Technology is making your Children Rude



We all remember being children, the unruly, lawless mess that we loved. We’d throw tantrums, we’d thoroughly embarrass our parents and we’d say or do whatever popped into our tiny heads. Without the guidance of our parents, we would have struggled to find the right path. We’d have grown up to be as rude and unruly as we were as children.

There are some phrases that I distinctly remember my parents telling my brother (I was an angel so I didn’t need telling off). “Mind your manners!”, “What do you say?”, “Manners don’t cost a thing!”.

Children


Good manners are relative to the place that you were raised. In some cultures, rejecting a gift or the offer of a meal is unthinkable, in others, showing the soles of your feet is an inexcusable offense. My point is, good manners in one place are bad manners in another.

Should we really be surprised, then, when online where we are all connected having good manners seems rare?

Of course, there are people who are deliberately rude. So-called “keyboard warriors” peruse the internet, looking for the best way to disturb the peace. These people feel brave and powerful because they can hide behind the safety of their screens.

Keyboard


Should we be worried then, that our children, instead of having the parental guidance that we grew up with, are surrounded by the undesirables of the internet?

With physical interactions becoming less and less frequent, children are actually learning from people they do not know. They are learning how to be polite from people with no manners, or a very different idea of good manners, to ourselves.

Isn’t this a recipe for disaster?

Again, think back to your childhood, imagine the type of adult you may have become if you had access to the characters on the internet. Do you feel comfortable? Would you be who you are now?

Children in the past


Our children face more challenges than we ever did, everything they post is instantly accessible by hundreds, potentially thousands of people. After posting this content, even if they then remove it, it could still have been screenshotted or shared by their friends.

They are also constantly accessible online. If we were ever bullied at school, we could come home and close our front door. We would have a break. Our children do not get this relief.

Is technology bad for our children?

Not if it is used responsibly. As adults we have a responsibility to protect the most vulnerable people in our lives, we should be enforcing breaks from mobile phones (for dinner, for homework, for actual conversation), we should be ensuring child filters are in place so children do not encounter things that might disturb them. We should also be monitoring who they are talking to and what they are saying – not everyone on the internet has good intentions.

Children on the computerJust taking time to perform the above steps will help to teach them manners, respect and about how they should interact with actual people.


We love technology (obviously!) but like everything, it has to be used responsibly.

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