Being a parent is one of the most rewarding and challenging things that you will ever do in your life. Helping your babies transform into healthy and productive adults is a long process that can get complicated along the way. While you are likely to receive advice and reflect back on your own childhood to help guide your decision making processes, there are some things that are very different than when you were a youngster.
The teenagers of today have more access to technology than their parents ever dreamed of at the same age. Not only do teens have computers and cell phones, they know how to use them, sometimes better than their parents! Previously, parents were generally the more experienced no matter what topic arose. However, the technological devices of today are far different from the ones available just a decade or two in the past.
Kids today use their computers and mobile devices to speak to each other. Not only is it common for them to send direct text messages via their phones, social media for teens is among the most popular way for these members of society to communicate with each other. There are many different sites and ways to use them to speak to others. The specific ones your kids decide to use will depend on many factors, most particularly what those in their peer groups deem appropriate.
Many of the sites allow for the users to post messages and to respond to messages that have been sent by their contacts on the site. Usually when a person goes to the website they will see a feed of the latest things that have been added by their friends and others that they choose to follow, such as celebrities or venues. This keeps them up to date on what all of their friends are up to and lets them know if anything is going on that they want to get involved in.
Some sites focus on text messages while others encourage the use of videos or images to be exchanged. No matter what it is that your teen is sharing via these social media for teens sites, you need to stress the importance of being careful in what they share and with whom.
Kids have gotten into trouble recently for sending inappropriate photos to other teens of them being partially or completely unclothed. This is against the law across the country, and in some states there are very strict laws regarding the distribution of underage nude photos. One or more of the people involved in such behavior could be forced to register as a sexual predator, which will hamper job opportunities and much more for the rest of their lives.
Additionally, you should make sure that you pay attention to what your kids are doing. Check their site usage and talk to them about the kinds of content they see online and what they share. You can also make accounts at the same sites that your teens use for social media in order to keep an eye on their activities. However, they can always alter the information that is sent your way, so you will have minimal information to gather in this manner.
This is also a good opportunity to teach your teens about being careful when making agreements. While nobody really enjoys reading the terms of service at a website, you should let the kids know how important it is to understand things such as who owns the content that is posted and who has access to viewing the data. After all, it is never too early to start considering privacy and security!
Social media for teens is likely to continue to be a popular method for them to communicate with each other and to gain more information about the world. Not only can they find the latest hairstyles and great local restaurants, they have the same opportunity to post their opinions and experiences as adults. This can be a liberating experience for them as they learn to express their individual voice.
Handling social media is one more part of raising your kids to make sure they are prepared for adulthood. Make sure you keep communication about it open and honest.