Parent to Parent: Social media may be to blame for rudeness | Parenting

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By Jodie Lynn Parent to Parent

Q • Why is everyone so rude these days? I’m extremely tired of people thinking that everyone else cares to hear about their opinion, even in stores and public places. I don’t want our kids to act like this or even hear this mess. How do we keep our kids down to earth in their communication with friends, family and others?

From a reader • Keep your kids off their digital devices at least three times each day: breakfast, dinner and right before bed. Just take the devices out of the room and turn them off. Tell them when it’s time to eat, no phone calls or texting or looking online, especially at night before they go to sleep. When eating dinner together, which should be at least four times each week, the only thing you want to hear is the family talking to each other with their mouths. They have to learn that what they have to say to each other is important and that they need to listen to and respect each other as well as others. —Abbey T. in Little Rock, Arkansas

From Jodie Lynn • I think a lot of this “I am important, have important opinions and my opinion counts” attitude comes from the multitude of places for people to share their lives via social media. Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and Facebook are some of the largest platforms.

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However, getting your digital footprint even close to where it needs to be if you want to gain popularity, fame and business opportunities can be overwhelming to say the least.

It’s an almost endless task.

Who does all of this? People of all ages, pet owners, moms and dads and grandparents sharing about their children and grandbabies, life in general, cooking, businesses, etc.

Therefore, when we go grocery shopping, you may hear several people talking on their phones because they have been motivated to share, share, share.

I agree, this is wrong on so many levels, annoying and, unless it’s an emergency or to quickly check on an item on a list of some sort, totally unnecessary. This seems to be a favorite time for kids and teens to be on their phones. But, to be fair, it’s also many, many adults who should know better.

For your own kids, you’ll have to impress upon them that not everyone wants to hear what they have to say at all times. It’s much more respectful to the people around you to save your phone calls for later. It’s also a good idea in general for the sake of your own privacy.

Be sure you’re following your own rules as well and keep your comments to yourself at least for the hour or so you are in stores.

When I go out of town, I ask my mom to come sleep over at my house and take care of my dog. I have one 22-year-old daughter who still lives at home but she works part-time and goes to school part-time. My other daughter lives in her own apartment but seems to constantly come to raid the fridge and make masses without cleaning up afterward. This really bothers my mom and I get two different stories, one from her and one from my daughter. The younger daughter cleans up after herself and her selfish sister. What is going on? How can I keep the peace?

To share parenting tips or submit questions, write to: Parent to Parent, 2464 Taylor Road, Suite 131, Wildwood, MO 63040. Email: [email protected], or go to www.parenttoparent.com, which provides a secure and easy way to submit tips or questions. All tips must have city, state and first and last name or initials to be included in the column.

Jodie Lynn is an award-winning parenting columnist, author of five books and mother to three children. She and her family live in Wildwood.

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