Whether it’s via text messages, online posts or comments, drama has become a plot twist in kids’ everyday life.

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When it comes to drama, the lives and texting talents of youth in the 21st century could arguably give Shakespeare a run for his money. (That’s IF you know how to decode what they’re actually saying.)

Technology has enabled drama to start, and fester, without words ever being spoken, and long before your tween or teen may even realize they’ve become a part of it. 

Whether it’s via text messages, online posts or comments, drama has become a plot twist in kids’ everyday life.

 As a parent or guardian, this can be difficult to prevent or the very least, stay “in the know” about. How do you monitor the things that go unsaid—the multitude of conversations that your child has digitally?

The recipe of avoiding digital drama is comprised of:

  • ¼ part knowing your child—the great, the good, and the blank-stare-worthy
  • ¼ part conversing offline about personal digital conduct and standards
  • ¼ part of accepting that you can’t live for them and remaining non-judgmental
  • ¼ strategic monitoring and asking the 5 W’s, 1 H and 1 S

Let’s examine each ingredient a little more closely and explore some questions that will hopefully enable you to better empower your kids to effectively avoid drama.


Knowing Your Child—the Great, the Good, and the Blank-Stare-Worthy

For many parents, there’s the reality of who your child is and who you believe your child to be. This is an opportune time to take off any rose-colored lenses and see them for the human being—not just your human being—that they are. With that said, it’s important to figure out how the mini-you-but-not-you handles drama “in-real-life”.

The better you know your child—and I mean the child that emerges when you’re not around—the better you can show them how to protect themselves, and others.


Conversing Offline About Digital Conduct

Your best bet is to position yourself with open communication when it comes to their digital conduct and personal standards. Don’t play yourself here by applying dated parenting approaches to 21st century youth conundrums.

With that said:

  • Before you tell them the do’s and don’ts of social media, find out what boundaries or limits they set for themselves, then fill in some perspective that they could benefit from.
  • Share your expectations by way of concern and fold in examples from mainstream news (entertainment or otherwise) that they may more readily relate to.
  • Agree on best practices for the benefit of self and the family (since they are in fact a reflect and extension of their loved ones.)


Accept That You Can’t Live for Them

The “do as I say, not as I do” parenting-style is relatively defunct in this day and age. Young people have a heightened sense of smell; the stench of hypocrisy is just as obvious to them as the fragrance of “perfection.” In other words: you’re walking a fine line here, folks, and they can smell you from a mile away.

Unless you were born around the same time as they were, you don’t know what it’s really like to grow up in this kind of technologically-advanced and socially dynamic point in history. Everything that they do, say, wear, and feel is already being judged by people off and ON line.

Will you be a source of peace and comfort with a little positive challenge sprinkled in, or a source of added judgment, rejection and perceived negativity?

Granted, for most parents, at some point you will find yourself at odds with your mini-me, however the rate at which you bounce back and the level of transparency that they give to you is all a matter of what and who you choose to be in their life.

Move strategically and choose wisely.


Strategic Monitoring and Staying In-the-Know

  • Who? What? When? Where? Why?
  • How?
  • So, what’s the strategy?

Exploring these questions—preferably over your child's favorite meal or activity—is the best way to work in this dash of digital drama diversion.

This will ensure that you at least know what’s going on, even if you can’t prevent or stop it.

Last but not least, if you want to kick this recipe up another notch, add a heavy dose of Zift to stay updated on what other digital parents are doing and you’re that much closer to sweeter results. 


                If you're concerned about cyberbullying, read our guidebook for parents.


About Syreeta Martin

Sincerely Syreeta is the mother of two daughters who remind her to Empathize, Empower, and EVOLVE every day. She is a freelance journalist, talk show host, life coach, motivational speaker, and entrepreneur based out of Philadelphia, PA.

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