How can I help my kid avoid digital drama?

To adults, digital drama and cyberbullying may seem one and the same. But to kids, there's a difference. Unlike cyberbullying, which involves repeated harassment of someone, digital drama is the everyday tiffs and disputes that occur among friends or acquaintances online or via text message. A guy may change his relationship status to "single" immediately after a fight with his girlfriend to make a statement. A teen may post a comment about someone else knowing that people will see it, friends may chime in, and people will talk about it. In the same way that the word drama describes a performance, kids usually engage in online drama with an audience in mind.

In some cases, digital drama can escalate into an offline fight -- either verbal or physical. Here's how you can help your kid avoid this:

Help set boundaries. Understand that these days relationships often are played out both online and offline. Kids need their family's guidance in establishing appropriate boundaries for healthy relationships.

Take a time-out. With constant access to texting and posting online, kids don't get a break from the back and forth that can keep digital drama going. Have some device-free time to give kids a chance to cool off.

Let them know you're always there for them. Remind your kids often that you're always available to talk. While you're at it, remind them about the school counselor, a favorite teacher, a coach, or even a friend's parent. Knowing that they have a trusted adult to talk to may encourage teens to open up more.

Use media to talk about drama. Reality TV shows often present extreme behavior as entertainment. Discuss why these shows are less likely to depict positive conflict resolution. Also talk about how these shows can encourage negative stereotypes about female friendships.

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Adult written by isaaclee

If a person doesn't want their child involved in the digital world, why not set boundaries. if you have a computer, why not set up a parental guidance since a child can stuff behind your back like I did. for example, a child can look at porn without you knowing. I know that phones are a big concern now, but do you really need your kid to have a smartphone. if a kid should have a phone, it should be simple, something like the jitterbug phone. But why not spend time with your kid as parents are moving farther and farther away from kids and let technology teach their kids, but technology can be cruel.
Kid, 12 years old

If your child is a boy, intervening will make him very angry. Guys like to handle things on their own, and try to avoid drawing out fights. For example, one of my friends accidentally posted something very embarrassing about me over Skype. In a week though, we had worked it out and we were better friends than before. I have no idea about girls, but my sister is still mad about something I did over a month ago (I don't even remember it happening). Also, sometimes when a child asks a parent for help with something, it turns out worse (from the child's perspective), so that child may not want you to intervene. If your child doesn't ask, I wouldn't forcibly "help" the situation, as it will probably make your child dislike you.