“You mean they’re talking this way, at age twelve?” a shocked parent asked after I told her about an inappropriate conversation in which her child was involved.
Are you aware of what kids your age are talking about?
From Elvis to twerking, generations of parents have struggled with understanding the world their kids live in. It’s easy to turn a frightened eye, but your kids need you to be involved and aware of their world, even if they push against it.
Your kids’ world is expanding faster than you can keep up. You have to worry about more these days with digital and social media. Even if you kept your kids locked in their rooms until college, they’ll still hear, see, and experience things that would mortify you. Being aware and engaged in your teen and tween’s environment is crucial for navigating and equipping them to make good choices.
Some strategies for being aware of the challenges they face include:
1. Being involved in the social media venues and apps they’re using. Have active accounts where they are. Know how they work, and be aware of potential dangers. Require your child’s passwords when they set them up accounts. Be respectful of their space by being a silent presence in these worlds. Don’t write embarrassing messages on their wall. Let them know you’re “there,” not because you mistrust them, but because it’s the same as knowing who their “real time” friends are and where they hang out. You’re still the gatekeeper for their soul.
2. Read the rest here at 10 to 20 Parenting.