Two authors that I trust when it comes to today's issues with raising your kids are Connie Neal and the author of "Logged On and Tuned Out"--Vicki Courtney. Both are moms just like me, who want to protect their kids from the evil, and who took steps to educate themselves about the technology our kids deal with every day.
Vicki's book tackles topics such as instant messaging (IM'ing), cell phone usage, social networking sites (we have more to think about than just MySpace these days, parents!) and more.
In the wake of the Vanessa Hudgens scandal (hey, those were PRIVATE photos!) and the recent Miss America debacle, she also talkes about pictures and videos on the world wide web (i.e., YouTube and Facebook).
This is a HUGE help in knowing what your teen is exposed to and tempted by, as well as how to not throw the baby out with the bathwater. Vicki does NOT take a stand for or against any particular tech-toy...she informs us and we make the call in our own homes.
And lest you think this is not an issue for you...beware...
We had a rule in our home...no MySpace. Our oldest said, "Ok," then went to a friend's home and signed up on their computer. We tell our kids, "No texting...it costs money," and they say, "Ok", and then get anonymous and obscene texts that sometimes scare them. We told our son, "No internet chat rooms." He said, "Ok," and then started playing a game online with a friend, who introduced him to this friend and that friend...and they all chatted while they played.
It can happen...sometimes deceitfully, sometimes innocently...and sometimes accidentally.
I myself have an account at MySpace and at Facebook, as well as a few other sites. I check my cell phone bill over carefully, and when I see text messaging charges, I know who's phone and I know who to talk to.
We can't guard them 24/7...(praise God He is ALWAYS there)! But we can become more tech-savvy and more watchful...and give them good guidelines BEFORE they are out on their own that may one day save them from harm.
If you have kids at home, you need this book. If you have grandkids you're concerned about, you need this book. If you work with kids, you need this book. If you KNOW someone with kids...you get the point, right??
To read a sample of this new tool in our parental toolbox, click on the book image above.
I'm giving "Logged On and Tuned Out" five out of five bookmarks with a teensy, tiny cellphone charm...but we don't have unlimited texting...so watch your minutes, people!