At the end of February, I had the great pleasure to participate in a panel hosted by our Lower School (elementary school) Parent Association. The title of the evening was “Fitness, Food, and Friending” and focused on educate parents on the new programs that we are developing in physical education., science, and through our technology programs to provide a foundation for our students which will hopefully provide for a balanced life-style.
I really love presenting to this age-group’s parents, since these are the formative years of development, where healthy guidelines and norms can be established before the students reach adolescence. This is a key time to develop the parent-student relationship while the children still may worship the parents.
One of my goals of the evening is to remind the parents that:
- That they have to be parents, not friends. They may have to be the bad guy and enforce the family rules established
- That in the course of their children’s experiences, they will make mistakes along the way. It is ok and the way that students learn.
- That as parents, they will make mistakes too.
- No matter what your children say, not everyone is “doing it”
With the help of Lane Young, our Assistant Director of Library and Technology, I adapted a one page take-away for the parents which I am sharing below, with the four primary thoughts with further steps that they can take:
- Create, communicate, and post family rules and expectations concerning the use of technology in your household
- Establish the expectation of open communication with your children
- Know what content your children are accessing
- Model the safe and appropriate use of social networks and technology