Raising Good Digital Citizens, #ShareAwesome

James got a tablet for Christmas. His favorite thing to do is play Minecraft. His second favorite thing to do is watch YouTube videos about Minecraft. Before loading the YouTube app on his tablet we had a long conversation about how important it is is not watch anything inappropriate.

Unfortunately, conversations don’t always cut it, which was proved yesterday. David walked in the living room to find James watching a video that we absolutely did not approve of (too violent) and not related at all to Minecraft. He lost his tablet for the full day (this was the first time he has been caught breaking the rules), and he was warned that next time he would lose the tablet for a week. Any more instances of rule-breaking and the app would be removed from his tablet.

Are you raising good digital citizens? #ShareAwesome

I think it is so important that as kids have more and more access to technology that we provide guidance and set age appropriate limits. I also think it is important that we talk to them about their responsibility on the web. This is a conversation Cady and I have had several times. She doesn’t yet have access to any social media sites, but she has started asking when she will be able to have her own accounts. I want to be sure she is a good digital citizen.

Every day it seems like there is a new story in the media about cyber-bullying. As a mom of technology users this scares the daylights out of me. I want to protect my kids from this phenomenon, but at the same time I want to be sure that they aren’t participating in that type of behavior as well. Thankfully, the National PTA has partnered with LifeLock to bring information to parents and kids about how to be a good digital citizen. The goals of the #ShareAwesome website are to:

  • Bridge the conversation gap about online safety and good digital citizenship
  • Inspire parents with ways to incorporate this conversation into natural teaching moments about life skills and positive, safe decision-making
  • Celebrate students and families who use digital media and tools for good—good for themselves, their family, their friends and the whole world
  • Shift the dialogue from scary and preachy to celebratory, fun, and a part of everyday life
  • Build an understanding among parents and students that no matter the device, the app or the networking site—the skills we need to be safe and positive online are similar to what you need offline
  • Create a fun, celebratory, evolving tone that resonates with children, tweens, teens and adults

It is important that we teach our kids regardless of the app or the networking site, they need to be true to themselves and act like they would if they were talking to someone in person.

To start the converstaion, the National PTA and LifeLock are hosting a social media contest. The #ShareAwesome contest invites social media users to share a smart and safe decision, uplifting accomplishment, or positive action for the good of others using hashtag #ShareAwesome on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

Snap a photo of an awesome moment in your day and share it on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram with the #ShareAwesome hashtag!

Students who enter the #ShareAwesome contest between September 15 – November 30, 2014 will have a chance to win fantastic prizes, including tablets and a $2,500 scholarship!

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

One Day

I hesitated this morning before I turned on the hair dryer. James was sleeping in our bed. He crawled in some time during the night. He’s at that age where the nightmares invade his sleep so he escapes to the safety of between momma and daddy. He sleeps sideways in the bed with the covers pulled over his head. I worry that he isn’t getting enough air. I turn him and pull him straight and rest his head on the pillow that stays in the middle of the bed. Before long he is sideways again.

At first I don’t know why I hesitated with the hair dryer. I know it won’t wake him. It never has, but when Cady was a baby it would always wake her. I remember laying her down for very rare naps and sneaking to the bathroom to take a quick shower. The minute I would start to dry my hair she would wake, every time. That hesitation is still built into my mother DNA.

Most times I brought her in the bathroom with me. I sat her on the floor with toys all around, trash can on the vanity, safety locks on the cabinet doors. I showered as fast as possible. She always ignored the toys. She stood at the corner of the tub with the curtain pulled back, water droplets splashing her little face and dampening her hair. She watched with big, drooly smiles as I lathered and rinsed.

This morning I remembered that one time she played instead of standing at the corner of the tub. I thought how maybe she was getting old enough to actually play with the copious amounts of toys we owned. Then I heard splashing and realized I left the lid to the toilet open. She discovered the wonder of water right within her reach, too little to realize that toilet water is nasty. Of course I freaked, stripping her down and bringing her into the shower with me. She laughed.

I wondered if there would be a day when I didn’t have to worry about babies playing in the toilet or blow driers waking them from their sleep. I thought that there probably would be.

And maybe there will be a day I no longer worry. One day. Just, not today.