Today’s struggles to raise teens to adulthood is far tougher than our parents had to do. Decisions they make more often carry fatal or lifelong consequences. Their world is nothing like the world we grew up in. When I had a classmate I couldn’t get along with, I could avoid them. I heard about the gossip but it was typically contained to a few people and I just moved on to my own group of friends who knew me better. But today, the audience is larger, the social input on a much bigger scale, and instant in communication.
I had a parent of one of my teens decide to take away their child’s phone privileges in hopes of ending an unsavory relationship. Little did the parent know that the teens connected through their Wii and hand held games. What looked like a TV game was also a portal to the world.
Many parents also don’t realize that the computers at the library are uncensored for students to use. There’s no one there to monitor them and even if there was an adult looking over their shoulder, they could say nothing about it.
There are a few ways to protect our children from the predators that would harm them without a second thought.
Ways to love them through social media:
Find 25 ways to say how much you love them and are proud of them via text.
Share your successes and failures with them.
Share things you think they might like with them.
Don’t over text or over message. Share short messages.
Ways to protect them through social media:
First of all, I don’t think they need to have a cell phone until they reach an age where there’s no phone or adult nearby. They may not need a phone until driving age. Hold off if possible, it’ll give you less to monitor.
When you decide they are mature enough for a cell phone, here are a few apps that can help you monitor their usage.
*NetNanny has the ability to block sites on their phone, computers and laptops. It has special features that you can set a warning on your laptop of phone if your child types in words like suicide.
*Secure Teen app allows you to read your teens’ text messages and see their call log. You can block cyber bullying, mature contacts, violent games, and stalking.
TeenSafe app allows you to know their GPS location at all times. You can also lock them out of their phones if you know they’re driving to avoid the texting and driving issues. I can also see this as a great consequence for breaking of house rules.
These tips can’t prevent all evil, but it might just help you catch them being good. The best prevention and protection is to train them to protect themselves, to be always aware and to avoid potential danger. Develop good communication with them when they’re young, long before you’ll need it when they’re teens. Be watchful but the best way to guide them through the maze of life is to … be there.