Join us for an evening with author Katie Duffy Schumacher as she speaks about and signs copies of her new book, Don’t Press Send: A Mindful Approach to Social Media, An Education in Cyber Civics.
Today’s children live in a very different world than their parents and teachers. They spend much of their time glued to screens, whether chatting with each other, posting pictures of their latest outfit, or researching their next term paper. As parents, most of us did not adopt this technology until adulthood and that has made many of us hesitant, even afraid, to talk to our children about it. As a result, our children are left without guidance. We must find ways to give them the tools they need to find their way in this new world.
Fortunately, we do not need to be technological experts, or keep up with the latest social media trends to teach our children how to approach social media. Online or off, the rules should be the same. We have to help our children push past the emotional barrier that the screen creates and internalize that on the other side of that screen is a living, breathing, feeling human being; a person who must be treated with kindness. We need to show our children how to create and reinforce their own boundaries, respect the needs of others, and make thoughtful, positive decisions. We must also lead by example, guiding our children to think mindfully about their choices, both on social media and in life. We can teach them to stop, take a deep breath, and to pause before they post. Don’t Press Send also provides parents with how to address the situation when they hand their child their first cell phone at 13, 12, or even 10-years-old. This book gives directives for parents beyond the rules “Don’t break it” or “Don’t lose it.”
Although we did not do this on purpose, many of us failed to fully consider the consequences of giving our children devices with full internet accessibility. As they say, when you know better, you do better. Providing our children with guidelines and strategies to foster a kind, healthy interaction while using technology is imperative. Throughout this book you will see firsthand how our children are growing up with social media as a central part of their lives, without proper protocol. We need to look at two important factors:
1. How adults can better equip minors to use technology
2. How we can foster a healthy balance with technology by teaching kids to being mindful before they post
These strategies will help to create a kind cyber community by strengthening their empathetic skills. As parents, we are our children’s first teachers. We are aware that creating clear rules and guidelines helps to foster a secure, stable environment in which children can grow, both educationally and emotionally. Children feel safe, secure, and less anxious when they know what the rules are. It is the objective of Don’t Press Send: A Mindful Approach to Social Media, An Education In Cyber Civics, to educate and empower our children to use technology responsibly and with good intent. Reinforcing the emotional skills of empathy, discipline, and mindfulness will result in kind and careful online communication and will in turn create a more thoughtful and safer cyber community for all.