Some tips to help you in the world of technology and teens:
Every teen and tween favors certain technology. Learn which ones your teen likes to use and familiarlize yourself with those digital devices. Not sure how to send a text message or instant message (IM). Ask your child to give you a lesson. After all, they are the expert. They will probably be surprised you want to learn and get a kick out of teaching you something new.
Know the code. Texting can contain confusing words, like "PAW," "MOS," and "CD9." BTW ("By the way . . .") PAW means "parents are watching," MOS means “mom over shoulder," and CD9 means “Code 9,” for parents are around. Discover meanings with the help of regularly updated texting dictionaries like Webopedia and NetLingo.
Be familiar with social networking sites such as www.facebook.com and www.twitter.com. If your teen uses one or more of these sites, make it clear that you expect to have regular access and check them.
Tell them what is off limits on the web, including specific sites, chat rooms, games or blogs. Have consequences for breaking these rules.
Limit online time each day, and do spot checks from time-to-time to see what they are looking at online.
Some Statistics from http://parent.drugfree.org:
Nearly one-third (29 percent) of students surveyed said their parent or guardian would disapprove if they knew what their kids were doing on the Internet.
Sixty-four (64%) percent of online teens say that most teens do things online that they wouldn’t want their parents to know about.
Twenty-two (22%) percent of Internet-using teens say they have looked for information online about a topic that’s hard to talk about, like drug use, sexual health, or depression.
Pro-drug websites commonly include descriptions of the preparation, dose, administration and psychoactive effects of drugs, as well as recommendations for managing the adverse effects of illicit drugs.
about the latest digital technology. Seek guidance and advice on how to
monitor some of the most popular communication tools used by teens
today. You may have heard about them on television news or relented to
your teen’s wishes to buy the latest and greatest gadgets. But have you
had an opportunity to learn exactly what your teen already knows about
networking sites like MySpace and Facebook are popular online hot spots
where many teens spend an enormous amount of time. Find out why teens
are so hooked to this new style of “hanging out” and what you can do to
help them steer clear of trouble.
What are social networking sites?
networking sites allow people to gather online around shared interests
or causes, like finding people who live nearby or who are in the same
age range. These sites allow teens to design their own personalized
page on the Internet, much like an interactive scrapbook, that can
include their favorite music clips, their choice of background designs
or “wallpaper,” photos, favorite quotes and any other information about
themselves – and anyone else – that they wish to include. Users can
also set up blogs (online public journals), a friend network and
messages centers. It’s very easy to put a lot of information online,
and savvy teens can accomplish this in just a few minutes, sometimes
without appreciating the risks they may be taking when they do.
Social networking sites are becoming more and more mainstream and
according to Nielsen//NetRatings reach 45 percent of active Web users.
Some of the most popular social networking sites for teens include
MySpace, Facebook, and Bebo.
Cell Phones The
latest cell phone models enable teens to stay in touch with friends and
family through more than just a phone call. However, many parents don’t
understand these newer technologies, allowing their teens free rein
over a potentially dangerous medium.