We have just entered this realm to with me pretty much caving into letting H chat on xbox live. He was so thrilled to have ppl to talk to without having to leave his room let alone the house! Quickly though he discovered that most ppl don't appreciate a verbal commentary on the game their playing. We still have things to work out but seem to have found a delicate balance for now. I think my next major problem will be trying to convince him the real world can e just as good because that's some I'm still trying to convince myself of. Great and timely post as always. Thank you!
One of my biggest problems with online friendships is finding good ones for them. I'm super picky about the people and sites they spend time with online. We lucked out with this set of friends though and I've been able to get to know the kids as well as their parents. But that's a rare situation and I think realistically we have to figure out how to teach our kids to be active online without us, and keep themselves safe and protected in lots of ways. Including emotionally. Thanks for your comment, Sharon!
This is really wonderful. My kids haven't met people online yet that they interact with. This is such a great set of reminders and thoughts to not only pass on to them when they start doing this, but also for myself. :) Thank you for this!
And, yes, your friendship with Georgie was real. Bonds don't have to involve meeting in person. I'm sorry you lost her.
Thank you Stimes :) I'm still trying to figure this all out, it's amazing to me that there aren't more resources for talking to our kids about this stuff. Online social skills are going to play just as important a role in their future as real life ones were to us growing up.
I could read your posts all day, except Im going take your advice and 'Set Time Limits'. Seriously I am sharing this because I think its so important for parents to help our kids see online relationships as a very real and valuable way of connecting with likeminded souls.
Thanks for that, I'm finding that one of the challenges of helping my kids connect online is battling the stigma in much of the community (and in parts of our own family even) that these aren't real relationships. Connecting socially in this way is going to be a huge part of every kid's future, and not just for developing friendships - it will be a required part of almost every career. And yet we're slow to get onboard in terms of understanding that a whole new set of social skills are required.
I just saw this Bec, and of course I loved it, since some of the online friends are my kids. I wanted to point out to you and everyone else that reads this, that my kids do not see your kids as any different to other kids WHATSOEVER. Perhaps one of the reasons that online relationships work is that they flatten out the differences and make friendship more of a 'level playing field'. Of course different kids have different idiosyncracies, but I betcha my kids seem just as full of these as your kids. Online, there is no such thing as 'normal'.What I love most about our kids being friends is that the relationship has evolved... from playing in minecraft together to just chatting as friends, and sharing life experiences. My kids and I am so grateful to have met you all.
Hi Danielle! I love the way their friendship has evolved too. It's been so great to see them having that safe space to get to understand what friendships are all about, the give and take. Your kids are great and we're so happy to have met you all too :)