Social Media and the Internet are an integral part of our children’s lives. It isn’t like the twentieth century anymore when access to networking was limited and selective. And now really, there is no ‘right age’ for our kids to begin texting and using social media. And consequently, there is no ‘right age’ to face cyber bullying.
Just like every parent wants their child to have etiquettes, it is also a necessity in the current times to learn netiquette. Netiquette is a combination of the words network and etiquette and is defined as a set of rules for acceptable online behaviour. And here’s how you teach netiquette to your kids:
Keep reminding them :
Parents are often seen reminding their children to ‘Say thank you and welcome’, or ‘Don’t interrupt – wait for your turn to speak’, or ‘close your mouth and chew’. That’s exactly what needs to be done to teach online etiquettes to your children. Keep reminding them.
Treat others like you’d like being treated :
This mantra must be taught to kids. Whenever they are stuck at a point where they don’t know what to say or do, whether online or offline, they must remember the mantra of behaving just as they would like to be behaved with. If you teach this to your kids, they’ll always have an answer.
Say it even if they don’t listen :
Every time your kid goes out to play, you tell them to be safe, not play on the road, come back before its dark etc. This is what needs to be done every time your child goes online. Whether they make faces and look irritated with your regular rantings.
Say it on someone’s face :
Educate your child on how one tends to say things online, but if given an opportunity, they will not say it on someone’s face. If they have an issue with someone, it is always better to raise it on a personal level and not online.
Understand when to use caps :
Your kid may not know some things like typing in all caps means you are shouting. Educate your child on the same. Tell them it is okay to use words in all-caps here and there, but not all the time.
Kids are embracing technology with great gusto. According to a research by McAfee, not only are our tweens (8-12 year olds) using between 3-4 internet-enabled devices and spending 1.5 hours per day online but 67% of them are using a social media website such as Skype, Facebook, Club Penguin and Instagram.
At a time like this, good online manners are essential.