I recently wrote about the Digital Diaries Project published by AVG for the teens age group. Click here to read the findings of the teen digital diary studies. AVG, a leading provider of Internet and online security, also provided me with tips for parents of teens.
Tips for parents from AVG
1. Open the lines of communication: Be prepared to have an open and honest conversation with your child. Explain why this is important to them and that you are not attempting to invade their privacy, but rather help them prepare for their future.
2. Address the behaviors: AVG never recommends parents condoning risky behaviors, but with teenagers, it’s inevitable. If you are lucky enough to have raised a little angel, don’t forget that you didn’t raise their friends. This is why it’s important to acknowledge that your teen might be exposed to parties or other situations where pictures or check-ins could appear incriminating. Explain the significance of a photograph being posted on a social network, and how easy it is just not to say “cheese”.
3. Explain the significance of their digital footprint: college applications, future jobs, even relationships are all at stake. Have a serious chat with your teen on this subject, and let them know that that their social media presence is 100% in their control.
4. Understand how Facebook works: In order for you to effectively communicate, you need to understand the dynamics of how this network works, and exactly how one’s status update or check-in could affect their image. You are not going to be able to communicated the importance of certain actions, unless you actually understand it yourself.
5. Test yourself: Social media may be a new concept for many parents, and difficult to understand. Make sure that you are aware of all of the different technologies that your teen is using in order to access social media. Unsure? Take this quiz by AVG to gauge your knowledge and determine where it would be wise to learn a little more.
You can continue to keep up with how technology is changing children and teens, by following the Digital Diaries Tumblr blog.
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