FamilyDinner3One of my constant mantra’s is offline parenting will help your kids, and especially teen’s, make better online choices.  The fact is when your children are in their digital world’s you are not there to protect there.  With all the parental controls, filters and monitoring, your teen is in that moment and will make that decision to click-out 0r possibly continue in a risky situation.

Studies have proven that family meals can help reduce risky behavior with adolescents. Back in 2011 when these studies were released, they were speaking more about offline behavior such as smoking, drug use, drinking and risky sexual behavior.

It seems (let’s hope) parents were listening.

A recent study sponsored by Pearson revealed that families are gathering around the dinner table together more often than in previous years with nearly four in five parents surveyed (79 percent) reporting that they have dinner with their families most days of the week.

This is fantastic news!  

Discussing offline behavior is just as important as talking about your child’s digital lives. Today studies show that our youth spend a majority of their time connected to their devices – which means the majority of their life today is spent online.

The Family Dinner Project joined Common Sense Media to offer some great suggestions to start your mealtime conversations about cyber-life with parents and kids.

I am saying mealtime, since you can be at a coffee shop or Sunday brunch – mealtime doesn’t necessarily mean you are cooking dinner five nights a week.  Find time to unplug and eat with your kids (have a smoothie or coffee) – even if it is at a restaurant.  It’s about spending time together and chatting.

Here is an excellent chart I hope you will either print it out or to take notes to help your kids make better online choices.