When you introduce ideas and values about online behaviors to your tween in a way that is natural and integrated into your daily routine, you are planting the seeds for them to contemplate and to potentially explore with you in future conversations.
When you sow seeds to grow a plant, there is so much that goes on beneath the surface before you ever see anything sprout. With time and the right growing environment, your patience will likely be rewarded with a seedling.
Similarly, when you plant the seeds with your tween, a lot of the growing and learning is going on below the surface. Have faith and let this unseen work happen with no expectations. Don’t look for your tween to confirm that they “get it.” They will eventually show you and most likely not tell you.
Why Plant the Seeds
When you plant the seeds for safe and responsible online interactions, you are accomplishing several important things. First, you are creating the opportunity for future conversations by giving your tween ideas to contemplate. Secondly, you are signaling that their online lives are something you are interested in and that get talked about. Finally, you are putting your voice in their head with the hope that yours is among those they hear when they need guidance.
Ways To Plant the Seeds
Reminder: Although tweens are starting to prioritize peer relationships, they are still attached to, and learning from, the important adults in their lives even if their whole vibe is, “You are so cringe.”
Don’t just follow your kids online. Lead them.