
As the mom of an internet-connected family, I am constantly on the lookout for new games to help a kid learn math facts, or find a website for a teen to find out information about a school project, or a new website to find a recipe for dinner. The_Online_Mom is a great resource.
With just a few clicks I found my way to a history of the cellphone. Does anyone remember when cell phones were a shoebox-sized box that you carried around with you? Not very convenient really!
Cyberbullying is a huge issue for middle school and high school students. Kids leave anonymous hurtful comments for their classmates online. These comments are designed to hurt the child emotionally or damage the child’s reputation. I have seen enough comments on the blogs I read to know that certain types of people hide behind their anonymity, so that they can leave hurtful comments. The_Online_Mom lists the “Stop, Block, Tell” method for stopping a cyberbully: Stop what you are doing online and don’t start an argument with your online attacker; Block the person who is attacking you; and Tell an adult. I will be telling my preteen and teen about this tomorrow morning at breakfast.
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