Preparing Our Kids for Global Digital Citizenship Success

We’ve all heard how our world is getting smaller – how our digital connectivity is conquering distance and outpacing time. But how does this closeness shape the way we interact with each other? More importantly, how does it affect our youth?

This is the reality: The way young people socialize online deeply affects the relationships they have with themselves and the people around them. We have to acknowledge that our kids meet and connect emotionally through their digital devices. They cultivate relationships through a number of virtual world connections – by joining social networks and receiving status updates; building lists of friends and groups; and receiving IMs, texts and video messages.

After hearing countless news stories about identity theft, sexting and cyberbullying, we’ve made the frightening discovery that sometimes wires and signals can separate actions from consequences. And we’ve seen our children’s misguided belief in anonymity slink in easy as pie and place their security, reputations and lives at risk.

But things are changing. Media literacy and global digital citizenship are quickly becoming the key issues in education and law enforcement. Dialogue surrounding the consumption and production of information across connected technologies is growing at a heartwarming rate.

And leaders are working alongside students, using their experience with the Internet, cell phones, MP3 players and gaming devices to create a framework around kids and teens worldwide successfully learning how to be good to each other while engaging in new media activities.

Twenty years ago, good citizenship took place in the microcosm of the classroom and was simply rewarded with a certificate. Today, with its millennial twist, global digital citizenship reaches far beyond the playground fence. Its stewards are enriched with a much deeper understanding of how their actions affect their own lives as well as those of their peers, at home and around the world.

That’s why students must take an active role in identifying and establishing ethical digital use. They need to be involved in the critical thinking and policy creation that affects ultimate change. It’s called buy-in, and these days our savvy students require it if they’ll be expected to have a healthy relationship with technology.

Defining successful global digital citizenship matters to all of us because it profoundly touches our youngest technocrats. Although they are swift enough to sync their social media profiles on their cells, they may not be equipped to handle the overwhelming cyber situations that erupt from uniformed decisions.

We all want to keep our kids safe, but that won’t happen if we create barriers and block device usage. It is only when we empower them to explore their connected world that they will be keyed into the pitfalls and advantages of social navigation across all platforms.

Braces for Your Child: A Life Changing Decision

We understand that getting braces is a really big decision. Your dentist or orthodontist will walk you through your options carefully and help you determine what the best type of treatment is for your individual child’s needs. When you consider braces for your child, you are making a decision that will change his or her life forever.

Starting young can give you some of the following benefits:

  • Correct detrimental habits such as tongue thrusting or thumb sucking
  • Decrease the need for oral surgery and even extractions of adult teeth
  • Improve your child’s face and smile while decreasing their insecurities
  • Help to improve their speech and or the way their lips fit together
  • Simplify and shorten the length of orthodontic treatment
  • Help disrupt jaw growth issues or damage to the jaw joints

These are just a few of the benefits to starting orthodontics young. Often teenagers develop a resistance to orthodontic treatment due to the appearance as well so starting your child at a young age will help them comply with treatment.

Some kids just can’t wait to get braces while others are a little worried about how it will affect their lifestyle. There will be some foods that they won’t be able to eat for a while and some things that have to be prepared differently.

There are several types of braces to choose from now days. From the traditional metal braces to tooth colored or clear braces and even Invisalign- the invisible braces! With all the options and the improved quality of the materials used, braces are better then they have ever been!

Your dentist should always be there to address any concerns you may have.

Best of luck!