Kids, Technology and Manners

Parenting & Kids | February 12, 2010 | By

As moms, teaching our children manners  is part of the job. Unfortunately, technology has changed the game – and Emily Post isn’t much help in 2010.

Example? Two of my four children (ages 15 and 13) have cell phones and Facebook accounts. (Our third doesn’t understand why she cannot have both, and our youngest is blissfully oblivious.)  Even though my older kids earned those “privileges” and lose them if certain expectations aren’t met, it’s tough for me as a mom to know how to integrate technology in an appropriate, respectful way in our family.

For example, we’ve banned cell phones from mealtime, but I know my kids’ friends likely don’t have the same rules in their homes. So, do my teenagers follow this “good manners” practice when eating with peers? Or when they’re not in friends’ houses but out in a fast food restaurant? Honestly, I doubt it.

Another issue is how freely kids say via text and Facebook things that’d never say in person.  How do we get an “invincible” teenager to understand that once something is “out there,” it can’t be taken back?  Does this just come through maturity or a bad experience?

Then, there’s the habit that kids and adults alike have, of texting while talking to someone. Am I the only one who thinks this is rude?

I worry about how to best guide my children through these “new” territories.  Technology is part of our world and restricting its use is only partially helpful. Even scarier are all the safety issues that go along with texting, Facebook, Internet chatting, driving, etc. There is no wisdom from our mothers or grandmothers to help us with those issue.

Learning how to integrate technology is every mom’s challenge.

Please comment and share:
What experiences, good or bad, can you share about kids and technology? How do you handle cell phones and manners at home? We’d love to hear!

Stacey Seybold Hiller juggles much and still holds it together. Mom to four kids ages 8 – 15, she owns Dream Dinners in Indianapolis, IN. She has also been a pediatric speech language pathologist for 24 years and speaks nationally on the topic. Stacey blogs about family communication, eating, parenting and more.

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