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Value of Face-to-Face Connections

​This information is included in our Guide to Parenting in the Digital Age. Click here to see the rest of the guide.

In today’s digital world, it’s common for scenarios like this to play out: A teenage girl comes into the kitchen obviously upset. When her dad asks what’s wrong, she says she is having a fight with a friend who said hurtful things to her. 

Her dad can’t bel​ieve the friend would say some of the things his daughter told him about. For proof, she takes out her cell phone so he can “read” the argument. The entire thing was happening via text messages, and they hadn’t actually spoken about the problem face to face!

There is no skill more valuable than being able to speak with a person face to face. It enables you to make a connection that no text, tweet or Facebook update can duplicate. The fastest way to communicate isn’t always the best way to communicate.

It’s much easier to resolve conflicts face to face. That’s why world leaders meet at summits, where they can sit down together and discuss the problem. There’s no reading between the lines – it’s all right in front of them and everyone is getting the same message.

That’s why teaching kids social skills regarding communication is so important. For most kids, conflict is (and always will be) a part of their lives – and they need to learn how to address and deal with it effectively. They need to know how to introduce themselves, look a person in the eyes and disagree with him or her appropriately.

Spend time talking with your children to help them shape their social skills so when they have a disagreement with a friend, they know how to resolve it quickly and successfully.

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