The importance of having conversations with kids



Estimated Reading Time 3 Minutes

My work day is full and there is no time for social media. I don’t have a Facebook account, and am so far out of the loop in social-media-speak that I just recently learned what a hashtag is on Twitter. After work, my time is shared with family – dinner, the kids’ homework and one-on-one time with Davis.

We sit on his bed every night, face to face, and have a conversation. He will ask me about my day and I ask about his. He will listen intently and then ask appropriate questions. He is wonderful company and my favourite social call at the end of the day. I hope that Davis will always be able to carry on a conversation as eloquently as he can today. I dread the day that he, like his older sisters, will be a texting machine!

My step-daughters have turned into chronic texters. They could lift a car with the new found strength in their thumbs. They are texting their friends all night long and I wonder why they just don’t pick up the phone. When I suggest it, they look at me as if I have suggested that they send a note by carrier pigeon!

Will this young generation of Twitterers and texters lose the art of conversation? Live conversation involves actively listening to what the other person is saying and responding immediately. A text conversation means you can pause while you go to the bathroom or worse yet, text someone else! It is a new social world out there and I am not sure I like it.

I have, however, ventured into the social/ business network: LinkedIn. It makes perfect sense in my profession as a sales vice president. I often find out that one of my contacts has moved on to another position or knows someone who I have been trying to contact. I also help others to connect on LinkedIn – it’s just good business. It does have a status update where a comment or link can be posted, although I have yet to do it.

I have trouble with Twitter’s “less than 140 characters” sound bite. What could I possibly write that my connections/followers would find interesting? I have no problem knowing what one person, who I am chatting with, will find interesting, however 150 people? All at once? I can’t do it.

I recently appeared on Parents Talk TV discussing the topic of stepmoms. It gave me the opportunity to meet other stepmoms on the panel. We shared many of the same experiences and it was great to follow up after the show and connect on LinkedIn. I like relating to other moms and sharing similar circumstances and the different or similar ways we deal with the ups and downs of parenting.

But for now, I am doing fine without Facebook. I realize, however, that the social media wave is only getting stronger and I will eventually have to get on board. In my transition into the world of social media, Raising Davis is now online at raisingdavis.com. This could be the start of my journey, perhaps. You and I can connect with 140 characters or even more! I would love to hear from you and get your feedback on any of my articles (all articles are found on parentscanada.com under Mommy Diaries.) With your help, I can become social media savvy…one tweet at a time!

More than 185 readers answered our Social Media survey on Contest Corner. Congratulations to Kathleen Head of Burnaby B.C., who won a Body Butter Duo Pack from Body Shop and Ann Arsenault of Antigonish, N.S., who won an Arm & Hammer Laundry package.

Overall, how important is social media in your life as a parent?

20.7% Very important

52.3% Somewhat important

27% Not important

How much time, on average, do you spend each day on Facebook?

16.1% Zero

40.2% Up to 30 minutes

25% 31 to 60 minutes

18.8% more than an hour

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