Digital parenting isn't for sissies. Nothing's prepared us for Kik, Yik Yak , Vine, Ask.fm, Whisper, Secret, Instagram, Omegle, Tumblr or whatever other social media app lurks in the mind of the barely-adult person who's about to create it.
Apps like Secret, Whisper, Ask.FM and Yik Yak are wonderful ways to discuss things like substance abuse, illnesses, obsessions, religious doubts, sexual orientation and other issues you might not want to disclose.
San Clemente High School and its 3,000-plus students were one of the latest victims of a Yik Yak attack. "Yik Yak" is a new social network that has quickly gained popularity amongst young people. So what's a parent/teacher/administrator to do? Talk to your kids and tell them these three things:
I don't know about you, but restricting my kids from something they are already using or doing, especially without solid evidence of nefarious behavior on their part, is a parenting strategy that hasn't worked out particularly well for me.
Every generation of teens has its own unique set of trends including clothing and communication styles. Consider that this generation of teens seems to bare more skin than past generations. At least that's how it appears to me and to many many frustrated sets of parents.
For the past few years, I've seen teens' shift their social media habits to apps and sites that provide illusions of ephemeral and anonymous interactions -- illusions that are quickly eroding their social and emotional well-being, and can be deadly.
We hear more and more that schools have a "no tolerance" policy for things like bullying, and I believe that in some cases more action is being taken when kids experience it at school. But what about online?
As a culture, let's really look at why we are accepting of 'confession pages,' and the proliferation of apps such that make it easier than ever for social cruelty to spread like a cancer into the hearts and minds of young people.
Next time you go to water your garden, you may notice a new exotic plant -- the vodka tree. Well, to be more specific it is unlikely you'll actually grow an actual tree, but given the hijinks of resourceful teens today, you may find yourself a veritable bouquet of bottles.