I am excited to be working with Google for this partnered program and I’m ready to tell you all about it because there is nothing more important than our families… They just need us.
They just need us. We are their safe place.
A few months ago, our son came to me, very upset. He had borrowed my wireless headphones to cut the grass, and after he had finished, cleaned up and showered, he realized that he had lost one. He checked his pockets, checked the grass, and checked his room, but it was nowhere to be found.
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I had two choices at this moment:
1- I could lecture him about the importance of taking care of things. I could react with anger and talk about how this was irresponsible and tell him that he would be purchasing a new pair with his money.
2- I could react with empathy. I could tell him that I appreciated his honesty so that I would help him. I could use this as an opportunity to show him that he can count on me to help him when he comes to me. I could show him that I am going to be there for him to guide him when things don’t go as he expected. I can be an example to him of how to handle a problem.
I opted for option two.
Together, we searched for those headphones for 30 minutes. We looked in the grass, in the house, in the garage, and his bedroom.
It was only after we had been searching for 30 minutes that he remembered that he had walked behind the shed after putting the lawnmower away. Feeling hopeful, we both ran behind the shed to check, and sure enough… there it was, lying in the grass behind the shed.
Although I was glad that he found them, it was what happened next that let me know that I had made the right decision.
“Thanks for helping me look, Mom. I was afraid you’d be mad that I had lost it, but you just helped me look instead.”
Sometimes, they just need us. We are their safe place.
That’s being a parent. Being a parent is knowing that we have options and choices in every situation, but choosing the one that helps our children the most — knowing that we all make mistakes and choosing to teach our children to learn and grow from those mistakes.
We are their safe place… the place where they can come with their mistakes, with their insecurities, with their questions, with their worries, and they will know that they will not be judged. They will be guided, helped, and loved.
On our way back into the house, I talked about how I was proud that he came to me instead of hiding the truth from me. I also used this opportunity to talk about being careful when you are using someone else’s things. I also asked him to think of some ways that he could have taken better care of them (taking them off as soon as he had finished and put them inside, etc…)
I hadn’t planned on spending 30 minutes helping him search, but by helping him, I taught him that he could count on me to help him. I showed him that I’d be there for him.
We do things for our kids because we love them, and we want them to grow up to be responsible, caring, successful, and happy adults.
Sometimes, they just need us. We are their safe place.
Our children need to know that we are their safe place. They need to know that we are there for them and that we will help them because we love them.
It’s why we read books to our kids at bedtime, even when we are tired and want to go to sleep (I’ve been known to doze off while reading!)
It’s why we tuck them back into bed and stay there until they fall asleep after they have had a nightmare.
It’s why we stop what we are doing when they are in the swimming pool and say “Mom! Watch!” as they do the 10th jump into the water in the past two minutes.
It’s why we stay up late helping them complete their homework when they realized that they had underestimated the amount of time it would take.
It’s why we bake their favorite cookies to enjoy when they get home from school because we know that the day was long and they could use a treat.
It’s why I monitor their devices so I can talk to them about the things that they may question.
They just need us… and we need them, too.
JUST BEING THERE & DOING YOUR BEST IS ENOUGH FOR THEM. It is what they need from you… for you to be there.
It’s actually why I joined forces with Google for their new Family Partner program.
Children are hardwired to create and explore, but the internet is not always a friendly place. As you all know when it comes to children, it takes a village to raise a child, and Google feels that they have a responsibility to play a part in that, so they are dedicated to building products and programs that help parents protect their children while encouraging them to develop healthy relationships with both their devices and the wider world.
What is the Google Family Partner program?
The Google Family Partner Program is a program made up of a small group of parents that all feel passionate about keeping our children safe online. We each talk about internet safety often and we are always looking for ways to learn and share more.
We will be given special access to the Google Kids and Family team – to the people who design, work and lead the kids and families products and programs. We will be given a closer look at the Family Link app, Be Internet Awesome, Digital Wellbeing, up and coming initiatives, and more.
It will be a 6-month partnership, allowing me the time to share new information with you every month. I will be talking with the Google team, using their tools, testing ideas before presenting them to you, and using my own experience to spark ideas that I can share with you.
During the program, I plan on sharing the reasons that I do read our children’s texts, approve or deny their apps, and ban social media from their devices. I will share how I use Be Internet Awesome, the Family Link app from Google, and more.
I will even be flying to LA to meet with the Google Kids and Family team, so I can learn more, get a closer look, talk to the Google team, and share it all with you.
Why did I Join the Google Family Partner program?
I’ve joined the Google Family Partner program because I want to be there for our kids in every aspect of their lives, so I can guide them and teach them while they are still with me, before they are grown.
The online world is the biggest worry for me, and I am not willing to take a backseat in that area.
I’ve joined the Google Family Partner program to share information with other parents. I will share the program and products Google has developed to help keep kids safe online.
I’ve joined the Google Family Partner program to share ways that we can be there for our kids online, from ideas to keep them safe to ways that I keep up with what they are doing.
Have you heard about Google’s Be Internet Awesome program?
I’m sure that you’ve seen my posts where I share some of the tools provided by Google to fill all of your family’s online safety needs, but I want to share more information and WHY it is so important to my family.
I wrote a post here about Google’s Be Internet Awesome program because I always suggest that parents start here. It gives you ideas so you can have a conversation with your kids about how to be safe and smart online every day. They can even play Interland at g.co/Interland.
Have you heard of the Family Link app from Google?
I wrote about it here, but basically, it allows you to set digital ground rules with your family by using the Family Link app from Google. I suggest downloading the free app on your child’s Android or Chromebook devices, as well as your phone (you can use the app on your iPhone as long as your child has an Android or Chromebook).
It allows you to monitor what they see on their devices, how long they spend on their device, and where they are when they have their phone by using the device locator.
What’s your number one concern when it comes to internet safety and your kids?
I’d love to know your concerns about internet safety with your children because I want my partnership with Google to be helpful. If you have a moment, hop over to Facebook & answer this question for me. You can find it here.
Every day, our children are influenced by the world around them.
I want to be the one that teaches them and influences them, not the internet.
I want to be sure that they are only seeing what I want them to see, not what they happen to see while surfing the web.
We need to be there for our kids and teach them about being safe online, making the right choices, and relying on us to guide them, because sometimes… they just need us. Let them come to you… be their safe place. ♥