Facebook Habits

Here's an interesting piece on bad habits that kids can pick up from their Facebook activities. The habits identified and the suggestions are really applicable to everyone, not just kids. To this list I would add the principle that online communication is irreversible and uneraseable.


Because I said so

Here is a brief article sent to me by someone from this site--usually packed with useful and practical information. In this case, however, I would disagree. The article identifies 10 instances when it's o.k. to say "because I said so" in answer to one or more of a child's questions. Generally, I would argue that "because I said so" is not so much an answer to the child's question as an expression of frustration on the part of the parent. It doesn't answer the child's question; rather, it tells the child to "shut up," "go away," "your questions are annoying me". It's a disconfirming strategy. In addition, saying "because I said so" misses the great opportunity for the parent to teach the child logical reasoning--for example, that certain things are related--like not getting enough sleep and poor performance on the field or in the test. It also discourages the child from asking questions; the child will soon learn that his or her questions are not welcomed and that life is a lot better when you don't ask questions--an outcome we really don't want to encourage.
     This is not to say that some questions aren't annoying and frustrating; many are. But, "answering" with "because I said so" should not be a recommended solution.



Communication Strategies: Positiveness

Positiveness in interpersonal communication has to do with the use of positive rather than negative messages. For example, instead of the negative “I wish you wouldn’t ignore my opinions,” consider the positive alternative: “I feel good when you ask my opinions.” Instead of the negative “You look horrible with long hair” consider the positive: “I think you look great with short hair.” As you can expect, positive messages are important to creating and maintaining relationship satisfaction and are used more often by women, both in face-to-face and in computer-mediated communication, than by men. Interestingly enough, optimism has been found to positively correlate with relationship satisfaction and happiness; the more optimistic you are, the more your outlook is positive, the greater your relationship satisfaction and happiness are likely to be.
Here are a few suggestions for communicating positiveness.