Tag Archives: Texting

American Academy of Pediatrics study: Third and fourth graders who own cell phones are more likely to be cyberbullied

18 Sep

Technology can be used for information gathering and to keep people connected. Some people use social media to torment others. Children can be devastated by thoughtless, mean, and unkind comments posted at social media sites. Some of the comments may be based upon rumor and may even be untrue. The effect on a particular child can be devastating. Because of the potential for harm, many parents worry about cyberbullying on social media sites. Moi wrote about bullying in Ohio State University study: Characteristics of kids who are bullies:

A Rotary Club in London has a statement about the Ripple Effect
Ripple Effect – Sending Waves of Goodness into the World
Like a drop of water falling into a pond, our every action ripples outward, affecting other lives in ways both obvious and unseen.
We touch the lives of those with whom we come into contact and, by extension, those with whom they come into contact.
When our actions spring from a spirit of kindness or compassion or generosity, we set into motion a “virtuous cycle” that radiates far beyond our ability to see, or perhaps even fully comprehend.
Just as a smile is infectious, so are more overt forms of service. Our objective — whether in something as formal as a highly-structured website development project or as casual as the spontaneous small kindnesses we share with strangers in hopes of brightening their day — is to send waves of positive change in the world, one act of service at a time.
Unfortunately, some children due to a variety of behaviors in their lives miss the message of the “Ripple Effect.” https://drwilda.com/2012/03/13/ohio-state-university-study-characteristics-of-kids-who-are-bullies/

Science Daily reported in Third and fourth graders who own cell phones are more likely to be cyberbullied:

Most research on cyberbullying has focused on adolescents. But a new study that examined cell phone ownership among children in third to fifth grades finds they may be particularly vulnerable to cyberbullying.
The study abstract, “Cell Phone Ownership and Cyberbullying in 8-11 Year Olds: New Research,” will be presented Monday, Sept. 18 at the American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference & Exhibition in Chicago.
Researchers collected survey data on 4,584 students in grades 3, 4 and 5 between 2014 and 2016. Overall, 9.5 percent of children reported being a victim of cyberbullying. Children who owned cell phones were significantly more likely to report being a victim of cyberbullying, especially in grades 3 and 4….
Across all three grades, 49.6 of students reported owning a cell phone. The older the student, the more likely to report cell phone ownership: 59.8 percent of fifth graders, 50.6 percent of fourth graders, and 39.5 percent of third graders reported owning their own cell phone. Cell phone owners in grades three and four were more likely to report being a victim of cyberbullying. Across all three grades, more cell phone owners admitted they have been a cyberbully themselves.
According to the researchers, the increased risk of cyberbullying related to phone ownership could be tied to increased opportunity and vulnerability. Continuous access to social media and texting increases online interactions, provides more opportunities to engage both positively and negatively with peers, and increases the chance of an impulsive response to peers’ postings and messages…. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/09/170915095228.htm

Citation:

Third and fourth graders who own cell phones are more likely to be cyberbullied
Research to be presented at the 2017 American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference & Exhibition finds that they are also likely to be bullies too
Date: September 15, 2017
Source: American Academy of Pediatrics
Summary:
New research suggests elementary school-age children who own cell phones may be particularly vulnerable to cyberbullying.

Here is the press release from the American Academy of Pediatrics:

Third and Fourth Graders Who Own Cell Phones are More Likely to be Cyberbullied
9/15/2017
Research to be presented at the 2017 American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference & Exhibition finds that they are also likely to be bullies too.
CHICAGO – Most research on cyberbullying has focused on adolescents. But a new study that examined cell phone ownership among children in third to fifth grades finds they may be particularly vulnerable to cyberbullying.
The study abstract, “Cell Phone Ownership and Cyberbullying in 8-11 Year Olds: New Research,” will be presented Monday, Sept. 18 at the American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference & Exhibition in Chicago.
Researchers collected survey data on 4,584 students in grades 3, 4 and 5 between 2014 and 2016. Overall, 9.5 percent of children reported being a victim of cyberbullying. Children who owned cell phones were significantly more likely to report being a victim of cyberbullying, especially in grades 3 and 4.
“Parents often cite the benefits of giving their child a cell phone, but our research suggests that giving young children these devices may have unforeseen risks as well,” said Elizabeth K. Englander, Ph.D., a professor of psychology at Bridgewater State University in Bridgewater, Mass.
Across all three grades, 49.6 of students reported owning a cell phone. The older the student, the more likely to report cell phone ownership: 59.8 percent of fifth graders, 50.6 percent of fourth graders, and 39.5 percent of third graders reported owning their own cell phone. Cell phone owners in grades three and four were more likely to report being a victim of cyberbullying. Across all three grades, more cell phone owners admitted they have been a cyberbully themselves.
According to the researchers, the increased risk of cyberbullying related to phone ownership could be tied to increased opportunity and vulnerability. Continuous access to social media and texting increases online interactions, provides more opportunities to engage both positively and negatively with peers, and increases the chance of an impulsive response to peers’ postings and messages.
Englander suggests that this research is a reminder for parents to consider the risks as well as the benefits when deciding whether to provide their elementary school-aged child with a cell phone.
“At the very least, parents can engage in discussions and education with their child about the responsibilities inherent in owning a mobile device, and the general rules for communicating in the social sphere,” Englander said.
Englander will present the abstract, available below, on Monday, Sept.18, from 5:10 p.m. to 6 p.m. CT in McCormick Place West, Room S106. To request an interview with Dr. Englander, contact eenglander@bridgew.edu or 508-531-1784.
Please note: only the abstract is being presented at the meeting. In some cases, the researcher may have more data available to share with media, or may be preparing a longer article for submission to a journal.
# # #
The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 66,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults. For more information, visit http://www.aap.org.

Abstract Title: Cell Phone Ownership and Cyberbullying in 8-11 Year Olds: New Research
The study of cyberbullying has most often focused on adolescents. This study examined survey data on 4,584 students in grades 3, 4 and 5, gathered between late 2014 and 2016, as schools opted to survey their students about bullying and cyberbullying. Most, but not all, schools participating were in Massachusetts. Altogether, 49.6% of students reported owning their own cell phone. Older students were significantly more likely to report ownership; 59.8% of fifth graders, 50.6% of fourth graders, and 39.5% of third graders reported owning their own cell phone. Younger children were less able to define the term “cyberbullying” correctly, but 9.5% of all children reported being a victim of cyberbullying. Cell phone owners were significantly more likely to report being a victim of cyberbullying, but this was only true for children in Grades 3 and 4. Although fewer students overall (5.8%) admitted to cyberbullying their peers, more cell phone owners admitted to cyberbullying, and this was true for all three grades (3, 4 and 5). When bullying in school was studied, only the third graders were significantly more likely to be bullied in school if they were cell phone owners, although both third and fourth grade cell phone owners were more likely to admit to bullying. Overall, cell phone ownership was more strongly related to cyberbullying (vs. traditional bullying) and the observed relationships were stronger among younger subjects (those in fourth, and especially third, grade).
https://www.aap.org/en-us/about-the-aap/aap-press-room/Pages/Third-and-Fourth-Graders-Who-Own-Cell-Phones-are-More-Likely-to-be-Cyberbullied.aspx

See, Kids Who Bully May Be More Likely to Smoke, Drink http://news.yahoo.com/kids-bully-may-more-likely-smoke-drink-170405321.html

Teri Christensen , Senior Vice President & Director of Field Operations at The Partnership at Drugfree.org wrote some excellent rules for helping kids develop healthy friendships.
Christensen suggests the following rules:

Here are 8 ways to encourage healthy friendships:
1. Regularly talk about what true friendship means – and the qualities that are important in a friend.
2. Help your child recognize behaviors that do not make a good friend.
3. Let your child know if you disapprove of one of his or her friends (or a group of friends) and explain why.
4. Try to be a good role model and use your own relationships to show how healthy friendships look and feel.
5. Get to know the parents of your children’s friends.
6. Talk to your child frequently — about everything from events of the day to his hope and dreams to dealing with peer pressure.
7. Know who your kids are hanging out with. (I don’t make my girls feel like I am being nosy but I do let them know that I have the right to check their phones, email and text messages should I feel the need to.)
8. Remind your child that that you are always there to lend an ear.
To me, a good friend is someone you can always count on. Someone who is there in the good times and bad. A true friend loves you for who you are and does not change how she feels based on what other people think.

Related Links:

When You Don’t Like Your Teenager’s Friends https://childdevelopmentinfo.com/ages-stages/teenager-adolescent-development-parenting/when-you-dont-like-your-teens-friends/

Talking About Sexting https://www.commonsensemedia.org/blog/talking-about-sexting

Teenage Girls and Cyber-Bullying https://www.girlshealth.gov/bullying/

How to Get Your Teen to Open Up and Talk to You More (and Text A Little Less) https://www.hhs.gov/ash/oah/resources-and-training/for-families/conversation-tools/index.html

Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART©
http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda Reviews ©
http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda ©
https://drwilda.com/

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University of Southern California study: Teen who receive sexts six times more likely to engage in sex

1 Jul

We live in a society with few personal controls and even fewer people recognize boundaries which should govern their behavior and how they treat others. Common Sense Media has some great resources for parents about teaching children how to use media responsibly. Their information Talking About “Sexting” is excellent.

That picture’s not as private as you think
• 22% of teen girls and 20% of teen boys have sent nude or semi-nude photos of themselves over the Internet or their phones.
• 22% of teens admit that technology makes them personally more forward and aggressive.
• 38% of teens say exchanging sexy content makes dating or hooking up with others more likely.
• 29% of teens believe those exchanging sexy content are “expected” to date or hook up.
• (All of the above are from CosmoGirl and the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, 2009.)
Advice for Parents
• Don’t wait for an incident to happen to your child or your child’s friend before you talk about the consequences of sexting. Sure, talking about sex or dating with teens can be uncomfortable, but it’s better to have the talk before something happens.
• Remind your kids that once an image is sent, it can never be retrieved — and they will lose control of it. Ask teens how they would feel if their teachers, parents, or the entire school saw the picture, because that happens all the time.
• Talk about pressures to send revealing photos. Let teens know that you understand how they can be pushed or dared into sending something. Tell them that no matter how big the social pressure is, the potential social humiliation can be hundreds of times worse.
• Teach your children that the buck stops with them. If someone sends them a photo, they should delete it immediately. It’s better to be part of the solution than the problem. Besides, if they do send it on, they’re distributing pornography — and that’s against the law.
• Check out ThatsNotCool.com. It’s a fabulous site that gives kids the language and support to take texting and cell phone power back into their own hands. It’s also a great resource for parents who are uncomfortable dealing directly with this issue. https://www.commonsensemedia.org/blog/talking-about-sexting?utm_source=newsletter02.17.11&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=feature1-text

Common Sense Media has other great resources. Parent must monitor their child’s use of technology.

Science Daily reported in the article, Young teens who receive sexts are six times more likely to report having had sex:

A study from USC researchers provides new understanding of the relationship between “sexting” and sexual behavior in early adolescence, contributing to an ongoing national conversation about whether sexually explicit text messaging is a risk behavior or just a technologically-enabled extension of normal teenage flirtation. The latest research, published in the July 2014 issue of the journal Pediatrics, found that among middle school students, those who reported receiving a sext were 6 times more likely to also report being sexually active….. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140630094751.htm

Citation:

Sexting and Sexual Behavior Among Middle School Students
1. Eric Rice, PhDa,
2. Jeremy Gibbs, MSWa,
3. Hailey Winetrobe, MPHa,
4. Harmony Rhoades, PhDa,
5. Aaron Plant, MPHb,
6. Jorge Montoya, PhDb, and
7. Timothy Kordic, MAc
+ Author Affiliations
1. aSchool of Social Work, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California;
2. bSentient Research, Los Angeles, California; and
3. cLos Angeles Unified School District, Los Angeles, California
Abstract
OBJECTIVE: It is unknown if “sexting” (ie, sending/receiving sexually explicit cell phone text or picture messages) is associated with sexual activity and sexual risk behavior among early adolescents, as has been found for high school students. To date, no published data have examined these relationships exclusively among a probability sample of middle school students.
METHODS: A probability sample of 1285 students was collected alongside the 2012 Youth Risk Behavior Survey in Los Angeles middle schools. Logistic regressions assessed the correlates of sexting behavior and associations between sexting and sexual activity and risk behavior (ie, unprotected sex).
RESULTS: Twenty percent of students with text-capable cell phone access reported receiving a sext and 5% reported sending a sext. Students who text at least 100 times per day were more likely to report both receiving (odds ratio [OR]: 2.4) and sending (OR: 4.5) sexts and to be sexually active (OR: 4.1). Students who sent sexts (OR: 3.2) and students who received sexts (OR: 7.0) were more likely to report sexual activity. Compared with not being sexually active, excessive texting and receiving sexts were associated with both unprotected sex (ORs: 4.7 and 12.1, respectively) and with condom use (ORs: 3.7 and 5.5, respectively).
CONCLUSIONS: Because early sexual debut is correlated with higher rates of sexually transmitted infections and teen pregnancies, pediatricians should discuss sexting with young adolescents because this may facilitate conversations about sexually transmitted infection and pregnancy prevention. Sexting and associated risks should be considered for inclusion in middle school sex education curricula.
Key Words:
• sexting
• sexual risk
• middle school
• adolescents
• cell phone
• Accepted April 17, 2014.
• Copyright © 2014 by the American Academy of Pediatrics
1. Published online June 30, 2014

(doi: 10.1542/peds.2013-2991)
1. » AbstractFree
2. Full Text (PDF)Free http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2014/06/25/peds.2013-2991.full.pdf+html
Young teens who receive sexts are six times more likely to report having had sex
Date: June 30, 2014
Source: University of Southern California
Summary:
A study provides new understanding of the relationship between ‘sexting’ and sexual behavior in early adolescence, contributing to the ongoing conversation about whether sexually explicit text messaging is a risk behavior or just a technologically enabled extension of normal teenage flirtation. The latest research found that among middle school students, those who reported receiving a sext were six times more likely to also report being sexually active.

Here is the press release from the University of Southern California:

Tweens and teens who receive sexts are 6 times more likely to report having had sex
Study shows that middle school students who send more than 100 texts a day are also more likely to be sexually active
Contact: Suzanne Wu at suzanne.wu@usc.edu or (213) 503-3410; Tanya Abrams at tanyaabr@usc.edu or (213) 740-6973
LOS ANGELES — EMBARGOED UNTIL Sunday, June 29, 9 p.m. PT/Monday, June 30, 12:01 a.m. ET — A study from USC researchers provides new understanding of the relationship between “sexting” and sexual behavior in early adolescence, contributing to an ongoing national conversation about whether sexually explicit text messaging is a risk behavior or just a technologically-enabled extension of normal teenage flirtation. The latest research, published in the July 2014 issue of the journal Pediatrics, found that among middle school students, those who reported receiving a sext were 6 times more likely to also report being sexually active.
While past research has examined sexting and sexual behavior among high school students and young adults, the researchers were particularly interested in young teens, as past data has shown clear links between early sexual debut and risky sexual behavior, including teenage pregnancy, sex under the influence of drugs or alcohol, experience of forced sex and higher risk of sexually transmitted disease.
“These findings call attention to the need to train health educators, pediatricians and parents on how best to communicate with young adolescents about sexting in relation to sexual behavior,” said lead author Eric Rice, assistant professor at the USC School of Social Work. “The sexting conversation should occur as soon as the child acquires a cell phone.”
The study anonymously sampled more than 1,300 middle school students in Los Angeles as part of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Youth Risk Behavior Survey. Respondents ranged in age from 10-15, with an average age of 12.3 years. The researchers found that even when controlling for sexting behaviors, young teens who sent more than 100 texts a day were more likely to report being sexually active. Other key findings:
• Young teens who sent sexts were almost 4 times more likely to report being sexually active.
• Sending and receiving sexts went hand-in-hand: Those who reported receiving a sext were 23 times more likely to have also sent one.
• Students who identified as LGBTQ were 9 times more likely to have sent a sext.
• However, unlike past research on high school students, LGBTQ young adolescents were not more likely to be sexually active, the study showed.
• Youth who texted more than 100 times a day were more than twice as likely to have received a sext and almost 4.5 times more likely to report having sent a sext.
The researchers acknowledge that despite anonymity, the data is self-reported and thus subject to social desirability bias, as well as limitations for geographic area and the diverse demographics of Los Angeles. However, the dramatic correlation between students who sent sexts and reported sexual activity indicates the need for further research and summons attention to the relationship between technology use and sexual behavior among early adolescents, the researchers say.
“Our results show that excessive, unlimited or unmonitored texting seems to enable sexting,” Rice said. “Parents may wish to openly monitor their young teen’s cell phone, check in with them about who they are communicating with, and perhaps restrict their number of texts allowed per month.”
Overall, 20 percent of students with text-capable cell phones said they had ever received a sext, and 5 percent report sending a sext. The researchers defined “sext” in their survey as a sexually suggestive text or photo.
Jeremy Gibbs, Hailey Winetrobe and Harmony Rhoades of the USC School of Social Work were co-authors of the study. The data collection was supported by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (grant 5U87DP001201-04).
For the embargoed PDF of the study, contact the American Academy of Pediatrics at commun@app.org. To arrange an interview with a researcher, contact USC News at uscnews@usc.edu.

In truth, a close relationship with your child will probably be more effective than spying. Put down that Blackberry, iPhone, and Droid and try connecting with your child. You should not only know who your children’s friends are, but you should know the parents of your children’s friends. Many parents have the house where all the kids hang out because they want to know what is going on with their kids. Often parents volunteer to chauffeur kids because that gives them the opportunity to listen to what kids are talking about. It is important to know the values of the families of your kid’s friends. Do they furnish liquor to underage kids, for example? How do they feel about teen sex and is their house the place where kids meet for sex? See, 10 Tips for Talking to Teens About Sex, Drugs & Alcohol which was posted at the Partnership for A Drug-Free America http://www.drugfree.org/10-tips-for-talking-to-teens-about-sex-drugs-alcohol/

So, in answer to the question should you spy on your Kids? Depends on the child. Some children are more susceptible to peer pressure and impulsive behavior than others. They will require more and possibly more intrusive direction. Others really are free range children and have the resources and judgment to make good decisions in a variety of circumstances. Even within a family there will be different needs and abilities. The difficulty for parents is to make the appropriate judgments and still give each child the feeling that they have been treated fairly. Still, for some kids, it is not out of line for parents to be snoops, they just might save the child and themselves a lot of heartache. https://drwilda.com/2012/06/07/talking-to-your-teen-about-risky-behaviors/

Resources:

Sexting Information: What every parent should know about sexting.
http://www.noslang.com/sexting.php

Social Networking and Internet Safety Information for Parents: Sexting
http://internet-safety.yoursphere.com/sexting/

Teen Sexting Tips
http://www.safeteens.com/teen-sexting-tips/
Related:

New study about ‘sexting’ and teens
https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/12/05/new-study-about-sexting-and-teens/

Sexting’ during school hours
https://drwilda.com/2012/08/05/sexting-during-school-hours/

Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART© http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda Reviews © http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda © https://drwilda.com/

Study: Teens who are ‘sexting’ more likely to engage in risky sexual behavior

17 Sep

Moi wrote in What parents need to know about ‘texting’:                                     Parents must talk to their children about the appropriate use of technology.                                                                                              Jessica Citizen (Tecca) has a very parent-friendly Time article, 92 Teen Text Terms Decoded for Confused Parents:

These days, teens are texting more than ever, but the advent of QWERTY smartphone keyboards, predictive text, autocorrect, and the removal of message character limits should allow young social butterflies the opportunity to type full, real words. However, the confusing shorthand continues to live on anyway. With the help of Twitter, the microblogging site that still limits each post to a mere 140 characters, abbreviated slang appears to be here to stay. http://techland.time.com/2012/05/03/92-teen-text-terms-decoded-for-confused-parents/#ixzz1tvyDjnEp

Citizen includes a list of the most popular terms in her article.

For those who are unable or unwilling to set and observe personal boundaries, Apple just may bail you out. Alexia Tsotsis is reporting at Tech Crunch, Apple Patents Anti-Sexting Device So, for the stupid and truly clueless, looks like Apple is about to come to your rescue. Common Sense Media has some great resources for parents about teaching children how to use media responsibly. Their information about Talking About “Sexting” is excellent.

We live in a society with few personal controls and even fewer people recognize boundaries which should govern their behavior and how they treat others. Aretha Franklin had it right when girlfriend belted out, “Respect.”

In my day, we didn’t have self-esteem, we had self-respect, and no more of it than we had earned.

~Jane Haddam

https://drwilda.com/2012/05/04/what-parents-need-to-know-about-texting/

Laura Mc Mullen writes in the Health Buzz article, Sexting Teens More Likely to Have Risky Sex:

Study: One in Seven Los Angeles Teens Has Sexted

Sexting is once again linked to risky sexual behavior among teens in a study released today in the journal Pediatrics. One out of every seven Los Angeles teenagers surveyed for the study has sent a sexually-explicit text or photo, the study revealed, and those “sexters” are more likely to be engaging in unsafe sex, as in unprotected or under the influence. “What we really wanted to know is, is there a link between sexting and taking risks with your body? And the answer is a pretty resounding ‘yes,'” Eric Rice, sudy author and assistant professor at the University of Southern California’s School of Social Work, told Reuters. http://health.usnews.com/health-news/articles/2012/09/17/health-buzz-sexting-teens-more-likely-to-have-risky-sex

Citation:

Sexually Explicit Cell Phone Messaging Associated With Sexual Risk Among Adolescents

  1. Eric Rice, PhDa,
  2. Harmony Rhoades, PhDa,
  3. Hailey Winetrobe, MPHa,
  4. Monica Sanchez, MAb,
  5. Jorge Montoya, PhDc,
  6. Aaron Plant, MPHc, and
  7. Timothy Kordic, MAd

+ Author Affiliations

  1. aSchool of Social Work, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California;
  2. bDepartment of Psychology, Clark University, Worcester, Massachusetts;
  3. cSentient Research, Los Angeles, California; and
  4. dLos Angeles Unified School District, Los Angeles, California
    Abstract
    OBJECTIVES: Sexting (sending/receiving sexually explicit texts and images via cell phone) may be associated with sexual health consequences among adolescents. However, to date, no published data from a probability-based sample has examined associations between sexting and sexual activity.
    METHODS: A probability sample of 1839 students was collected alongside the 2011 Youth Risk Behavior Survey in Los Angeles high schools. Logistic regressions were used to assess the correlates of sexting behavior and associations between sexting and sexual risk-taking.
    RESULTS: Fifteen percent of adolescents with cell phone access reported sexting, and 54% reported knowing someone who had sent a sext. Adolescents whose peers sexted were more likely to sext themselves (odds ratio [OR] = 16.87, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 9.62–29.59). Adolescents who themselves sexted were more likely to report being sexually active (OR = 7.17, 95% CI: 5.01–10.25). Nonheterosexual students were more likely to report sexting (OR = 2.74, 95% CI: 1.86–4.04), sexual activity (OR = 1.52, 95% CI: 1.07–2.15), and unprotected sex at last sexual encounter (OR = 1.84, 95% CI: 1.17–2.89).
    CONCLUSIONS: Sexting, rather than functioning as an alternative to “real world” sexual risk behavior, appears to be part of a cluster of risky sexual behaviors among adolescents. We recommend that clinicians discuss sexting as an adolescent-friendly way of engaging patients in conversations about sexual activity, prevention of sexually transmitted infections, and unwanted pregnancy. We further recommend that discussion about sexting and its associated risk behavior be included in school-based sexual health curricula.

Key Words:

Abbreviations:

CI —
confidence interval
LAUSD —
Los Angeles Unified School District
LGBTQ —
lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning/unsure
OR —
odds ratio
STIs —
sexually transmitted infections
YRBS —
Youth Risk Behavior Survey
  • Accepted May 21, 2012.
  • Copyright © 2012 by the American Academy of Pediatrics

http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2012/09/12/peds.2012-0021.abstract

Moi wrote in Talking to your teen about risky behaviors:

Many parents want tips about how to talk with their kids about risky behaviors and whether they should spy on their children.

Perhaps the best advice comes from Carleton Kendrick in the Family Education article, Spying on Kids

Staying connected

So how do you make sure your teens are on the straight and narrow? You can’t. And don’t think you can forbid them to experiment with risky behavior. That’s what they’re good at during this stage, along with testing your limits. You can help them stay healthy, safe, and secure by doing the following:

  • Keep communicating with your teens, even if they don’t seem to be listening. Talk about topics that interest them.

  • Respect and ask their opinions.

  • Give them privacy. That doesn’t mean you can’t knock on their door when you want to talk.

  • Set limits on their behavior based on your values and principles. They will grudgingly respect you for this.

  • Continually tell them and show them you believe in who they are rather than what they accomplish.

  • Seek professional help if your teen’s abnormal behaviors last more than three weeks.

A 1997 landmark adolescent health study, which interviewed over 12,000 teenagers, concluded that the single greatest protection against high-risk teenage behavior, like substance abuse and suicide, is a strong emotional connection to a parent. Tough as it may be, you should always try to connect with them. And leave the spying to James Bond. It will only drive away the children you wish to bring closer.

In truth, a close relationship with your child will probably be more effective than spying. Put down that Blackberry, iPhone, and Droid and try connecting with your child. You should not only know who your children’s friends are, but you should know the parents of your children’s friends. Many parents have the house where all the kids hang out because they want to know what is going on with their kids. Often parents volunteer to chauffeur kids because that gives them the opportunity to listen to what kids are talking about. It is important to know the values of the families of your kid’s friends. Do they furnish liquor to underage kids, for example?  How do they feel about teen sex and is their house the place where kids meet for sex?Lisa Frederiksen has written the excellent article, 10 Tips for Talking to Teens About Sex, Drugs & Alcohol  which was posted at the Partnership for A Drug-Free America

So, in answer to the question should you spy on your Kids? Depends on the child. Some children are more susceptible to peer pressure and impulsive behavior than others. They will require more and possibly more intrusive direction. Others really are free range children and have the resources and judgment to make good decisions in a variety of circumstances. Even within a family there will be different needs and abilities. The difficulty for parents is to make the appropriate judgments and still give each child the feeling that they have been treated fairly. Still, for some kids, it is not out of line for parents to be snoops, they just might save the child and themselves a lot of heartache. https://drwilda.com/2012/06/07/talking-to-your-teen-about-risky-behaviors/

Resources:

Sexting Information: What every parent should know about sexting.                                                                                                                                     http://www.noslang.com/sexting.php

Social Networking and Internet Safety Information for Parents: Sexting                                                                                                                                     http://internet-safety.yoursphere.com/sexting/

Teen Sexting Tips                                                                                 http://www.safeteens.com/teen-sexting-tips/

Related:

New study about ‘sexting’ and teens                        https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/12/05/new-study-about-sexting-and-teens/

Sexting’ during school hours                                                           https://drwilda.com/2012/08/05/sexting-during-school-hours/

CDC report: Contraceptive use among teens                             https://drwilda.com/2012/07/24/cdc-report-contraceptive-use-among-teens/

Title IX also mandates access to education for pregnant students                                                                     https://drwilda.com/2012/06/19/title-ix-also-mandates-access-to-education-for-pregnant-students/

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Is ‘texting’ destroying literacy skills

30 Jul

In Cultural literacy: Is there necessary core knowledge to be academically successful? Moi said:

Back in the day there was this book entitled “Cultural Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know.” It was published in 1988 and was written by E.D. Hirsch, Jr. Moi liked the concept, some others, not so much. “Cultural Literacy” is defined by Education. Com:

Having sufficient common knowledge, i.e., educational background, experiences, basic skills, and training, to function competently in a given society (the greater the level of comprehension of the given society’s habits, attitudes, history, etc., the higher the level of cultural literacy). http://www.education.com/definition/cultural-literacy/

Marci Kanstroom wrote E.D. Hirsch, Cultural Literacy and American Democracy which was published in Education Next liked the concept. http://educationnext.org/e-d-hirsch-cultural-literacy-and-american-democracy/ Others, like Patrick Scott criticized the concept in articles like Scott’s A Few Words More about E. D. Hirsch and Cultural Literacy. http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/378146?uid=3739960&uid=2129&uid=2&uid=70&uid=4&uid=3739256&sid=55881093943 Scott takes issue with Hirsch’s criticism of education icons Dewey and the NEA.

Bernard Schweitzer wrote an interesting 2009 piece for the NEA, Cultural Literacy: Is It Time to Revisit the Debate?

Some will say, “What’s so wrong with being unable to pick up references to a few historical figures, most of them dead White males? Our students are equipped with vibrant local cultural knowledges of their own.” Others will caution me not to expect too much from freshmen, saying that it is my job to ensure that they leave the academy armed with a degree of common knowledge that they may not have when entering it. Yet others may be more concerned, agreeing that while a basic fund of knowledge should be expected of freshmen, my students are perhaps performing so poorly on general knowledge issues because most of them come from underprivileged socio-economic backgrounds (e.g., poor inner-city high schools) and diverse ethnic backgrounds (e.g., immigrants). But here’s the rub. If undergraduate students have never heard of Gandhi, Orwell, or Thoreau (or have no reason to remember them), they obviously have such a huge gap in general knowledge that four years of college education are not likely to make up for what has been missing since middle school. Although I may strive diligently to fill those gaps, I realize that we no longer live in a culture that encourages and reinforces a shared knowledge basis with regard to history, geography, literature, and the sciences. But that does not mean that this kind of cultural literacy has ceased to be relevant. Indeed, I believe it is still alive and well, but that it is now cultivated only in a narrow circle of the privileged classes. The reason I don’t see much evidence of this shared knowledge in my own classroom is that I do not, as a rule, encounter the products of the country’s elite preparatory school systems. What I’m saying, then, is that the issue of cultural literacy is socio-economically coded.

Some will say, ‘What’s so wrong with being unable to pick up references to a few historical figures,most of them dead White males?’

The problem with the argument that cultural literacy is irrelevant is that it does actually matter to some. It matters to the upper-middle and upper classes, who hold the reins of wealth and power. Those families who can afford to send their children to top schools can be sure that their offspring are inculcated with precisely the kind of cultural fluency that some are trying to persuade us holds no importance in today’s diversified world. The more we argue the unimportance of cultural literacy among the general populace, the more we relegate the possession of this knowledge to the province of a socio-economic elite, thereby contributing to a hardening of social stratification and a lessening of social mobility. In the upper echelons of society, cultural literacy indicates belonging, and it signals the circulation of knowledge within tightly knit coteries. http://www.nea.org/assets/docs/HE/TA09CulturalLiteracy.pdf

Whether one wants to argue that certain cultures are not included or do not have a prominent enough place in the definition of cultural literacy, the real question is what is the baseline knowledge necessary to be upwardly mobile? https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/03/12/cultural-literacy-is-there-necessary-core-knowledge-to-be-academically-successful/

Sarah D. Sparks has an interesting Education Week article, Duz Txting Hurt Yr Kidz Gramr? Absolutely, a New Study Says:

Middle school students who frequently use “tech-speak”—omitting letters to shorten words and using homophone symbols, such as @ for “at” or 2nite for “tonight”—performed worse on a test of basic grammar, according to a new study in New Media & Society.

Drew P. Cingel, a doctoral candidate in media, technology, and society at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., conducted the experiment when he was an undergraduate with the Media Effects Research Laboratory at Penn State University in University Park, Pa. under director S. Shyam Sundar. The researchers surveyed 228 6th, 7th, and 8th graders in central Pennsylvania on their daily habits, including the number of texts they sent and received, their attitudes about texting, and their other activities during the day, such as watching television or reading for pleasure. The researchers then assessed the students using 22 questions adapted from a 9th-grade grammar test to include only topics taught by 6th grade, including verb/noun agreement, use of correct tense, homophones, possessives, apostrophes, comma usage, punctuation, and capitalization.

Mr. Cingel, who published the study while at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C., and Mr. Sundar found that the more often students sent text messages using text-speak (shortened words and homophones), the worse their grammar—a concern as 13- to 17-year-olds send more than twice the number of text messages each month than any other age group.

Moreover, the more often a student received text messages using tech-speak, the more likely he or she was to send messages using that language. There was no gender difference after accounting for the amount of texting each student did, though teenage girls have been found in other studies to send and receive nearly twice as many messages per month as boys do: 4,050 texts on average, compared with 2,539….

“People get creative in terms of trying to express a lot. The economy of expression forces us to take shortcuts with our expression. We know people are texting in a hurry, they are on mobile devices, and so they are making these compromises,” Mr. Sundar said. “It’s not surprising that grammar is taking a back seat in that context. What is worrisome is it somehow seems to transfer over to their offline grammar skills. They are not code-switching offline.”

In that way, students who use tech-speak differ from those who speak multiple languages; multilingual children have been found to switch back and forth easily among their languages in different contexts and may actually be more flexible in other ways of thinking. Tech-speak is similar enough to standard English that researchers believe it may bleed over into different contexts more easily….

Likewise, teachers can help their text-happy students shore up their grammar skills, Mr. Sundar said, both by making them more aware of their grammar usage and by assigning writing tasks that differ significantly from their typical texting topics. So, for example, writing an essay debating a current issue or writing a letter to the president might be more likely to trigger students to switch into using more formal language, and thus cement their grammar skills. As students become more adept in grammar, they can be encouraged to think about their grammar choices in texting more consciously, he said.

The study found some evidence to back this approach: Students who texted the most did not have more trouble with capitalization and punctuation, although text messages also often contain less of either. Mr. Sundar theorized that capitalization and punctuation may be more resistant to the degradation of texting because they are taught in earlier grades than other grammar rules and thus have had more time to take root in students’ language. http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/inside-school-research/2012/07/duz_txting_hurt_yr_kidz_gramr_.html?intc=es

Citation:

Texting, techspeak, and tweens: The relationship between text messaging and English grammar skills

  1. Drew P. Cingel cingdp0@wfu.edu
    1. Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC, USA
  2. S. Shyam Sundar
    1. Penn State University, University Park, PA, USA and Sungkyunkwan University, Seoul, Korea
      Abstract

The perpetual use of mobile devices by adolescents has fueled a culture of text messaging, with abbreviations and grammatical shortcuts, thus raising the following question in the minds of parents and teachers: Does increased use of text messaging engender greater reliance on such ‘textual adaptations’ to the point of altering one’s sense of written grammar? A survey (N = 228) was conducted to test the association between text message usage of sixth, seventh and eighth grade students and their scores on an offline, age-appropriate grammar assessment test. Results show broad support for a general negative relationship between the use of techspeak in text messages and scores on a grammar assessment, with implications for Social Cognitive Theory and Low-Road/High-Road Theory of Transfer of Learning. These results indicate that adolescents may learn through observation in communication technologies, and that these learned adaptations may be transferred to standard English through Low-Road transfer of learning. Further mediation analyses suggest that not all forms of textual adaptation are related to grammar assessment score in the same way. ‘Word adaptations’ were found to be negatively related to grammar scores, while ‘structural adaptations’ were found to be non-significant.

In Critical thinking is an essential trait of an educated person, moi said:

There is a great deal of dissatisfaction with the state of education in America. A lot of that dissatisfaction comes from the belief that the education system fails to actually educate children and to teach them critical thinking skills. The University of Maine at Augusta defines an educated person:

An educated person exhibits knowledge and wisdom; recognizes and respects the diversity of nature and society; demonstrates problem solving skills; engages in planning and managing practices; navigates the on-line world; writes and speaks well; acts with integrity; and appreciates the traditions of art, culture, and ideas. Developing these abilities is a life-long process. http://www.uma.edu/educatedperson.html

Essential to this definition is the development of critical thinking skills. https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/01/22/critical-thinking-is-an-essential-trait-of-an-educated-person/

It is early and the analysis is just beginning, but the real question is whether some technologies adversely affect critical thinking skills.

Related:

Study: What skills are needed for ’21st-century learning?’ https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/07/11/study-what-skills-are-needed-for-21st-century-learning/

More research about the importance of reading https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/06/05/more-research-about-the-importance-of-reading/

What parents need to know about ‘texting’                  https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/05/04/what-parents-need-to-know-about-texting/

The slow reading movement                                   https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/01/31/the-slow-reading-movement/

The importance of the skill of handwriting in the school curriculum                                                  https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/01/24/the-importance-of-the-skill-of-handwriting-in-the-school-curriculum/

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

What parents need to know about ‘texting’

4 May

Jan Hoffman does masterly reporting in the New York Times article, A Girl’s Nude Photo, Altered Lives which provides the anatomy of a childhood mistake because of “sexting.”

One day last winter Margarite posed naked before her bathroom mirror, held up her cellphone and took a picture. Then she sent the full-length frontal photo to Isaiah, her new boyfriend.

Both were in eighth grade.

They broke up soon after. A few weeks later, Isaiah forwarded the photo to another eighth-grade girl, once a friend of Margarite’s. Around 11 o’clock at night, that girl slapped a text message on it.

“Ho Alert!” she typed. “If you think this girl is a whore, then text this to all your friends.” Then she clicked open the long list of contacts on her phone and pressed “send.”

In less than 24 hours, the effect was as if Margarite, 14, had sauntered naked down the hallways of the four middle schools in this racially and economically diverse suburb of the state capital, Olympia. Hundreds, possibly thousands, of students had received her photo and forwarded it.

In short order, students would be handcuffed and humiliated, parents mortified and lessons learned at a harsh cost. Only then would the community try to turn the fiasco into an opportunity to educate.

Hoffman goes on to report about the contact the participants had with the criminal justice system and how the prosecutor settled on a criminal charge. This incident has had an effect not only on the immediate participants, but the community as well. This definitely is a must read.

Parents should discuss what happened to the victim with their children:

THE VICTIM

When the police were finished questioning Margarite at Chinook in January 2010, her mother, a property manager, laid down the law. For the time being, no cellphone. No Internet. No TV.

Margarite, used to her father’s indulgence and unfettered access to technology, was furious.

But the punishment insulated Margarite from the wave of reaction that surged online, in local papers and television reports, and in texted comments by young teenagers throughout town. Although the police and the schools urged parents to delete the image from their children’s phones, Antoinette heard that it had spread to a distant high school within a few days.

The repercussions were inescapable. After a friend took Margarite skating to cheer her up, he was viciously attacked on his MySpace page. Kids jeered, telling him to change schools and go with “the whore.”

The school to which Margarite had transferred when she moved back in with her mother was about 15 miles away. She badly wanted to put the experience behind her. But within weeks she was recognized. A boy at the new school had the picture on his cellphone. The girls began to taunt her: Whore. Slut.

Margarite felt depressed. Often she begged to stay home from school.

In January, almost a year to the day when her photo went viral, she decided to transfer back to her old district, where she figured she at least had some friends.

The episode stays with her still. One recent evening in her mother’s condominium, Margarite chatted comfortably about her classes, a smile flashing now and then. But when the moment came to recount the events of the winter before, she slipped into her bedroom, shutting the door.

As Antoinette spoke about what had happened, the volume on the television in Margarite’s room grew louder.

Finally, she emerged. The smell of pizza for supper was irresistible.

What is it like to be at school with her former friend?

“Before I switched back, I called her,” Margarite said. “I wanted to make sure the drama was squashed between us. She said, were we even legally allowed to talk? And I said we should talk, because we’d have math together. She apologized again.”

What advice would Margarite give anyone thinking of sending such a photo?

She blushed and looked away.

“I guess if they are about to send a picture,” she replied, laughing nervously, “and they have a feeling, like, they’re not sure they should, then don’t do it at all. I mean, what are you thinking? It’s freaking stupid!”

Parents must talk to their children about the appropriate use of technology.

Jessica Citizen (Tecca) has a very parent-friendly Time article, 92 Teen Text Terms Decoded for Confused Parents:

These days, teens are texting more than ever, but the advent of QWERTY smartphone keyboards, predictive text, autocorrect, and the removal of message character limits should allow young social butterflies the opportunity to type full, real words. However, the confusing shorthand continues to live on anyway. With the help of Twitter, the microblogging site that still limits each post to a mere 140 characters, abbreviated slang appears to be here to stay.

 http://techland.time.com/2012/05/03/92-teen-text-terms-decoded-for-confused-parents/#ixzz1tvyDjnEp

Citizen includes a list of the most popular terms in her article.

For those who are unable or unwilling to set and observe personal boundaries, Apple just may bail you out. Alexia Tsotsis is reporting at Tech Crunch, Apple Patents Anti-Sexting Device So, for the stupid and truly clueless, looks like Apple is about to come to your rescue. Common Sense Media has some great resources for parents about teaching children how to use media responsibly. Their information about Talking About “Sexting” is excellent.

We live in a society with few personal controls and even fewer people recognize boundaries which should govern their behavior and how they treat others. Aretha Franklin had it right when girlfriend belted out, “Respect.”

In my day, we didn’t have self-esteem, we had self-respect, and no more of it than we had earned.

~Jane Haddam

Self-respect is the fruit of discipline…

~Abraham J. Heschel

He that respects himself is safe from others; he wears a coat of mail that none can pierce.

~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I prefer to be true to myself, even at the hazard of incurring the ridicule of others, rather than to be false, and to incur my own abhorrence.

~Frederick Douglass

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Talking to kids about sex, early and often

1 Jan

The blog discussed the impact of careless, uninformed, and/or reckless sex in the post, A baby changes everything: Helping parents finish school https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/12/26/a-baby-changes-everything-helping-parents-finish-school/ Let’s continue the discussion. Some folks may be great friends, homies, girlfriends, and dudes, but they make lousy parents. Could be they are at a point in their life where they are too selfish to think of anyone other than themselves, they could be busy with school, work, or whatever. No matter the reason, they are not ready and should not be parents. Birth control methods are not 100% effective, but the available options are 100% ineffective in people who are sexually active and not using birth control. So, if you are sexually active and you have not paid a visit to Planned Parenthood or some other agency, then you are not only irresponsible, you are Eeeevil. Why do I say that? You are playing “Russian Roulette” with the life of another human being, the child. You should not ever put yourself in the position of bringing a child into the world that you are unprepared to parent, emotionally, financially, and with a commitment of time. So, if you find yourself in a what do I do moment and are pregnant, you should consider adoption. Before reaching that fork in the road of what to do about an unplanned pregnancy, parents must talk to their children about sex and they must explain their values to their children. They must explain why they have those values as well.

Parents who believe the “head in the sand” method is the best approach will find themselves behind the curve because children will access information about sex on their own. Jan Hoffman writes in the New York Times article, Sex Education Gets Directly to Youths, via Text:

While heading to class last year, Stephanie Cisneros, a Denver-area high school junior, was arguing with a friend about ways that sexually transmitted diseases might be passed along.

Ms. Cisneros knew she could resolve the dispute in class — but not by raising her hand. While her biology teacher lectured about fruit flies, Ms. Cisneros hid her phone underneath her lab table and typed a message to ICYC (In Case You’re Curious), a text-chat program run by Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains.

Soon, her phone buzzed. “There are some STDs you can get from kissing but they are spread more easily during sex,” the reply read. “You can get a STD from oral sex. You should use a condom whenever you have sex.”

Ms. Cisneros said she liked ICYC for its immediacy and confidentiality. “You can ask a random question about sex and you don’t feel it was stupid,” said Ms. Cisneros, now a senior. “Even if it was, they can’t judge you because they don’t know it’s you. And it’s too gross to ask my parents.”

Sex education is a thorny subject for most school systems; only 13 states specify that the medical components of the programs must be accurate. Shrinking budgets and competing academic subjects have helped push it down as a curriculum priority. In reaction, some health organizations and school districts are developing Web sites and texting services as cost-effective ways to reach adolescents in the one classroom where absenteeism is never a problem: the Internet.

In Chicago, teenagers can subscribe to Sex-Ed Loop, a program endorsed by the district that includes weekly automated texts about contraception, relationships and disease prevention. Through Hookup, California teenagers can text their ZIP codes to a number and receive locations for health clinics.

Many services, like Sexetc.org, a national site run by and for teenagers, offer both privacy and communities where adolescents can learn about sexuality and relationships, particularly on mobile devices, eluding parental scrutiny. Services offer links to blogs, interactive games, moderated forums, and Facebook and Twitter pages.

The messages, rendered in teenspeak, can be funny and blunt: for Real Talk, a technology-driven H.I.V. prevention program run by the AIDS Council of Northeastern New York, teenagers made a YouTube video, shouting a refrain from a rap song, “Sport Dat Raincoat,” during which a girl carrying an umbrella is pelted with condoms.

When we ask young people what is the No. 1 way they learn about sex, they say, ‘We Google it,’ ” said Deb Levine, executive director of ISIS Inc., an Oakland, Calif.,-based nonprofit organization that administers texting services and checks content for medical accuracy. “But most of the time, the best information is not coming up in those searches.” http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/31/us/sex-education-for-teenagers-online-and-in-texts.html?_r=1&emc=eta1

This leads to a question for some parents about whether they should spy on their kids. David Crary, AP national writer has penned the provocative article, Parental Dilemma: Whether to Spy On Their Kids?

Perhaps the best advice comes from Carleton Kendrick in the Family Education article, Spying on Kids

Staying connected

So how do you make sure your teens are on the straight and narrow? You can’t. And don’t think you can forbid them to experiment with risky behavior. That’s what they’re good at during this stage, along with testing your limits. You can help them stay healthy, safe, and secure by doing the following:

  • Keep communicating with your teens, even if they don’t seem to be listening. Talk about topics that interest them.
  • Respect and ask their opinions.
  • Give them privacy. That doesn’t mean you can’t knock on their door when you want to talk.
  • Set limits on their behavior based on your values and principles. They will grudgingly respect you for this.
  • Continually tell them and show them you believe in who they are rather than what they accomplish.
  • Seek professional help if your teen’s abnormal behaviors last more than three weeks.

The key is open communication.

Lisa Frederiksen has written the excellent article, 10 Tips for Talking to Teens About Sex, Drugs & Alcohol which was posted at the Partnership for A Drug-Free America

1. Talk early and talk often about sex. “Teens are thinking about sex from early adolescence and they’re very nervous about it,” explains Elizabeth Schroeder, EdD, MSW, Executive Director, Answer, a national sexuality education organization based at Rutgers University.  “They get a lot of misinformation about sex and what it’s supposed to be like. And as a result they think that if they take drugs, if they drink, that’s going to make them feel less nervous.”

Take this quiz to sharpen your talking skills.

2. Take a moment. What if your teen asks a question that shocks you? Dr. Schroeder suggests saying, “‘You know, that’s a great question.‘ or ‘I gotta tell you, I’m not sure if you’re being serious right now but I need a minute.‘” Then regain your composure and return to the conversation.

Learn how to handle personal questions from your teen like: “How old were you when you first had sex?” and “Have you ever used drugs?”

3. Be the source of accurate information. Beyond many school health classes, teens have lots of questions about drugs, pregnancy, condoms, abstinence and oral sex.

Find out what one mom discovered when she sat in on her daughter’s sex ed class.

4. Explain the consequences. Since teen brains aren’t wired yet for consequential thinking and impulse control, it’s important to have frank discussions with your teens about the ramifications of unprotected sex and the importance of using condoms to prevent the spread of STDs, HIV and unwanted pregnancy.

Find out how to guide your child toward healthy risks instead of dangerous ones.

5. Help your child figure out what’s right and wrong. Teens need — and want– limits.  When it comes to things like sexuality, drugs and alcohol, they want to know what the rules and consequences are.

6. Use teachable moments. Watch TV shows (like “16 and Pregnant,”  “Teen Mom,” “Jersey Shore” and “Greek”), movies, commercials, magazine ads and the news with your teen and ask “What did you think about that?” “What did you notice about how these characters interacted?”  “What did you think about the decisions they made?” For us, one of the best ways to talk about a number of heavy topics was to take a drive — that way we weren’t face-to-face.

7.  Explain yourself. Teens need to hear your rationale and why you feel the way you do. One approach is to talk about sex, drugs and alcohol in the context of your family’s values and beliefs.

One of the most challenging moments for me was when my daughters brought up the subject of intercourse.  I explained that my hope was they would not do it until they were in a committed, mutually caring relationship and that it would be a choice, not an attempt to hold onto a relationship and that it would be mutually satisfying.

8. Talk about “sexting.” Texting sexual images and messages is more prevalent than you may think. Read more.

9. Remember how you felt. I know when I started puberty I had many thoughts, feelings and questions that weren’t discussed in my family. Things like body changes, feelings of attraction, acne, weight gain, emotional confusion and the desire to push your parents away.  I wanted to help my daughters avoid that confusion.  I wanted them to understand early on that puberty is a hardwired, biological change that happens to all humans so they become interested in sex for the purposes of procreation. It’s natural to have impulses and feelings that are part and parcel to puberty. Teens don’t have control over these feelings and impulses, but they do have control over whether they act on them.

10. Persevere. Dr. Schroeder warns that your teenager may not want to talk — he or she may shrug and walk away. “Adolescents are supposed to behave in that way when inside what they’re really saying is ‘Keep talking to me about this. I need to know what you think. I’m trying to figure this out for myself as a teenager and if I don’t get messages from you, then I’m not going to know how to do this,’” she explains.

In truth, a close relationship with your child will probably be more effective than spying. Put down that Blackberry, iPhone, and Droid and try connecting with your child. You should not only know who your children’s friends are, but you should know the parents of your children’s friends. Many parents have the house where all the kids hang out because they want to know what is going on with their kids. Often parents volunteer to chauffeur kids because that gives them the opportunity to listen to what kids are talking about. It is important to know the values of the families of your kid’s friends. Do they furnish liquor to underage kids, for example?  How do they feel about teen sex and is their house the place where kids meet for sex?

So, in answer to the question should you spy on your Kids? Depends on the child. Some children are more susceptible to peer pressure and impulsive behavior than others. They will require more and possibly more intrusive direction. Others really are free range children and have the resources and judgment to make good decisions in a variety of circumstances. Even within a family there will be different needs and abilities. The difficulty for parents is to make the appropriate judgments and still give each child the feeling that they have been treated fairly. Still, for some kids, it is not out of line for parents to be snoops, they just might save the child and themselves a lot of heartache.

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Social media addiction

24 Nov

Moi wonders if anyone is surprised by this development. The UK’s Daily Mail reported about internet addiction among the young  in  Internet Rehab Clinic for ‘Sreenager” Children Hooked on modern technology  In a Movieline interview, Miley gives the reason for closing her Twitter account. According to Miley, It’s Dangerous, It Wastes Your Life, It’s Not Fun Ya, think?

“I was kind of, like, tired of telling everyone what I’m doing,” Cyrus told Movieline. “I hate when I read things and celebrities are complaining like, ‘I have no personal life.’ I’m like, well that’s because you write everything that you’re doing.”

“So I was that person who was like, ‘I’m so sad. I have no real, normal life, everyone knows what I’m doing.’ And I’m like, well that’s my own fault because I’m telling everyone,” Cyrus said. “And then I’d tweet, ‘I’m here,’ and I’d wonder why a thousand fans are outside the restaurant. Well, hello, I just told them. So I’m just, like, kind of thinking doesn’t really make a lot of sense. Everything I’m saying is not really going with what I’m putting on the internet.

Asked if the change has been for the better, Cyrus took a moment to consider, then said, “I’m a lot less on my phone, I’m a little bit more social. I have a lot more real friends as opposed to friends who are on the internet who I’m talking to — which is like not cool, not safe, not fun and most likely not real. I think everything is just better when you’re not so wrapped up in [the internet].”

What  Miley is saying is that she wants the type of social relationships which come from face-to-face contact. In other words, she wants healthier social interactions.

Alexandra Rice is reporting in the Chronicle of Higher Education article, Bleary-Eyed Students Can’t Stop Texting, Even to Sleep, a Researcher Finds:

Students, the researchers found, were losing an average of 45 minutes of sleep each week because of their cellphones.

The phones were disrupting sleep and, in turn, were associated with higher rates of anxiety and depression because of insufficient rest. While depression is a well-documented side effect of a lack of sleep, Ms. Adams said, the anxiety element was something new.

Students already average a “sleep debt” of two hours each night, according to Ms. Adams’s study, which reflects similar findings from national sleep studies. Her study and others suggest that college students need nine and one-quarter hours of sleep each night, though they get an average of only seven hours. So losing those extra 45 minutes hurts even more. The students who had the highest rates of technology use also had higher levels of anxiety and depression compared with the rest of the students in the Rhode Island study.

The main message of her study, Ms. Adams said, is that college students struggle to set boundaries for themselves. Unlike high-school students, many of them don’t have anyone around telling them to put the phone away.

For Ms. Adams and other researchers studying the topic, finding out why students feel compelled to always answer their phones at night is an important piece of the puzzle. The most common reason, as reported by several researchers, is wanting to not miss out on something. An invitation to a party, a bit of gossip from a friend, or a text from a significant other all warrant staying awake just a little bit longer. Like the chicken and the egg, it’s hard to determine which comes first: the unwillingness to disconnect or the anxiety and loss of sleep.    http://chronicle.com/article/Bleary-Eyed-Students-Cant/129838/

Jason Dick has Internet Addiction and Children Hidden-Dangers and 15 Warning Signs  See also  Disabled World’s Internet Addiction in Children and CNN’s Internet Addiction Linked to ADHD, Depression in Teens   Help Guide. Org has a good article, Internet Addiction  on treating internet addiction in teens. Among their suggestions are:

Recognize any underlying problems that may support your Internet addiction. If you are struggling with depression, stress, or anxiety, for example, Internet addiction might be a way to self-soothe rocky moods. Have you had problems with alcohol or drugs in the past? Does anything about your Internet use remind you of how you used to drink or use drugs to numb yourself? Recognize if you need to address treatment in these areas or return to group support meetings.

Build your coping skills. Perhaps blowing off steam on the Internet is your way of coping with stress or angry feelings. Or maybe you have trouble relating to others, or are excessively shy with people in real life. Building skills in these areas will help you weather the stresses and strains of daily life without resorting to compulsive Internet use.

Strengthen your support network. The more relationships you have in real life, the less you will need the Internet for social interaction. Set aside dedicated time each week for friends and family. If you are shy, try finding common interest groups such as a sports team, education class, or book reading club. This allows you to interact with others and let relationships develop naturally.

Modify your Internet use step by step:

To help you see problem areas, keep a log of how much you use the Internet for non-work or non-essential activities. Are there times of day that you use the Internet more? Are there triggers in your day that make you stay online for hours at a time when you only planned to stay for a few  minutes?

Set goals for when you can use the Internet. For example, you might try setting a timer, scheduling use for certain times of day, or making a commitment to turn off the computer, tablet, or smart phone at the same time each night. Or you could reward yourself with a certain amount of online time once you’ve completed a homework assignment or finished the laundry, for instance.

Replace your Internet usage with healthy activities. If you are bored and lonely, resisting the urge to get back online can be very difficult. Have a plan for other ways to fill the time, such as going to lunch with a coworker, taking a class, or inviting a friend over.                      http://www.helpguide.org/mental/internet_cybersex_addiction.htm

There is something to be said for Cafe Society where people actually meet face-to-face for conversation or the custom of families eating at least one meal together. Time has a good article on The Magic of the Family Meal See, also Family Dinner,The Value of Sharing Meals

It also looks like Internet rehab will have a steady supply of customers according to an article reprinted in the Seattle Times by Hillary Stout of the New York Times. In Toddlers Latch On to iPhones – and Won’t Let Go Stout reports:

But just as adults have a hard time putting down their iPhones, so the device is now the Toy of Choice — akin to a treasured stuffed animal — for many 1-, 2- and 3-year-olds. It’s a phenomenon that is attracting the attention and concern of some childhood development specialists.

Looks like social networking may not be all that social.

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©