Social Media/ Bullying

Dressing Room Chats – Helpful Tips – The Real Challenges

Adults and kids are using social media in two very different ways, and many kids don’t
feel like they can approach an adult with their problems, or even the things they’re excited about. We’re committed to bridging this gap and doing everything we can to start a positive social media conversation in homes.

Facilitated by Joe & Jo @ Jo(e) Social Media Inc.

What’s the difference between physical bullying and online bullying?

The difference between physical bullying, and online bullying, is that online is inescapable and highly visible. To kids, it feels like the whole world is against them and to avoid it they have to sacrifice all of the positive aspects of social media. We need to be talking with our kids in a better way about the consequences of their online behaviour.

Adults and kids are using social media in two very different ways, and many kids don’t feel like they can approach an adult with their problems, or even the things they’re excited about. We’re committed to bridging this gap and doing everything we can to start a positive social media conversation in homes.

As adults, we’ve learned about cyberbullying and taught our kids about responsible online behaviour. We’ve talked safety, and proposed caution. Over and over, we’ve talked about what NOT to do with social media. Why? Because it snuck up on us. We’re learning this as the kids are. We don’t have the life experience to apply to this new medium – there weren’t even smartphones 10 years ago! We’ve made the same mistakes our kids make but have the emotional maturity to handle the repercussions.

Unfortunately, this makes us proceed with fear instead of confidence

It’s time to talk about what we CAN do with social media.

How to empower kids to use their voices. To take control of their social brand. To motivate and support each other. To build on their causes, to build on their ideas, and to use the relationships they’re SO good at developing digitally to enhance their world. There are a lot of misconceptions around how kids use social media.

We’d like to clear those misconceptions up and teach you how to teach them how powerful they really are. As motivational speakers, Jo Phillips and Joe Whitbread have talked with thousands of kids across Alberta. The feedback is the same in every school regardless of grade. The teachers are amazed with the interaction of the students with us, and the answers they give us regarding their social media experiences. Many are surprised at the feedback, especially in the younger grades. They express gratitude for our message, but also let us know we provided some necessary perspective and understanding to them, as adults.

The kids feel heard, and better prepared to navigate the challenges of social media, while embracing the positive. They’re given tips on how to start conversations with their parents, and insight into why their parents may be nervous about them being online.

In high school, the students leave understanding the gravity of some of their actions, and the potential impact it has on their lives. In every single presentation – every single one, regardless of grade – we have a child approach us and report something that makes them or a friend unsafe. In every presentation, we have a child approach us with excitement over something cool they’re doing with their social media.

We’re offering three tier programs.

Each will be age-specific, because the challenges, opportunities, and needs change quickly across grades and ages.

  • Tier One will include 3, 1 hour talks with the kids and coaches.
  • Tier Two will include a guide for coaches with conversation points to reinforce what is discussed in each of the Tier One talks.
  • Tier Three will include a talk with parents, and a parent handbook.

Although kids will be in cohorts based on their teams, the experiences of kids vary greatly from one grade to another.

We require groupings in the following grade groups:

  • Kindergarten to Grade 3
    This age group isn’t using social media, but still have to deal with the consequences of social media because of their parent’s behaviour. Common problems in this group include not knowing how to identify a stranger when their picture is all over Instagram and Facebook, parents who don’t notice the impact of their device use, and conversation around the dinner table based on on-line conflict.
  • Grades 4 to 7
    This age group is just starting to use social media. Most of them will be using TikTok, and toward grade 7, SnapChat. Some will be using Instagram, all will be playing video games. This is a great time to talk to kids about positive online use, and how to talk to their parents about social media. This is also a vulnerable group for predators and grooming – many are afraid to report challenges to their parents for fear of losing the platform. This is also when cohort bullying starts.
  • Grades 8 and 9 Grade 8 is predominantly when photo-sharing starts. This is also where we start to see significant mental health issues tied to social use. Insecure, changing quickly, and unsure exactly where they fit in, this is when we want to encourage kids to find their passion and lean into it.
  • Grades 10 to 12
    By high school, kids have a long track record online. A history not just created by them, but also by their parents. Now is the time to lean into positive personal branding, cleaning up their social, using their social to gain opportunity, and look beyond the small world of high school. This is also a time to discuss the “you send” conversations, requesting photos, sending photos, and the consequences these behaviours can have on their life. Mental health is a huge concern in high school and has to be discussed as well.

We’d like to divide the groups up into three cohorts: Grade 4 and under Grades 5-8  Grades 9-12

We’ve broken Execution up into Tiers. Each Tier brings an added level of support, and they can be independent of each other.

Tier One: Dressing Room Chats:

Each group will attend a one-hour chat with the Facilitators, three times across the season. We prefer these to be in person, in order to get real information and to hear what the kids are saying. Coaches will be welcome to join in these sessions, and we’ll share what we learn with the parents in the parenting sessions, so they can have better conversations with their kids.

  • The first chat will be a trust building and fact-finding mission, in which we’ll have some fun while asking kids questions to learn about their experiences.
  • The second chat will get to the meat of the challenges they have online.
  • The third chat will move into the opportunities they have online, and what positive use looks like.

Tier Two: Coaches Guide:

The Coaches Guide is a supportive document. It will include weekly talking points to reinforce the chats with Jo and Joe. The guide will include helpful tips on how to handle various situations and will be age-appropriate. It will also include team challenges, to allow the coach to guide positive behaviour and integrate positive use into the sports program. We recommend each coach who attends the Dressing Room chats has a guide to help them. The coaches’ guides are $35 each.    

Tier Three: Parenting Presentation:

In this 2.5hour presentation, we’ll speak with parents about what REAL challenges kids face online – and no, it’s not MoMo or the Chinese government gathering their data. After speaking with almost 30,000 kids across age groups, we know the top three problems kids face with social media are problems created by their parents. When we can talk with parents about their own behaviour, how kids use social media, and what they can be doing to support their kids, we change lives. That’s not hyperbole. But getting parents into the room is nearly impossible, because they believe they know all about social media from their own use. Kids don’t use social media the way adults do. And adults are creating huge problems for their kids. This presentation is open to parents, kids and coaches. We recommend ALL attend, in order to start a social conversation with everyone at the same starting point. Parents will leave the presentation with a Parenting and Social Media handbook based on the work we’ve done in schools, designed to help start social media conversations.  
“ Super information and very awakening for my kiddo to hear about social media pros and cons and how to use it appropriately from someone else than me. Jo & Joe are wonderful speakers. Thank you so much for this workshop”  From a parent

Dressing Room Moments

The Coaches Guide is a supportive document. It will include weekly talking points to reinforce the chats with Jo and Joe. The guide will include helpful tips on how to handle various situations and will be age-appropriate. It will also include team challenges, to allow the coach to guide positive behaviour and integrate positive use into the sports program.

Outcomes for Players

  • An ability to get excited about the opportunities they see, without an adult kyboshing it.
  • Better support in dealing with the challenges they face, without fear of losing access to the platforms they love
  • A requirement of responsibility based on what they’ve learned
  • Adult guidance in situations that require adult life experience
  • An ability to manage the range of experiences they’ll have online, from a mental health perspective
  • A safer experience online

Outcomes for Coaches

  • Tools, skills and resources to use the special bond that they have with their kids to provide Dressing Room Moments, encouraging words and actions to improve players self esteem and ability for them to share any unhealthy thoughts with them
  • Increased knowledge of the challenges kids face with social media
  • A better understanding of how kids use social media
  • Support in starting the right conversations with kids
  • Ability to guide kids through building positive online presence

Outcomes for Parents

  • Increased knowledge of the challenges kids face with social media
  • A better understanding of how kids use social media
  • Support in starting the right conversations with kids
  • Ability to guide kids through building positive online presence
  • Facilitators Joe Social Media

    JOE: Joe started his career in broadcast journalism and took his first gig as an on-air personality in Grande Prairie shortly after graduating from SAIT. He moved through the radio industry as a producer, and salesperson, before transitioning to social media when it became apparent this was where businesses would have to be, to be seen. As a public speaker, professional emcee, PA announcer, and voice-over artist, he’s hosted thousands of events in his 25+ year career in the public
    JO: With a degree in Psychology focused on motivation and personality, and a minor in Sociology from the University of Calgary, Jo loves to watch how people interact both on social media, and in the outside world, and convert it to opportunity. Jo is responsible for the development of the Jo(e) Youth Creative programs and has a tremendous passion for making the world better for kids and teens.  Find her online as JoOutLoud on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, and LinkedIn.

    You can make a difference!

    Whether you wish to donate financially,* in kind, helping us get the word out, or join our team, or any other forms of support, partnership or sponsorship we value and are thankful for your contribution to further our mission. You will be helping us to provide training, awareness and resources to the coaches, parents and players of youth sports teams across Alberta. Together with you we can and will save lives!

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