How can I use media to help my kid's communication skills?
You may be concerned that your kids' use of social media, texting, and other digital tools are harming their communication skills. But online communication isn't only important for their social lives. As the world becomes more dependent on these tools, kids will need to have strong online communication as well as face-to-face skills.
You can use media to help kids develop this character strength by teaching respectful, responsible communication, pointing out positive examples of healthy conversations in the media, and helping kids manage conflicts in relationships (online and off). Here are more ways media can support these skills:
Movies, TV, and Books:
- Discuss how words and pictures communicate messages.
- Talk about the different ways characters work out problems.
- Seek out movies and TV shows that promote communication.
Social Media, Apps, Games, and Websites:
- Choose age-appropriate apps, sites, and games, and check in or monitor as kids are learning how to use them.
- Teach kids how to email, text, and post comments constructively.
- Establish do's and don'ts for cell phones, social media, email, and the like.
- Model positive online exchanges.
- Teach kids how to respond to communications from teachers, coaches, and other important contacts.
- Talk about misunderstandings that arise from texts and social media, and discuss how to fix problems.