Monday, April 27, 2015

Is Your Teen A Cyberbully?

Bullying has changed from the days of taking someone’s lunch money or giving them a swirly in the bathroom. Now, children are much more likely to engage in cyberbullying, or the use of electronic communication to bully a person. In fact, 20-30% of today’s children will be cyberbullied, and 10-20% of students will be cyberbullies.

However, it can be tricky for a parent to figure out if their child is experiencing cyberbullying; more than half of the children who experience cyberbullying do not tell their parents about it. And while around 55% of teens report having observed bullying behavior online, 95% report ignoring the behavior when it was observed.

There are a few tell-tale signs that can give clues that your child might be engaged in cyberbullying. For example long periods and odd hours of internet use, or changes in a child’s patterns of internet use, can signify cyberbullying. A child engaging in cyberbullying behavior might also become upset if their internet usage is confronted or cut off by their parents. Children with excessive social media accounts may be using them to follow and harass others.

Is Your Child A Cyberbully: Facts About Cyberbullying
 Courtesy of Yellow Brick Program

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Offline Parenting Can Help Your Teen Make Better Online Choices

Make time to chat offline with your teens about online safety.
Did you know that spending 15 minutes a day listening and talking with your child can help build the foundation for a strong relationship? It can also provide support for your child to come to you with a problem, such as bullying or cyberbullying.

It's true - we live in a fast paced society.  Most families either have both parents that are working or have a single parent household, so it can be difficult to even find 15 minutes of quiet time (time without interruption of digital devices) to have face-to-face conversations.

This is why we often hear experts talk about side-by-side conversations - referring to chatting in the car.  Turn-off all gadgets, including the radio.  Chat on your way to their activities.  Talk to your child about their digital lives as frequently as you would ask how their day at school was.  

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Teens Mind Your Keystrokes

As PEW Research study said that 92% of teens are online daily in their recent report, it also said 24% of teens admitting they are on constantly.

It also gave us insight to their cell phone usage.  88% of teens now have or have access to smartphones or cell phones.  90% of them text on a regular basis with an average of 30 texts per day.

With all this digital life, offline parenting is keep to helping teens make better online choices.  

Recently Signe Whitson wrote an excellent piece in Huffington Post about how to help kids and teens use their smartphones safely and prevent cyberbullying.

She offered ten strategies from having rules to netiquette.  Which is about your child's digital citizenship.

In reality, we live in a society where a digital footprint can literally determine your future. Keystrokes and the way you use them matter.




Friday, April 17, 2015

Drug Treatment Works: New Stats Prove It

Have you been struggling to make a decision for treatment with your teenager?  It can be one of the most difficult ones a parent makes.  Especially since it doesn't seem natural to send a child to residential therapy - we give birth to a bubbly happy baby - only to find ourselves facing these stressful decisions.

Now, a new study is released on drug treatment programs.
Drug Treatment That Works If you are considering residential therapy for your teenager, visit www.helpyourteens.com.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Digital Parenting and Keeping Up With Social Apps

Unplug during mealtime. Be the role model.
Parenting teens can be a challenging, however today with the addition of technology it can seem overwhelming.

How are parents supposed to keep up with the ever-growing social-app age?

Offline parenting is your best tool to online safety and helping your teen's make better choices when you are not with them.

Having the tech talk is not like the sex talk.

Talking about your child's digital life is a daily chat - one you should have frequently.  It should be as common as how was your day at school.

Ask them:
  • Have you discovered any new apps lately?  Any new sites?
  • Any new friends online?  Remind them about pause before posting.

Ask them to help you with your technology.  

Be an interested and involved parent.  You need to build their trust and open lines of communication.

One of the main reasons teens don't tell a parent or adult that they are being harassed online is the fear that the parent will make things worse for them - either by embarrassment or taking their oxygen away (their devices).

Keep in mind parents, as you are monitoring your teens, they are also watching your online social behavior.

Be an educated parent, you will have safer teens - offline and online.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Teens and Marijuana: 41% Use It Before the Age of 15

What teen's are saying.
Today more than ever, your teens will debate you on the issue of marijuana use.  Hey mom and dad, it's legal - it's good for you!

It's time for parents to be prepared for this conversation - and more important to have the conversation before the confrontation!

Drug-Free offers a free download of Marijuana Talk Kit for Parents.

Statistically speaking, 41% of teens started using marijuana before the age of 15.

Learn more today and become an educated parent.  You will have safer and healthier teens.