Ways you can be a cyber-mentor to your teenager.
Teens may always be an app ahead of us, or even more cyber-savvy than most parents, but there is one thing that technology will never be able to give them — our parenting wisdom.
Being a cyber-mentor is not only leading by example and being their role-model online, but it’s being their digital parent with your own behavior on social media.
More and more we are watching adults, of all walks of life, (parents, teachers, celebrities, athletes, and especially politicians) acting badly online – and this is sending the wrong message to our young people.
As a cyber-mentor, we must become more self aware of our digital conduct and content.
Becoming an upstander.
An upstander is someone that recognizes that something is wrong online and acts to make it right.
Especially has a cyber-mentor, we must be socially responsible online to reach-out to people that are hurting or struggling.
1) Stop the hate.
What would you do if you witness cruelty online?
- Report and flag abusive content.
- Don’t forward or retweet cruel comments or mean memes.
- Liking a distasteful or harmful post is equal to endorsing it.
- Don’t engage in hate – it will only perpetuate, energize and bring credibility to it.
2) Reach out to people struggling.
What would you do if you saw someone being harassed online?
- Private message them or if you are comfortable, publicly let them know you are in their corner.
- Text them.
- Call them.
- Email them.
- Let them know they are not alone.
3) Lead by example.
How would you want your teen to treat others? It’s time to reflect on your own social behavior.
- Your words and tone matters. Your online behavior is a reflection of your offline character.
- Be interested in your teen’s online life. (Help them understand that social media is a two-way highway. Be interested in others).
- You are the greatest influence in your child’s life. Remind your teen, that they never know when someone is looking up to them online. Being a cyber-mentor is an honor and privilege.
- Kindness is contagious – it starts with us.
Order Shame Nation book for more insights for becoming a cyber-mentor to the next generation.
Also read developing digital resilience.