Teaching Kids How to Handle Confrontation Online

teaching kids to handle online confrontationI made a comment on a friend’s facebook post. It was interpreted in an entirely different way than how it was intended. I responded with a poorly worded defense. 4 comments later and someone I thought was a friend was publicly shaming me and calling into question my discipleship to Christ.

I was not mature about it. I unfriended her. After all, anyone who could hit me with a verbal sucker punch like that probably doesn’t think well enough of me to WANT to be my friend. At least, that’s what I told myself.

I couldn’t sleep. I cried. I was deeply hurt. I once respected this person. How could she treat me like that? But, after a few days to calm down and cope, I’m a better person, albeit admittedly embarrassed. Teaching kids to be careful online

In the future, I will be more careful in my comments. I’ll try to think more about how my words affect other people. She called into question that which is most sacred to me, and although it hurt, I’ll be a better disciple because of it.

Someday, I’ll tell my kids about it. Hopefully, they can learn from my experience. Social media is a place where we have to be extremely careful in our words. Without the physical cues of real interaction, we often become social idiots. People will say things online that they would never say in person. Even the best of people will allow themselves to get into online arguments. Human pride really really loves itself when we enter the online arena.

With that being said, here are a few things I want to teach myself and my kids about online discussion.

  • If you wouldn’t say it in person, don’t say it online.
  • If you wish to stand up for an argument, first make sure that those you are discussing it with will actually listen. Even the soundest logic does no good when those engaging are more interested in what they will write next as opposed to what you have to say.
  • Listen when you read. Just like listening in-person, it’s an awesome idea to think about what another person is saying and find understanding where it’s possible.
  • Sometimes, people will argue strongly about something that is illogical or false according to your world view. They could be arguing vehemently that dihydrogen monoxide (water) is a toxic chemical that should be removed from all food sources. In cases like this, a response is useless, dihydrogen monoxide sounds scary, and that blog post said it was scary, and it’s scary darn it! Allow others their opinions, no matter how much you disagree.
  • You don’t have to have the last word.(I’m really bad at this one.) Others are reading this. Some will side with  you, some won’t, but having the last word doesn’t actually strengthen your argument.
  • No personal attacks. End of story.

I’ll do my best to teach my kids to be kind and respectful online, but I’m sure, to some extent they will have to learn the hard way, and when that happens I’ll be there to wipe the tears. Just as my daughter was there for me. She saw I was crying and went and made me “a collection” of some of her favorite trinkets to put on my dresser. I should look to her example of compassion before I type (or swipe) another word online.

Eight Reasons You Should Let Your Kids Play With Knives

8 Reasons You Should Let Your Kids Play With Knives FacebookGuess what? I let my kids play with knives.

Really. We have loads of fun together, just me, my kids, and the knives… oh, and the food.

Not everyone would call what we do playing. I set clear and specific rules before we pull the knives out, they can only be used in my presence, and they can only be used to cut up whatever food I’ve provided.

Not everyone calls it that, and while I won’t call it playing in front of my kids, that’s exactly what I consider it to be. We are after all having fun.

But there are rules! Playtime isn’t supposed to have rules!

No. play always has rules, even free play. You aren’t allowed to hit other children. You aren’t allowed to deface property. You aren’t allowed to jump off the dresser and pretend to be a bird (true story).

Think of knives the same way you think of board game play. Lots of rules and still part of a happy healthy childhood.

8 Reasons You Should Let Your Kids Play With Knives Pinterest

Here are eight reasons to let your kids play with knives.

  • To improve coordination: Cutting utilizes fine motor skills. These are the same skills used to cut with scissors and hold a pencil. So, you’re little Einstein can work on her pencil grip without even touching a pencil!
  • To teach your kid to help: Running a household is a big job, and our kids are a lot better off when they are part of that job. In fact, according to this article in the Wall Street Journal doing household chores is linked with academic success and financial independence.
  • To allow a little risk: Risk is GOOD for children. Allowing our children to take risks now gives them a better sense of their own capabilities and fosters a sense of confidence.
  • To give your child confidence: That’s right, more confidence. It’s amazing what they are capable of if we only give them the chance to show us, and they end up showing not just us, but themselves as well!
  • So your child learns how to cook: Smell that? It’s the delicious smell of dinner, and it’s cooked by someone other than you! The possibility is right around the corner, but you have to build the foundation now, by you guessed it, letting your kids play with knives.
  • To help your child be more involved with family meals: If my kids help cook the meal they are a hundred gazillion times more likely to actually eat it! Getting kids involved with cooking is so incredibly important to teaching them healthy skills that will set them up for a lifetime of good health vs. the lifetime of diabetes that looms over so many of our kids these days.
  • So you can have some productive time with your kid: We all want to spend time with our kids, but sometimes we also want clean clothing or a floor that doesn’t crunch under our feet. When we cook with our kids we are able to both spend time with them and be productive at the same time. Although, I make no promises as to how long it will take to cook your meal. They’re kids, not gourmet chefs.
  • So your kid doesn’t cut himself: Wait, you’re telling me that my kid won’t cut himself if I give him a knife? Say What!/? Seriously, if you are teaching your kid how to use a knife, with good ground rules about how to hold the knife, how to keep fingers away from the knife, etc. Your kid is way less likely to get cut. To be honest, it’s only been a couple of years that I’ve been able to prepare a meal without cutting myself, and I’ve been preparing meals for my family since I was sixteen. That’s probably because no one ever taught me how to use a knife. I had to youtube it when my husband threatened to hide all the knives in the house. Need more convincing? How about this, Kids in Sweden are regularly given knives, not just in the kitchen, but actual pocket knives to play with. They also have the lowest percentage of child injury in the world.

I let my kids play with knives

So give your kid a knife for darn’s sake and start cooking :)

But, if you’re feeling a bit nervous about handing your tot a five-pound butcher knife, you can always try one of these kid-safe knives. My kids got these for Christmas and they love them! No injuries  yet :)

Disclosure: I’m a member of amazon affiliate so if you click this link or buy one of these knives I get a “cut” of the deal. Get it? Get it?

So, do you let your kids use knives in the kitchen? Or are you not so sure about handing sharp pointy objects to your little ones?

Gratitude Exercises for Kids – Daily Exercises That Help Our Kids Be Thankful

grandma

It was one of those crazy hard times. A lot was going on. Are you ready for the list that kept running through my head? Here goes, in chronological order: my husband was laid off, he found another job out of state, we moved, we became pregnant with our third child, which came with some […]

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Kids Cook: How to shape no knead bread dough

2play

In 2012, more than one-third of children were overweight or obese in America. Our generation and our children’s generation are not expected to outlive our parents. We need to fight childhood obesity. Our health and our children’s health are in danger. Our kids are less active and in more pain than we were. And I’m scared. […]

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Quick Light Wheat French Bread – Ready in One Hour

light wheat french bread recipe

I’m always baking bread. We rarely purchase it from the store because I make it so often. So, when I tell you this is a good bread recipe, you can trust me. It’s fluffy with a wet crumb, just like french bread should be, and it’s ready in one hour. Now, in some circles, this […]

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The One Day at Church That Changed the Way I Mother Forever

The One Day At Church That Changed the Way I Mother Forever

Do you ever feel overwhelmed? Like there’s just too much to do, and no way to do it, let alone do it all with a smile? I do. It’s those days that make me think I might be failing at motherhood. It’s those days that make me feel like I’m alone. The days that lead me to question, […]

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Positive affirmations for mothers

Do not set goals far beyond your capacity to achieve. Simply do what you can do, in the best way you know how, and the Lord will accept your effort.

I remember before I had kids. My love for children led me to multiple jobs with kids. Parents often asked me if I was getting my degree in teaching (I wasn’t) and complimented me on my kid skills. I was pretty sure I had this parenting thing wired. There were even a couple of times […]

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Don’t Spill the Blessings! Another Fun Family Home Evening Idea

fun family home evening ideas, family home evenings for small children

Lately, my kids are all about the classic game,Don’t Spill the Beans. My two-year-old calls it Don’t Drop the Beans, so cute! If you aren’t familiar with this game, it’s a cause and effect game where you take turns dropping beans into a swinging “pot” but if you put too many beans in the pot could […]

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How any mom can finish her to do list + an easy craft

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63% of professionals use to-do lists, at least according to a linkdn study published in 2012, but, according to the same study, only 11% of those professionals complete them. Can I get an amen to that? As a stay at home mom I have to be self motivated and organized or my home gets chaotic…fast…like […]

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New Year New FHE – Goal Setting FHE for 2016

Even the most humble person can take hope in the invitation to become like the Savior

This Family Home Evening Idea was largely inspired from the talk Our Perfect Example by Henry B Eyring. It’s a beautiful talk and I highly recommend reading it. I love that it takes a commandment that I always found daunting (to be perfect) and makes it feel encouraging. I’m sure that’s what our loving Heavenly Father […]

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