Last winter, a father read an angry letter his 15-year-old daughter had posted on Facebook. In response, he put nine bullets into her laptop and posted the video online. Within weeks, it had garnered millions of hits and tens of thousands of comments.
Why so much attention? Certainly the shock value of his rage drew people’s attention. But he also verbalized some very common frustrations of parenting digital natives, and graphically played out a response to the powerlessness that parents often feel. Communicating feelings and finding ways to feel empowered are both important processes--but parents need ways to do so that support children’s healthy development, rather than terrifying and humiliating them.
Parents need a new way to relate to their children’s use of technology. They need information and skills that can help them see, understand, and feel welcomed to engage with the positive capabilities of these powerful tools. Here are some research-based ways to develop a friendly relationship with your children’s media use, teach your children to avoid possible pitfalls, and even use media to help you parent. Continue reading here.