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Dr. Dianna Lindsay's picture
After 43 years in my chosen profession, I remain excited, alive, and learning! From an active Twitter Account to blogging, from teaching Constitutional Law to Pre-AP English, from a national winner...
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Technology: Parents-Inspect What You Expect From Your Teens With Social Media

  1. Parenting is not easy in the age of instant access. Parents need help and teens need boundaries and supervision. Parents however cannot continue making excuses for their own limitations; the risks are too high for absentee parenting!
  2. An article by Bill Daley in the Tribune Newspapers makes this warning all to clear: "Sexting and Teens-increasing occurrence of risky behavior". The consequences for this behavior aren't lessons you want your students or children to learn the hard way; as teachers we can help by offering some simple advice and perhaps a handout at any Parent-Teacher-Student Conferences. The consequences are more than personal embarrassment and may include-loss of status in a group or organization~ public humiliation~ loss of scholarships or even college admission~ jail time (in some states)~ denial of security clearances~ and the list goes on and on.
  3. Here are some tips from RaychelleCassadaLohmannwith my advice condensed and listed below:
  4. 1. Set parental privacy controls on all devices with the ability to send or receive information (ask for help if you are unfamiliar with uses and new technology-all vendors are available to assist you)
  5. 2. Discuss on-line appropriate behavior (I would recommend that conversation every timeyou pay the bill for the devices and review the usage of the devices at the dinner table weekly)
  6. 3. Remind teens to slow down and think before texting (ask if they have used the device to learn~ be kind~ expand their news understanding~ present a positive position~ or post something to change the world for good)
  7. 4. Discuss the social impact for the present and the long-term with teens (use the ugly examples of fallen adults who thought they were above getting caught and the impact on their entire families~ political figures are sadly good examples of this public humiliation)
  8. 5. Check the legal impact in your state on the website for the CyberbullyingResearch Center (
  9. 6. Take away the devices for a period of time at the first sign of misuse (these devices are yours not your child's devices; you own them and are responsible for their proper use)
  10. 7. Inspect what is followed and insist on eliminating those "friends" or "followers" immediately who do not meet your family's highest personal standards of deportment (check the device~ its history and general use regularly)
  11. 8. Model good on-line behavior and have your children see what you are doing with your device-be serious about your behavior (use the device for good and don't follow strangers; "unfollow"people who use inappropriate language or images)
  12. 9. Be vigilant~ your child is still a minor and needs supervision not more privacy (this is your child who is talking to hundreds of strangers and this is inappropriate in most cases)
  13. 10. Be suspicious if your child's behavior with social media changes when you walk into the room (when the child stops talking~ changes screens~ or shuts down the device this is a warning pattern of bad behavior--act on it immediately-don't wait confront the problem)
  14. 11. Know who you child is talking to on line and in every form of social media (do not let strangers into your devices as the potential harm is too great as you travel~ leave your children unsupervised~ or any other option over which you have no control)
  15. 12. Do not abdicate your responsibility to filters alone-be involved and present and insist on accountability (leave all device in a public part of your home at night so that teens are not on the devices all night in the privacy of their bedrooms)!
  16. My best advice to parents--Inspect what you Expect!