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Starting Conversations With Your Kids About Their Digital Persona
Having open and ongoing conversations with our kids is an essential part of developing digital wellbeing. Online safety should be an important part of that conversation, but we need to broaden our conversations to include all parts of digital wellbeing, not just safety. This includes having conversations about how we can use technology to enrich our lives and make our communities better. It includes talking about using technology to build healthy relationships with friends and family, as well as being able to quickly find the right sources of information to learn new things and make good decisions. It’s about balancing our online and offline activities appropriately.
The Digital Citizenship Coalition has identified 5 competencies of healthy digital citizens that we should teach in our homes and schools. The competencies focus on helping our kids learn to be Balanced, Informed, Inclusive, Engaged, and Alert in their technology use. When thinking about your family’s digital culture, it is important that kids are involved in the conversation and have a chance to reflect on their own digital experiences. Talk about why it is important to practice attributes of being an effective digital citizen. Help them see the difference they can make in their life and the lives of others based on their behaviors in the virtual world.
Changing a family’s technology culture doesn’t happen in a single talk, but through ongoing conversations. To help get you started, here are some conversation starters, aligned to the 5 digital citizenship competencies, to help start your own conversations;