Somewhere along the way, the wrongs of yesterday—behaviors that only a decade ago would have been considered rude or a cause for concern—have become the norms of today. It’s not okay.
Children used to find validation in their academic accomplishments, athletics and community involvement; now self-image is being measured in likes and followers.
It wasn’t that long ago that parents worried that the airbrushed celebrities on magazine covers would impact kids’ self-image; now, anyone can filter and airbrush their own photos with a swipe of a finger. Apps, filters, and professional influencers have created a distorted ideal for today’s youth at a time when they may not be able to tell the difference between technology and reality.
The rules of relationships have changed. Simple rites of passage for young courtships have been replaced with snap-chat messages and storyboards, as fledgling relationships are put on display for all the world to see, like and comment on. It seems that everyone gets to have an opinion on how kids conduct themselves and the word “NO” isn’t always being heard. And when it is, kids are being shamed for saying it.
As parents, we are navigating a whole new world where we need to monitor, redirect and protect them from the millions of voices trying to tell them how it is or how they should be. And one of the best ways we can do that is by helping them to set solid and healthy boundaries.
Boundaries have always been an important skill to teach our children, but now, we must ensure these skills are transferred over to the digital lives kids are living. We may not be able to impede the influence of social media on our kids. Still, we can prepare them for life in a digital world and help them establish healthy, protective personal boundaries to ensure they feel safe and confident online and off.
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