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Children are influenced by what you do.  

What is modeling? 

When we model behaviors for our children we are setting examples for them to follow. We are showing rather than telling.  

Does your child wear a seatbelt when they get in the car? Research shows that if you are consistent in wearing your seatbelt, your child is more likely to do the same.

Modeling is a key component of social learning theory, which supports the idea that human interaction plays a key role in learning. 

When you combine modeling with developmentally appropriate explanations and opportunities for your tween to practice new skills in a supportive environment, you are contributing to their ability to learn.  

Modeling safe and responsible online behaviors for your tween

How do you go about modeling safe and responsible online behaviors for your tween?  

Some of the Thumbs Down skills you can teach by modeling are:

  • Taking Complicated Communication offline – If a text conversation between you and your tween involves sensitive subject matter, emotional content, or anything that feels complex, suggest that the two of you discuss things in person 
  • Pausing Before Posting – Let your child know that you are taking time to think before you respond to texts or posts  
  • Managing Problematic Posts – Model asking permission before posting photos  
  • Thinking Critically About Social Media – Have conversations with others about your online interactions while your tween is around. Give them a window into how you engage with social media.

Don’t just follow your kids online.  Lead them.