Yup, that’s me.

My daughters are smart, beautiful young women, women who will make an impact somewhere in their lives.  I would be move heaven and earth if something happened to them, which makes this blog a necessary one.

For many years, digital citizenship, that idea of leaving a footprint that you can be proud of is one that’s weighed heavily on my mind as my daughters have grown up.  The oldest has been quite content limiting herself to a few retweets (she still has an egg as her picture) and a few Facebook posts (her profile picture is from at least three years ago).  She inheritied the old phone from my wife, an upgrade on what she had previously.  She did purchase herself an iPad mini, and for Christmas we upgraded her to an iPhone 5.

The youngest daughter has been trying things, not always good, since third grade.  It’s always been a matter of monitoring usage with her because she’d choose to hole up and not be seen while at home.  She’s on Facebook, Instagram, SnapChat, and if I were to guess Tumblr and possibly others.  She plays her cards close to her vest, thus it makes me suspecious.  I follow her Instagram/Facebook pages and keep an eye on other social media sites that might pop up in histories.

So, two intelligent children, parents are educators, so they should know what the rules are right? #ha

The rule at our house has been, devices stay downstairs, period.  They don’t go into the bedroom because that’s unsupervised and it’s not how we want to run things here.  We’ve given the oldest a bit of latitude as she is the oldest and has yet to give us any reason not to trust her.  However, the youngest has gotten grounded off of devices, multiple times and just can’t see “what the big deal is?”.  She learns her lesson and we move on.

A lot of this is changing for all of us with the first boyfriend for the oldest.  Now, when a child at school gets jumpy when I ask to see their computer, the Spidey Sences tingle.  When my oldest gets jumpy when I ask to see her phone, the same thing happens.  So, last night, I said, make sure your phone is downstairs plugged in before you go to bed.  Needless to say, it wasn’t.  Youngest and her devices, no where to be seen.

So, the hammer dropped.

We have a place and a time and a consequence for IF devices aren’t where they are supposed to be.  Don’t have your phone? Oh well, you might get stuck waiting at practice for me.  Oh well, you may have to talk to your boyfriend *gasp* face to face.  Now, it’s not that I don’t trust the boyfriend (well, I’m the dad here, that’s my job).  I had him in class, I know the family, but why tempt fate?  Why tempt just that one time of doing something stupid that could haunt you for a long, long time?

As an educator, it took me a long time to warm to that Idea of teaching digital citizenship at school. Why? That should be what parents are doing, they are the number one teacher of their children out there!  But as the speed at which technology is changing, and the lack of parents to always be able to keep up or understand (it takes us a while sometimes), my attitude has completely changed.  We must continue to do all we can to educate our children about digitial citizenship, about knowing what’s right and wrong, and about what steps to take when they see the wrong. And we must start doing this at a younger age.  All ready, I have students on all kinds of social media, with phones better than mine, and who aren’t at an age where they can always see how damaging something can be.  I think students are finally starting to see the light as they read about scholarships and jobs being taken due to their online presense.  Everyone goes out and does something stupid, that’s just human nature.   Everyone in WORLD does not need to know about it!

I love my daughters and want the best for them going forward out of high school, college, and where ever else they go. So, I’m Public Enemy #1. I think I need to get my “world’s worst dad” t-shirt printed off fairly soon! 🙂