Parenting blog Babble posted a list of “The Top 10 Parenting Trends of 2010” and the top three trends addressed both smartphones and cyberbullying. The first three Babble trends – and how they relate to social networking – are listed below:
- “Smart phones as pacifiers for parents and kids” – We mentioned before that iPads were one of the most popular gift requests this year and can allow kids to spend more time on the Internet, thereby giving them more opportunities to overshare. But it seems as though smartphones could have similar effects, as this first trend talks about how both parents and kids can rely too much on their phones. Make sure your kids, no matter what kind of phone or other form of Internet access they have, keep a healthy balance between their social interactions both online and off.
- “Parents use cell phones they give to teens for more than just phone calls” – Parents are using phones more and more to keep track of their kids and what they’re up to. This includes checking texts or photos on phones, but it’s important that parents allow their kids to have freedom on the phone and online. By trusting what they’re doing, and only monitoring seriously suspicious activity, our kids can still maintain these phone and online interactions in a positive way.
- “Bullying, cyber and otherwise” – We know that a growing concern for parents is cyberbullying. Its place on this list emphasizes that the past few years are the first time we’ve really had to deal with this kind of negative online behavior, and parents can therefore feel unprepared with such a new issue. Parents also might not have any idea that cyberbullying is happening with their kids – whether they are the bullies or the victims – and it’s important to have a strong awareness of what constitutes cyberbullying and how to talk to our kids about it.
Because Babble acknowledged these trends of 2010, parents can work harder to be more aware of what to look out for and what to talk to their kids about. Communicating with our kids is the best way to address different online issues, whether it’s oversharing or online reputation management, cyberbullying, sexting, or dangerous online relationships or other activities. Make a New Year’s Resolution to be available for your kids to let you know if they’ve ever experienced any of these issues online.
What experience did you have with any of these parenting trends this year?