The Parent's Guide to 'Vamping'

07/10/2014 12:06 pm ET | Updated Sep 09, 2014
David Burton via Getty Images

'Vamping' is the latest tween lingo bound for the English language dictionary. You probably haven't heard the word, but as a digital parent, its very likely that you know what it refers to. If you have a tween or teen in the house, see if you can get a quick primer on this latest Internet and social media fad.

The hashtag '#vamping' is used by kids and teens camping out like vampires on social media -- think Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Whatsapp, among others -- late into the night, unbeknownst to parents. The phenomenon is so widespread that school administrators, academics and the media have taken note. Busy schedules during the day, a craving for unstructured activity, good old peer pressure and a tendency to mimic parents' habits are all attributed as reasons for young users to jump on the bandwagon.

"According to a recent poll conducted by the National Sleep Foundation, more than half of 15- to 17-year-olds sleep about seven hours a night, 90 minutes less than the minimum recommendation," writes Laura Holson in the New York Times. "With myriad electronic ways to socialize, gossip and explore hobbies, tech-addicted teenagers are getting even fewer hours of sleep."

Of course parental controls like Mobicip can help limit Internet usage late into the night by setting up time limits. But experts suggest that a more effective parenting approach may be to disallow the use of electronics in the bedroom after bedtime. Sounds like a no-brainer? Easier said than done! Mainly because parents themselves have a hard time switching off at night!