S1E5: Part 2: The Gothenburg Impact Center w. Nicole Hetz & Colten Venteicher plus Solicited Advice
We continue our interview with Colten & Nicole as they share about the Gothenburg Impact Center being built in the community to address the childcare gap and other community needs. Listen to the end to hear our new segment “Solicited Advice” where we answer a listener’s question about setting boundaries with social media for children. The following music was used for this media project:
Music: Afterparty Review by Sascha Ende
Free download: https://filmmusic.io/song/2962-afterparty-review
License (CC BY 4.0): https://filmmusic.io/standard-license
"Wholesome" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 4.0 License
Nicole’s contact information: 308-529-8784 and firstname.lastname@example.org
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[00:00:08.430]This is "The Good Life in Early Life,"
[00:00:11.220]a production of Nebraska Extension.
[00:00:13.410]I'm your host, Emily Manning,
[00:00:14.940]an Early Childhood Extension Educator in Seward County.
[00:00:18.480]I wanna wish you all a happy fall
[00:00:20.370]as the first day of autumn was this past Saturday.
[00:00:22.710]Make sure you listen to the very end of this episode
[00:00:25.170]to hear a Nebraska youngster describe their fall favorites.
[00:00:29.340]In this episode, we are picking up where we left off
[00:00:31.890]with Colten and Nicole
[00:00:32.940]as we talked about the Gothenburg Impact Center,
[00:00:35.730]which was a unique way to solve their childcare gap
[00:00:38.970]within their community.
[00:00:40.140]In the last episode,
[00:00:41.070]we talked about how the impact center got started,
[00:00:43.440]how they calculated how many spots they would need
[00:00:45.990]and how much money this would take,
[00:00:47.580]and how to speak about this topic
[00:00:49.320]to many different audiences.
[00:00:51.000]So stay tuned as we continue our conversation
[00:00:53.343]with Colten and Nicole.
[00:01:00.180]This is wonderful, amazing what you have
[00:01:03.720]here in this community in Gothenburg,
[00:01:05.940]and I am just astounded and blown away by
[00:01:09.120]the work that both of you are doing for your community.
[00:01:12.060]Both of you seem perfect for this role.
[00:01:14.760]All right, so we had this beautiful, warm, fuzzy moment,
[00:01:17.400]but I wanna dive into finances 'cause I do think
[00:01:20.700]people will be-
[00:01:21.810]Yeah, I know finances, yes
[00:01:23.700]but I think people will be interested to know
[00:01:26.251]how are you funding this?
[00:01:28.770]How are you gonna make this happen?
[00:01:30.210]Yup, so again, we break it down to
[00:01:33.330]obviously your capital campaign,
[00:01:34.830]but there's still the operational piece too.
[00:01:37.101]Can I interrupt you and ask what a capital campaign is?
[00:01:40.200]Yup, so we're raising money to build that building.
[00:01:42.690]Oh, okay, (giggles) simple then.
[00:01:44.070]So which is fair.
[00:01:45.540]And also important to know, like Nicole said,
[00:01:47.910]we did a lot of work during 2020 that included
[00:01:51.180]really finalizing plans with the architect
[00:01:53.370]and meeting with contractors.
[00:01:55.140]And at that time,
[00:01:56.130]our cost to put this facility up was just under $11 million,
[00:02:00.420]which is a lot of money, don't get me wrong,
[00:02:02.040]but it's more money than that now
[00:02:04.200]because of the impacts that we've felt due to inflation
[00:02:08.040]and due to supply chain issues,
[00:02:10.110]and just all of the issues
[00:02:12.598]that the construction industry has dealt with
[00:02:15.660]over the last four to five years
[00:02:17.070]to the point where this project will cost over $14 million,
[00:02:20.040]well over $14 million.
[00:02:21.690]Now that's a scary number,
[00:02:23.550]but we honestly have not really been too worried about it
[00:02:27.540]because of the partnerships that we've built.
[00:02:29.580]So how do we get there?
[00:02:30.840]In the capital campaign,
[00:02:32.010]we will raise a little bit over $1 million
[00:02:34.620]from different state grant funds,
[00:02:36.767]Community Civic Center Financing Fund.
[00:02:40.110]We received some of the ARPA funds
[00:02:42.270]to expand childcare capacity.
[00:02:45.593]On top of that,
[00:02:46.426]we've got great partners from foundations
[00:02:49.350]primarily out of the eastern part of the state
[00:02:51.630]that understand that not just
[00:02:54.000]from the early childhood perspective,
[00:02:56.070]but from a community project perspective,
[00:02:59.640]the importance of investing in our communities.
[00:03:02.310]And so, we have certain foundations that have provided
[00:03:06.600]almost $4.5 million to date to help us put this up.
[00:03:11.007]But our target was to hit about
[00:03:12.720]one-third of our capital raised through those groups,
[00:03:16.260]and they showed up for us,
[00:03:18.510]and we really have enjoyed working with them.
[00:03:21.420]They've been there every step of the way.
[00:03:23.280]We started talking with them five years ago,
[00:03:25.387]"Hey, we're thinking about doing this.
[00:03:27.240]How would you want to be involved?
[00:03:28.680]Do you have any input?
[00:03:29.700]Do you have any connections that we could make?"
[00:03:31.530]We didn't ask them for money,
[00:03:32.610]we asked them for advice,
[00:03:34.650]and that was honestly the most helpful piece with them.
[00:03:37.572]The second and third-
[00:03:38.960]So you would value their advice higher than the money?
[00:03:41.688]Oh, I still need the money.
[00:03:45.330]But here's the thing.
[00:03:46.163]So if you're going to ask somebody for money at some point,
[00:03:49.440]don't you want to have the product
[00:03:52.620]look the way that they want it to look?
[00:03:55.620]We had already had a lot of conversations on,
[00:03:59.047]"Okay, how should we not do things,
[00:04:00.750]how should we do things"
[00:04:02.340]before we even ask them for money
[00:04:04.200]because we got that advice from them out of the gate.
[00:04:07.140]So they didn't have to come in and say,
[00:04:08.527]"Well, you guys have completely missed the mark here."
[00:04:11.460]We started that communication very early on.
[00:04:15.360]Yeah, I'll never turn down...
[00:04:18.600]But the last piece of this,
[00:04:21.150]so if you look at the state and then the foundation
[00:04:23.730]that's a little bit over $5 to 6 million,
[00:04:26.580]how do we get the rest of the way there,
[00:04:28.560]really it comes from our local community
[00:04:31.800]and I break that out into two different areas.
[00:04:35.160]One is our private,
[00:04:36.450]private donors, private businesses and families.
[00:04:39.000]We will raise 5.5 million from our local community.
[00:04:42.900]To put that into perspective,
[00:04:44.340]2017 we opened the YMCA here in Gothenburg,
[00:04:48.330]which we are one of the smallest communities in the country
[00:04:51.180]to have a YMCA.
[00:04:52.260]I'm very proud.
That's a fun fact.
[00:04:55.170]That was a $5 million project.
[00:04:57.090]We raised 3.1 million of that locally.
[00:05:00.743]We surpassed that $3 million mark
[00:05:02.910]in about six months here for this project.
[00:05:05.820]So we've raised well over $4 million
[00:05:08.370]from the local community.
[00:05:10.020]We're still getting the rest of the way there,
[00:05:13.080]but people have been very responsive.
[00:05:15.630]And that's not just a single donor.
[00:05:17.520]We certainly have bigger businesses,
[00:05:19.440]bigger families who contribute.
[00:05:21.270]But Gothenburg, historically, doesn't have one person
[00:05:24.870]that just funds everything, right,
[00:05:26.580]a large number of people that just really
[00:05:29.070]throw their weight in,
[00:05:30.030]whether it's our banks who are great partners
[00:05:32.250]for this project and really led the way,
[00:05:34.350]or whether it's an employee at the hospital who has said,
[00:05:38.407]"I will contribute a few dollars out of every paycheck
[00:05:41.400]for the next five years to go towards this project."
It's truly everybody
[00:05:45.720]stepping up and becoming a part of the process.
[00:05:48.060]And then the last piece is we are addressing
[00:05:51.990]a huge need for our public entities.
[00:05:54.720]So like Nicole said,
[00:05:56.010]the city was talking through putting up an event center.
[00:05:59.490]That's something that our community had said,
[00:06:00.967]"We want to see this."
[00:06:02.280]If they were to put that up standalone,
[00:06:04.080]it would cost well over $4 million.
[00:06:06.150]Similarly, if you look at the school,
[00:06:08.190]again, we're taking away or we're absorbing their preschool,
[00:06:11.760]but we've had conversations as a community
[00:06:14.160]on the school potentially expanding their childcare efforts
[00:06:17.520]or their preschool.
[00:06:18.780]That's expensive for them.
[00:06:20.160]They would need to build more space.
[00:06:21.900]What happens if we have state-mandated preschool
[00:06:24.480]come through federal or state legislation?
[00:06:26.730]They would need to expand that area,
[00:06:28.800]and it's going to be expensive for them to do so.
[00:06:31.230]So we did go back to them and say,
[00:06:33.247]"Hey, we are addressing needs that you guys, at some point,
[00:06:36.840]whether it's now or a few years down the road,
[00:06:38.760]are going to need to handle."
[00:06:40.500]And so, they stood up and said,
[00:06:42.247]"We will contribute towards
[00:06:43.440]the capital of this project as well.
[00:06:45.000]We'll get a $1.5 million from each the city and the school
[00:06:48.570]towards the capital project."
So it's braided,
[00:06:52.140]blended funding, however you want to describe it.
[00:06:54.510]We call it having great partners.
[00:06:56.490]But through state federal funds,
[00:06:59.460]through our foundation partners,
[00:07:01.290]and then through our local private and public entities,
[00:07:03.780]we can get there.
[00:07:04.613]That's really amazing, that's all I have to say,
[00:07:08.089]that one, that you have found that much funding.
[00:07:10.320]And it's really neat to see the community engagement
[00:07:12.840]and the community buy-in that everyone values this
[00:07:15.420]and sees it as important and gets behind this project
[00:07:18.450]and puts forth even just a few dollars from their paycheck.
[00:07:21.270]So just literally coming from everyone in the community,
[00:07:24.330]which is how it's happening in your community.
[00:07:27.960]I wanted to circle back to kind of a conversation
[00:07:29.934]you had earlier, Colten, about wages
[00:07:33.300]and if we were to pay early childhood educators
[00:07:37.080]and caregivers what they really deserved,
[00:07:38.880]we wouldn't be able to afford them.
[00:07:40.080]And you were talking about getting them a livable wage.
[00:07:42.630]So how are you...
[00:07:43.920]Why is this important, first of all?
[00:07:45.750]And then how is it not adequate right now,
[00:07:49.140]maybe is what we can talk about
[00:07:50.400]kind of like the state of affairs.
[00:07:51.990]Yeah, so I think when you talk about childcare,
[00:07:54.630]really the economic model is broken, right?
[00:07:56.910]You can't charge your consumer the amount that you need
[00:07:59.640]to be able to attract quality employees.
[00:08:01.920]And that's why we have a capacity issue.
[00:08:04.380]If I'm a teacher or educated in early childhood education,
[00:08:09.060]I have no incentive to open a childcare facility
[00:08:12.840]in rural Nebraska
[00:08:13.860]because I can go work for a public institution and
[00:08:17.130]get union wages plus benefits,
[00:08:19.740]or I can work in a center and make $10 an hour.
[00:08:22.980]Well, it's pretty easy to understand
[00:08:25.170]why we're running into this issue.
[00:08:27.390]So when you look at, okay,
[00:08:29.880]say, we're paying people minimum wage 9.50
[00:08:32.760]or even if it goes up to 11 or so,
[00:08:34.830]when you look at the percentage of that individual's income,
[00:08:38.340]if they have a child that needs to go to childcare,
[00:08:40.817]it's about 20% of their household income.
[00:08:43.620]That's well beyond what any of our economists say
[00:08:46.650]we should be allocating towards childcare
[00:08:49.590]out of our household income.
[00:08:50.910]Really, I say it should be about 8%.
[00:08:53.903]Yes, so it all just builds upon itself.
[00:08:56.760]And it makes the issue bigger, right?
[00:08:58.110]Because if I can't attract employees
[00:09:00.000]and I can't operate a facility,
[00:09:01.590]if I can't charge my people what I need,
[00:09:03.720]then I can't pay my employees.
[00:09:05.280]So we approached it and said
[00:09:06.957]we need to set those wages above minimum wage
[00:09:11.820]to a point where we can attract quality employees.
[00:09:14.640]They will have the ability to bring their kids to a program,
[00:09:17.976]they'll have the ability to get into the workforce,
[00:09:21.390]but again, we couldn't increase those rates to our families.
[00:09:25.260]And that's really where the city,
[00:09:26.520]the school, and the hospital came in.
[00:09:28.200]Again, if that economic model is broken,
[00:09:31.050]you can't charge those private families.
[00:09:32.940]We've gotta go to those public institutions.
[00:09:35.400]And I know we are sitting in central Nebraska,
[00:09:38.460]I am not a fan of taxes just as much as the tax guy.
[00:09:42.810]But when we talk about actually
[00:09:44.730]providing a solution to this problem,
[00:09:47.040]it has to involve some level of support, not 100%,
[00:09:52.260]but some level of support from those public institutions.
[00:09:55.350]And our public institutions in this town understood that
[00:09:58.530]and really got behind the project.
[00:10:00.960]Now, what does that mean moving forward?
[00:10:03.500]Because we did just have legislation passed
[00:10:06.330]where we're gonna see an increase in a minimum wage, right,
[00:10:09.720]that will be $15 an hour in 2026.
[00:10:12.450]We're already starting to phase in that increase.
[00:10:14.580]That has impacted our budget because that will,
[00:10:17.280]in some ways, pass through to those families.
[00:10:20.100]Now obviously, presumably,
[00:10:21.570]they're going to be making more money
[00:10:23.370]if we've seen an increase in their wages.
[00:10:25.620]But what I think is going to be extremely important is
[00:10:29.370]our senators, our state legislature,
[00:10:31.650]the unicameral need to understand that
[00:10:34.440]this is a pending issue coming down the pipeline
[00:10:37.800]for not just the impact center,
[00:10:39.630]but childcare providers across our state.
[00:10:42.060]If we have to tell our providers right now,
[00:10:44.587]"You're paying people $10 an hour
[00:10:46.257]and in two years, you need to increase that by 50%,"
[00:10:50.490]they can't do that.
[00:10:51.570]And so, we need to be there as a state
[00:10:54.330]to support those people.
[00:10:55.860]Otherwise, it'll disappear.
[00:10:57.420]I mean, that just cannot make that happen.
[00:11:00.000]You cannot make money appear
[00:11:01.379]where it doesn't exist. (chuckles)
[00:11:03.150]I wish we could.
[00:11:03.983]I know, I wish we could.
[00:11:04.935]It would solve a lot of problems, wouldn't it?
[00:11:06.570]So we're kind of coming to the end of the time
[00:11:08.790]that I have for this conversation sadly.
[00:11:10.500]I've really enjoyed every minute with both of you.
[00:11:13.140]And I really want to have some like last advice
[00:11:16.200]that you would have for communities
[00:11:17.790]who have the same issue with this gap
[00:11:20.430]in early education and care spots.
[00:11:22.230]What would you tell them?
[00:11:23.640]I think the first thing I would say is
[00:11:26.550]no other community's answer
[00:11:28.470]is going to be the impact center.
[00:11:30.150]I think, you know, it can be overwhelming,
[00:11:33.360]but I think every community has a solution.
[00:11:36.690]And so, just some simple steps.
[00:11:40.710]I think you quantify your childcare need.
[00:11:43.320]Like Colten said, you find the data
[00:11:45.240]that's gonna resonate with the community,
[00:11:48.180]with the businesses, with the economic development,
[00:11:50.400]but you quantify that need.
[00:11:52.200]Talk to your providers about their wait list numbers.
[00:11:54.750]Use your census data.
[00:11:56.040]Talk to your school administration.
[00:11:57.600]Get your facts for your community.
[00:12:00.420]And then gather your community stakeholders.
[00:12:02.713]There are people that are being impacted
[00:12:05.520]by this issue in your community.
[00:12:07.500]Get them together and ask for their input.
[00:12:10.200]Find the local partners who understand the importance,
[00:12:13.260]who are facing this in their businesses
[00:12:15.600]or in their families, and ask them to work with you.
[00:12:19.020]And then, find somebody to tell your story.
[00:12:21.540]It can be a coordinator, it can be a volunteer,
[00:12:24.240]but find someone who can help you tell your story
[00:12:27.630]and then get out in the community
[00:12:29.070]and start telling the story.
[00:12:30.630]I think every community can find their solution,
[00:12:33.585]but it's going to take the community
[00:12:36.285]to really pull it all together.
[00:12:38.850]It comes down to the community,
[00:12:40.020]and what they want and what looks right, yeah.
[00:12:42.240]Colten, do you wanna add on to that?
[00:12:43.320]Yeah, I would say we hit on five years, five years.
[00:12:46.320]That's how long we've been working on this and even longer.
[00:12:48.810]We would've done this in a year
[00:12:50.460]if it could have worked that way.
[00:12:52.770]We knew we had the need at that point,
[00:12:54.450]but take your time, do it the right way,
[00:12:57.210]so you come up with that lasting, sustainable solution.
[00:13:00.540]It hurts to watch kids,
[00:13:03.030]and Nicole and I have seen it,
[00:13:04.320]and our community has seen it.
[00:13:06.270]We see kids that simply do not have access to
[00:13:10.080]essential childcare services in our community,
[00:13:12.930]and that impacts our kids in the school system,
[00:13:15.330]it impacts our teachers.
[00:13:16.620]But we're not doing anybody any favors
[00:13:19.170]by trying to throw together something
[00:13:22.140]and not having a plan moving into it.
[00:13:24.240]So take your time.
[00:13:25.260]It hurts to do it, but that is, in my opinion,
[00:13:28.140]the way to do it.
[00:13:28.977]And the second piece would be, and Nicole hit on this,
[00:13:31.620]the impact center as it is in Gothenburg
[00:13:34.860]is not the solution to every community.
[00:13:37.020]I have a friend from a neighboring community
[00:13:39.840]who calls our project, The Monstrosity,
[00:13:43.650]because it is big, it's a large scope, right?
[00:13:46.470]We found a way to make it work based on our partners
[00:13:49.230]and our needs as a community,
[00:13:51.390]but every community is unique in the needs that they face,
[00:13:55.650]but we are the same in that we have individuals
[00:13:59.070]that want to find solutions.
[00:14:00.600]We have access to grant funds
[00:14:02.490]from state and federal agencies.
[00:14:04.320]We have public entities that, not all the way,
[00:14:07.680]but a certain extent of the way
[00:14:09.210]can help provide the solutions.
[00:14:11.250]And if we all work together on it,
[00:14:13.200]then we can get there to provide the solution
[00:14:15.150]that we need as a community.
[00:14:19.080]Don't rush, do it the right way,
[00:14:21.270]and do it in a way that makes sense for your community.
[00:14:24.900]And I think those are so important words to share
[00:14:27.270]with Nebraska because as a Nebraskan myself,
[00:14:30.150]I just fully believe that Nebraskans, we are smart,
[00:14:33.240]as Colten said, we have the smarts, we are hardworking,
[00:14:36.630]we value families, we know this is important.
[00:14:39.870]So I believe we can get this done, like, as a state.
[00:14:42.660]I really do.
[00:14:43.560]I think we have the know-how.
[00:14:45.060]I think we have the skills.
[00:14:46.860]If we can just come together,
[00:14:48.630]come together and share that common language
[00:14:50.550]and share those goals, we can do it as a state.
[00:14:53.160]And you guys are helping provide that model of how to do it,
[00:14:56.430]providing that inspiration hopefully to other communities
[00:14:59.010]to do the same for themselves
[00:15:00.450]and find that perfect solution for themselves.
[00:15:03.180]And I hope that you guys can inspire other communities,
[00:15:06.540]and that's why I really wanted you on the podcast.
[00:15:08.460]So thank you so much.
[00:15:09.540]I've appreciated every minute, as I said, with both of you
[00:15:12.630]and sharing your expertise.
[00:15:14.160]It's been so lovely.
[00:15:15.510]How can listeners find out more about you,
[00:15:18.120]about this project, or contact you
[00:15:19.980]if they have questions and need advice?
[00:15:22.260]Yeah, so we do have a website, gothenburgimpactcenter.com,
[00:15:26.370]that gives some overview on the project itself.
[00:15:30.000]We also have a Facebook page.
[00:15:31.740]You can follow us, Gothenburg Impact Center.
[00:15:35.250]Be happy to visit with anybody, answer questions,
[00:15:39.300]My email is G-E-C-L-C.email@example.com
[00:15:46.890]or you can give me a call at (308) 529-8784.
[00:15:52.793]And we'll also put that into,
[00:15:53.820]we'll put her email into the show notes if she is
[00:15:56.580]comfortable with that.
[00:15:57.540]And we'll also put the link to the website
[00:15:59.880]in the show notes as well
[00:16:01.170]so you can contact Nicole with your questions.
[00:16:04.110]Again, thank you both so much for being on here
[00:16:06.360]and sharing your wisdom and experience with this project.
[00:16:09.150]This is an amazing, amazing project
[00:16:11.910]so I'm so happy to highlight it.
[00:16:13.470]And when is it gonna be done?
[00:16:15.722]When can we see it?
[00:16:17.806]August of 2024 and it's not soon enough.
[00:16:21.120]All right, so listeners, check it out on August 2024
[00:16:24.600]and check out their brand new facility
[00:16:26.490]'cause it's gonna be amazing.
[00:16:28.020]Thank you again, Nicole and Colten.
[00:16:32.730]I wanna switch gears now
[00:16:34.050]and answer a listener question that we receive
[00:16:36.210]in a segment I'm gonna call, "Solicited Advice,"
[00:16:39.510]where we take questions from you, the listeners,
[00:16:41.880]and answer them
[00:16:42.990]because sometimes it's nice to get answers
[00:16:44.790]to the questions that you actually ask for.
[00:16:47.250]And the question that we got from this listener is,
[00:16:49.507]"What is the best way to have guidelines
[00:16:51.270]around the use of social media with young children?"
[00:16:54.420]I'm gonna start off with guidelines for screen time
[00:16:57.090]for young children first
[00:16:58.590]and then we will cover recommendations
[00:17:00.570]that are specific to social media.
[00:17:02.760]The World Health Organization gave some guidelines
[00:17:05.640]for screen time usage for children 5 years and under.
[00:17:09.630]So for our youngest kiddos
[00:17:11.880]from the ages birth to 1 years old,
[00:17:14.340]the recommendation is that
[00:17:15.390]they don't spend time with any screens.
[00:17:17.760]No time spent on screens at all
[00:17:19.590]from birth to the age of 1 year old.
[00:17:21.570]And then when they get older
[00:17:22.890]between the ages of 2 to 4,
[00:17:24.450]it's recommended that they only spend
[00:17:26.220]60 minutes of their day in total on screen time.
[00:17:30.060]So that means time that they spend watching videos,
[00:17:33.570]movies, video games, all that time spent on those activities
[00:17:37.200]should only add up to 60 minutes between the ages of 2 to 4.
[00:17:40.860]And the reason for these recommendations is that
[00:17:43.200]spending time on screens isn't very beneficial
[00:17:45.930]developmentally and educationally for children of this age.
[00:17:49.260]They learn a lot more by engaging with their environment
[00:17:52.560]and reacting and interacting with their environment
[00:17:55.320]and the people in their environment
[00:17:56.970]and getting that real-time feedback
[00:17:59.100]that comes from interacting with their environment
[00:18:01.530]and the people within it.
[00:18:02.790]So you can help them grow and learn a lot more
[00:18:05.760]by limiting their screen time
[00:18:07.350]when they are under the age of 5.
[00:18:09.390]But let's go ahead and get into our
[00:18:11.430]social media recommendations and tips.
[00:18:13.980]I think it would be helpful to start off with
[00:18:16.860]thinking about what social media is and defining what it is.
[00:18:19.830]When I think of social media,
[00:18:21.450]I immediately think of the really big established,
[00:18:24.270]traditional platforms like Twitter, TikTok, Facebook,
[00:18:27.420]and Reddit, and Instagram.
[00:18:29.310]But social media encompasses so much more
[00:18:32.250]than just those traditional big platforms.
[00:18:34.680]The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines social media
[00:18:37.230]as forms of electronic communication
[00:18:39.540]through which users create online communities,
[00:18:42.270]share information, share personal messages,
[00:18:45.060]and other content like videos.
[00:18:47.940]So with that definition,
[00:18:49.920]YouTube is technically a social media platform,
[00:18:52.920]Discord is also a social media platform.
[00:18:55.560]Discord is often used to stream video games with friends
[00:18:59.010]as you are playing it real-time.
[00:19:00.810]Other games allow you to talk real-time in a game,
[00:19:05.040]kind of like with a voice call feature.
[00:19:06.960]Other games allow you to talk to other players
[00:19:09.900]through kind of a chat box feature.
[00:19:12.030]These communication features within video games
[00:19:14.700]are technically social media as well.
[00:19:17.370]So some of you right now may have the urge
[00:19:19.650]to totally limit your child from playing video games
[00:19:22.650]or using any kind of social media platforms
[00:19:25.350]out of safety concerns, and I understand that.
[00:19:28.200]And that is your right as a parent to do that.
[00:19:30.510]And I encourage you to do
[00:19:32.760]what feels right for you and your child.
[00:19:35.070]I also would like you to consider that you may be
[00:19:38.220]limiting your child's interests
[00:19:40.440]by preventing them from playing video games.
[00:19:43.260]And you also may be giving up an opportunity to have
[00:19:46.170]discussions around safe usage of social media
[00:19:49.560]and also giving up an opportunity to start guiding them
[00:19:52.980]on how to safely navigate the online world
[00:19:55.740]and to be a critical objective user of social media.
[00:19:59.250]So it's a really hard decision to make as a parent,
[00:20:02.460]and I support you in whatever decision you make.
[00:20:05.670]So how do we do this?
[00:20:07.440]How do we teach children to safely use social media?
[00:20:11.550]The first thing that we can do is to be present
[00:20:14.610]when they're using social media.
[00:20:16.530]We can sit in when they are playing video games,
[00:20:19.320]then talking about what they see
[00:20:21.270]and hear from other players,
[00:20:23.160]and also maybe just limiting the amount of time
[00:20:25.350]that they play video games.
[00:20:26.670]Also, you can watch YouTube or TikTok videos together
[00:20:30.060]and talk about what you're seeing.
[00:20:31.620]This can be a great opportunity to discuss misinformation,
[00:20:35.250]how these videos might not be as real as they seem.
[00:20:37.890]You can also talk about your family values
[00:20:40.350]and you can also talk about being a critical
[00:20:42.570]and objective user of social media
[00:20:44.490]and the information that you are seeing on the platform.
[00:20:47.100]You may also wanna carefully consider the age that
[00:20:49.410]you want a child to create their own social media account.
[00:20:52.320]Facebook doesn't allow users under the age of 13,
[00:20:55.680]so this might be a helpful guideline
[00:20:57.720]for you as a parent or a caregiver.
[00:20:59.820]But you should still think about your child
[00:21:01.830]and when you think it would be appropriate for them to join
[00:21:04.560]and when they have the skills to join.
[00:21:06.420]And when your child does create
[00:21:08.010]kind of a traditional social media account,
[00:21:10.110]in order for them to have that account,
[00:21:11.760]you might wanna make it a requirement
[00:21:13.230]that they add you as a friend on the platform
[00:21:15.690]so that you can monitor their activities
[00:21:17.760]and what they're posting,
[00:21:18.900]and discuss those things with them as well.
[00:21:21.600]And you also might wanna make it a requirement
[00:21:23.850]that they can only access that account
[00:21:26.370]when they are using the family computer
[00:21:28.500]that you can easily walk by and see
[00:21:31.290]and kind of monitor what they're doing
[00:21:33.180]and that they can't have it on a personal device
[00:21:35.970]like a tablet or a cell phone
[00:21:37.890]'cause that can make it harder to kind of monitor.
[00:21:40.230]I'm not suggesting that you micromanage their usage
[00:21:43.620]by going through all their messages
[00:21:45.330]and reading everything that they discuss with other users.
[00:21:48.000]This can be a violation of their privacy
[00:21:49.830]and can erode feelings of trust and respect
[00:21:52.050]between you and your child.
[00:21:53.760]But by being present in the room,
[00:21:55.260]you can monitor their activities
[00:21:56.820]and provide a level of supervision without being involved
[00:21:59.430]in everything that they do or say online.
[00:22:02.490]It also allows you to naturally react
[00:22:04.620]when they laugh out loud at something they read or they saw,
[00:22:07.650]and you can ask them,
[00:22:08.483]"Will you show me what you found that was so funny?"
[00:22:10.800]And this can just open up that opportunity for them to share
[00:22:13.800]what they are doing and what they're seeing online with you.
[00:22:16.800]Additionally, you yourself can also model healthy habits
[00:22:19.920]and boundaries with social media usage at home.
[00:22:22.590]So this could be not engaging in social media platforms
[00:22:25.380]during family meals or during family time.
[00:22:27.810]You can also limit the amount of time that you spend
[00:22:30.810]on social media to model that behavior with your child.
[00:22:34.560]And if they have you as a friend on social media,
[00:22:37.350]they're also gonna be watching what you post
[00:22:39.480]and how you post and how you engage with it.
[00:22:42.030]So remember that you can serve
[00:22:43.860]as a positive role model for your child.
[00:22:46.200]And also as kind of mentioned in the interview
[00:22:48.540]with Dr. Kirkpatrick,
[00:22:50.070]think twice before you post photos or videos of your child.
[00:22:54.150]You may be really, really proud of your child,
[00:22:56.310]and you should be, and that's a really natural inclination
[00:22:58.920]is to post that and share that with your friends and family
[00:23:01.680]but be aware that your child is not able to consent
[00:23:04.680]when they're really young
[00:23:05.790]and does not always have the knowledge
[00:23:07.770]that you are posting this.
[00:23:09.266]It also is releasing their image to the public,
[00:23:12.240]so just considering safety.
[00:23:14.400]And their safety,
[00:23:15.270]you may wanna post photos with their back to the camera
[00:23:18.060]or like some celebrities do,
[00:23:19.740]they put like an emoji over their child's face
[00:23:22.440]if they're facing the front.
[00:23:23.820]And if you wanna share those funny moments
[00:23:26.640]or potentially embarrassing moments
[00:23:28.680]with your friends and family
[00:23:29.730]just to kind of get some validation
[00:23:31.530]and just share what's going on, that's completely normal,
[00:23:34.290]but consider sharing that in a less permanent way
[00:23:36.990]such as on a Facebook story or an Instagram story
[00:23:40.050]rather than a post that is a little bit more permanent.
[00:23:42.750]So those are just some things that you can think about
[00:23:45.470]when using social media and helping guide children
[00:23:49.170]with social media usage.
[00:23:50.910]It's definitely just kind of the tip of the iceberg
[00:23:53.430]and then there's a lot more information out there,
[00:23:55.440]but we wanted to provide some general guidelines
[00:23:57.750]and recommendations for guiding children in their usage.
[00:24:01.050]If you have other parenting or early childhood questions
[00:24:04.230]you would like us to answer on the show,
[00:24:05.760]please email our podcast team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
[00:24:10.290]It's helpful for us if you put "Podcast"
[00:24:12.420]or "Podcast question" or "The Good Life in Early Life"
[00:24:15.360]in the subject line of your email
[00:24:17.100]so we are better able to sort through the emails
[00:24:19.590]that we get to our team.
[00:24:21.240]Also, your question might just be featured
[00:24:23.880]on our Solicited Advice segment on the podcast,
[00:24:26.580]so please email us at email@example.com
[00:24:30.600]with your questions.
[00:24:31.710]And now, as promised, and what you've all been waiting for,
[00:24:35.700]I present the voice of a young Nebraskan.
[00:24:38.190]I smile every time I hear this, and I hope you do too.
[00:24:43.230]What do you like to do in the fall?
[00:24:45.540]Well, I usually like to play around
[00:24:48.720]and jump in the leaves.
[00:24:53.785]It's usually not so cold and rainy.
[00:24:59.460]Sometimes I see decorations about leaves
[00:25:03.570]or signs, I'm not sure.
[00:25:07.590]Do you ever go to a pumpkin patch?
[00:25:11.070]I only went there once.
[00:25:15.360]I sure hope you enjoyed hearing
[00:25:17.070]from that Nebraska youngster
[00:25:18.840]sharing about what they liked about fall.
[00:25:21.000]And with that, this has been another episode
[00:25:23.010]of "The Good Life in Early Life,"
[00:25:25.200]a Nebraska Extension Early Childhood production,
[00:25:27.690]with your host, Emily Manning.
[00:25:29.700]For more information on early childhood,
[00:25:31.470]check out our website at child.unl.edu.
[00:25:34.320]If you liked the show,
[00:25:35.190]subscribe and tell your friends to listen.
[00:25:37.050]The show production team is Emily Manning,
[00:25:39.180]Dr. Holly Hatton, Ingrid Lindal, Erin Kampbell,
[00:25:42.390]Linda Reddish, Kim Wellsandt, and Katie Krause.
[00:25:45.570]See you next time.
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