My children are convinced that I work for the CIA. In some ways, I think I might be qualified by the time they graduate. For security reasons, I can’t reveal all my secrets, but this week I thought that I would pass on what I have learned to any other parent trying to keep up with incredibly resourceful teens.
Did you know….
1. Smart Limits are often stupid
If you think that technology is always your friend, think again. I think somewhere a bunch of teenagers are running Smart Limit programs and laughing. If you have set a text limit for your child, you must realize that texts sent using WIFI are not counted. Neither are any group MMS. It is helpful for shutting down text or phone use (as if teens actually talk) at different times, but just beware.
2. Your teen might just be using an old phone of yours when they are grounded from theirs… check your junk drawer!
3. Just because their text app shows they have not been texting means nothing.
There are free texting apps that students download so they can have plenty of conversations that you might not be checking.
4. SNAPCHAT is bad news.
I assume this is old news as well, but in case you are new to this phone thing… you might want to know. This app allows text and pictures to be sent and then automatically deleted after a few seconds. Some use this innocently, but others use it to send inappropriate pictures.
5. Just because your child “never would” does not mean you can put your guard down.
Chris and I require phones to be checked weekly and no texts to be deleted between viewings. A check of Twitter periodically brings up pictures that make us gasp. Girls in 2014 are more forward than I can even comprehend. Having both a girl and boy, I urge you as a parent for the sake of your children and your friends’ children, do not turn your back and avoid the phone issue. You need to know what your son or daughter sends to other people.
6. Keep it public
Twitter has an option to make your account Public or Private. If there is something your teen wants to post that they don’t want the whole world to see, then they probably should not post it. I highly recommend requiring your student’s accounts be required to be public. I wish I had been clued into this earlier.
Is it a pain to be up on all this? Absolutely. The reality, however, is that technology is way ahead of our student’s maturity. Our parents never heard all the stupid things we said but neither did our immaturity have the ability to cause so many to stumble. Invest some time in learning about social media and invest more time keeping an open dialogue with your student about how they conduct themselves in cyberspace.