Help Wanted

I'm sitting on a panel this Saturday hoping to help a room full of moms of teenage girls get a better understanding of youth culture. One thing I would like to do is provide a list of "Things Every Mom Should Know About Technology" or something of the sort. I don't want it to be a listof scary stuff or a list of the evils of the internet (although I'm sure some warnings are needed), but rather just some stuff they need to know.

I'd love to get input into this, so here's my question:

What are one or two things every mom of teenage girls needs to know about technology?


James said...

How about instead of talking negatively, approach the dangers from the positive point of view that you CAN prevent/control access to the dangers of technology.

Case in point: The iBoss. Very user friendly, parental tool to allow/disallow/log/time/curfew Internet access

Jason Pogue said...

I would discuss text messaging. It is incredibly popular with today's students, and yet very dangerous as well. I have found with my own small group of jr. high guys that they say things via text that they would never say in public.

Students have also figured out that they can lock their cell phones so that nobody else can access their texts that have been sent and received.

Courtney said...

I echo Jason with Text messaging(I would also add a quick reference to txt/IM abbreviations). Tell them about urban dictionary...they can find the true meaning of slang and everyday teenage language.

They should have the passwords to everyone of thier kids accounts.

Jon said...

ok, long time listner first time poster...
this has to do more with the attitude taken towards technology rather than some specifics, but i've used these three for parents on how they view technology
1. Formation vs. Fear- don't see it as all bad but rather a chance to help form your child's choices and identity
2. Informed vs. Ignorant- we fear what we don't know, use recources and technology to your advanttave to keep up
3. Involved vs. Ignored- parents MUST be involved, see it not as an opportunity to find something bad but instead a chance to know more about your child and their world, like exactly what courtney said about having passwords

but now that i read that again, you may not want to say all that from a panel, oh well, throwing it out there anyway

Kristi said...

1. Get a myspace! I know tons of parents who have them just to keep an eye out! Not to drive their kids crazy or anaylize with an intense passion everything that their child has on there but just to keep it out in the open and honest!

2. Be smart get an unlimited Text Messaging plan... it will save you a lot of headache in the future! Trust me!

O.K. so number two is not that big of a deal but Number one I bank on! I go back and forth with a lot of parents about what they will and won't let their kid do on the internet! It's not going anywhere...so why not teach your kid to be smart with it!

brian c. berry said...

In two points:

1. subscribe to

2. talk, talk, talk, and talk some more to your teen.

Here's why I said them if it helps:

PT #1: This is my #1 resource to recommend. You can also subscribe to it as a blog or rss feed and get it automatically updated for the websavy mom. I don't know that it's "christian" and I don't know where I found it intially, but I really like what they say and find it very good. It's by a gal who authored a book on teen technology activity and such called "totally wired."

PT #2: My technology advice is old school and fits every area, but I think too many parents try to fence in technology. I'd rather see them build bridges with their kids, than walls around them. So I say:

Talk. Talk. Talk. and Talk some more to your teen. ....

then you can decide what, why, and how to use technology together. If you get stuck, then bring in an informed/trusted friend who knows more about the subject to help. Too many parents first resort to policing the internet/phone/cable... without ever helping students learn to police themselves... which is what they MUST do as young adults outside our homes in just a few years.

ok.. that's probably more than 2 cents worth. Enjoy your time on Saturday Kurt... I'll be praying for you.

Mike Conner said...

my thougts are more about placement of computers in homes. The rule for our home is the computer is in a highly visible area. No computers in children's rooms. Visibility is great form of accountibility.

Second, know your childs passwords and communicate with them. Let them know you are doing this in love and explain carefully for each bit of freedom or accountibility. Communication is huge!!

Danny Bowers said...

#1- set standards as a parent of what you view to be healthy lifestyle choices for your daughter...communicate it clearly, often and with love.

#2- be open that when they share things with you of what "friends" are talking about know they may be dealing with similar feelings/situations. Also let them talk, talk, talk to you. But through this learn to ask key questions so they know you REALLY want to know what is going on in thier life

Dan said...

Myspace and IM today = yesterdays phone calls: My middle school girls are technology/communication addicts. I will always get an immediate response from them online.

Girls are more likely to blog then guys. Blogs are the modern day diary. You want to learn what's going on? Check their blog.

Michelle said...

1-Get an account on Myspace (or Facebook or whatever SN site they use)and become their myspace friend.
2-Show an interest in their profile (they decorate it like they decorate their room)Ask what song is playing this week? Send them messages (through myspace email messaging) --Relate to them with their tools.(Caution: Some kids may not want MOM to comment them...too embarrassing!)

Scott Schlatter said...

I think that all those things are good things to talk about and maybe this might be a little late, but I think we need to address the over-reaction of parents. Students know much more about the internet then we give them credit for, and for what they don't know they go to their friends. So when it comes to knowing what our students are up to online you have to trust that you are talking to them about it and they are telling you the truth. I know this doesn't always work, but in today's day and age there are more websites, and easier access to everything and unless we are openly talking and discussing with our kids we won't know the half of what they are doing. Something to ponder is. Why freak out over bathing suit pictures, or pics of your teen girl posing "seductive, sexy, cute," whatever you want to call it. I have seen a lot of students post these type of pictures, they are looking for guys attention, and that is normal for a girl to do. The key to this though is that they are doing it online, where they can see all these guys say things that they want to hear, which usually makes them feel better about themselves and is safer then actually trying to provocative, and sexy in front of the boys themselves. With a lot of these girls I have seen them be more ok without having boyfriends, and with hanging out with more of their gilfriends through HS. I know there is the danger that it leads other places, and it's innapropriate. However, students are looking for ways to express their sexuality. To find out what makes the opposite sex tick. To find out who they are and build their self-esteem. So is it safer they do it online on myspace, or at school with real boys? I think it is a case by case situation.