5 Reasons Why We Don't Want Our Teens Oversharing

In an article originally published on the Huffington Post, Clinical Psychologist, Barbara Greenberg shares her top fears when it comes to teens oversharing on social media.

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. Similarly, the current generation of teens share more information about themselves publicly because of the popularity of social media.

We now have a generation of teenagers who barely (a little levity) understand the meaning of keeping things private. In fact, when they share too much information with their parents they are sometimes told "TMI" which refers to Too Much Information. I get this. There is only so much information that parents can tolerate at a single sitting. Look, even though, you want your teens to open up to you, many parents have asked me what to do when their loquacious kids get a little too generous verbally. I suggest that parents listen up because there must be a reason why your kids are opening up to you.

Teens these days are also sharing way too much private information about themselves on social media sites. At least that's my opinion. In fact there is a word that has become popular which describes this behavior. #oversharing

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Teens and Adults Agree: Education Diminishes Sexting Dangers

Check out this article by the University of Massachussettes Lowell about a recent study involving sexting and recommendations to avoid risky digital behavior. 

Research by Assoc. Prof Andrew Harris and Assoc. Prof. Judith Davidson provides concrete data and recommendations related to the use of technology in young adult romantic relationships. Dubbed “sexting” by media outlets, the term involves sharing suggestive photos or messages, mostly by phone. Their paper, “Building a Prevention Framework to Address Teen ‘Sexting’ Behaviors,” details results from their research and provides insights from teens, the group least often consulted about youth behavior and motivations.

“There have been other studies about ‘sexting’ and related behaviors, but they didn’t try to understand what the kids are feeling and how their values influence their actions,” says Harris, who is also the associate dean of Research and Graduate Programs for the College of Fine Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. “Much of the conversation has been based on limited data and knee-jerk reactions. We found that it is difficult to define ‘sexting’ behaviors and motivations in social context.”

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Digital Parenting: A Guide To Facebook Training Wheels

Your child has been begging for a Facebook page and you have finally decided you are ready to let them have one.  The thought of them having their own account can be overwhelming and it can be difficult to know where to start.  Everyone wants their children to be safe on the internet and in order to get them started its important you tread lightly. Below are simple steps you can take as part of digital parenting in order to prepare your child for their first Facebook page.

Keep it only family – It is important that in the beginning children keep their page with only family and close friends on their 'friends' list. This will lower the risk of cyberbullying.

Teach them about cyberbullying – Let them know that cyberbullying is not ok and to let you know if anyone is harassing them on the internet. This will also let them know that it is not ok to do it to others.

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Cyberbullying: Teens Speak Out

The following article was originally posted on the Huffington Post by Dr. G. 

Is bullying getting worse? Studies show that more kids and parents are reporting bullying, but even more concerning is higher rates of kids surveyed anonymously say they don't report bullying. The most concerning trend is that kids involved in bullying are more likely than ever to commit suicide. Kids are, as a group, probably no meaner now than in generations past. So what is the problem?


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7 Practical Tips for Parenting Digital Natives

This article was originally published on the Huffington Post by Linda Esposito.

"What are your recommendations for balancing technology use with socializing face-to-face?" This question was directed to a panel of psychologists at our recent high school PTA meeting. A universal parenting dilemma in our social media landscape, if ever one existed post-1999.

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Tips for Teens: Why You Shouldn’t Text and Drive

If you are a teenager who likes to use your cell phone all day long, there are a few things that you should understand. First of all, you need to realize that sometimes you will be in a situation where you have to put down the phone for a while for your own safety and for the safety of those around you. For instance, when you get into a car and attempt to drive, you shouldn’t text. Doing so may endanger your own life and the lives of other people.

Distracted driving of any sort comes with numerous repercussions that you don’t want to experience. In this guide, we will provide you with a few tips to consider before you choose to text and drive.

Distracted Driving Facts and Statistics

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Digital Parenting Infographic: What Your Teen is Doing on Social Media

Check out this great infographic from Liahona Academy, a residential treatment center for troubled teenage boys. One of their main goals is to provide parents with valuable information to help them effectively communicate with their teens. They have created this great infographic to assist in digital parenting and help mom and dad understand what their teens are doing on social media. 

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6 Internet Safety Rules for Parents of Teens and Tweens

It is no doubt that the internet has changed the world in ways most of us couldn’t have even seen coming. Young people today find themselves in a world where they are constantly online. Cell phones, Wi-Fi hotspots, and tablets have made being online 24/7 ‘the norm,” making responsible digital parenting more important than ever. According to research, thirty seven percent of Americans aged twelve to seventeen access the Internet on a smartphone and over half are accidentally exposed to inappropriate content. Because of these stats and the prevalence of the internet, it is more important than ever to lay ground rules for your connected kids. 

 During the course of digital parenting, it’s hard for children to understand you’re only concerned for their wellbeing. Most advice you offer seems like it’s completely ignored or seen as a challenge. There are ways to set rules with your children so they understand your concern and don’t see it as an attack. Remember that your own teenage years likely saw you become stubborn as you tried to learn how to make your own choices. Technology may connected kids, but it doesn’t change what being a kid is. While the experience of growing up may be the same, the connected world your kids find themselves in creates new challenges that require hard rules. Here are 6 Internet safety rules for parents of teens and tweens to enforce:

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Pew Research Center Study -- Teens, Social Media, and Privacy

This is one study that all parents (and all people in general, really) need to check out! It is all about teens, social media and privacy and has great facts on what teens post, what social media sites they use the most, what areas they are concerned about while online, and much more. This study is full of great information. The more you know, the better equipped you will be to keep your kid's safe!    

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Digital Parenting and More Positive Views of Digital Tech Dangers

Digital parenting seems to be changing into more of a shared family experience, according to a new study cited by CNN from Northwestern University. And in that same study, it's found that parents aren't that concerned about the dangers of the digital world with their kids. Whether that's a sign of parents becoming too busy to deal with reality or not, it's an interesting examination of where America is headed in families dealing with an increasingly digital world.

Digital Media isn't Always a Babysitter

The most positive news in the above study is that many parents use regular toys, books or other play activities to keep their kids occupied above using a smartphone, tablet or other digital media device. It's an encouraging sign that the digital world won't replace traditional items in developing the minds of the new generation. At the same time, when that digital media is used, it's becoming a collective family activity--that is, when the parents are actually around.

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Newest Pew Research Center Study Has Big Impact On Online Parenting

Have you seen the results from the newest study done by Pew Research Center about teens and technology?  You need to be reading it right now, the results will shock you. Here are some of the key findings:

  • 78% of teens now have a cell phone, and almost half (47%) of them own smartphones. That translates into 37% of all teens who have smartphones, up from just 23% in 2011.

  • 23% of teens have a tablet computer, a level comparable to the general adult population.

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5 Movies That Teach About Bullying

In today's day and age, bullying is not only done in person, but via the Internet as well. Physical altercations are just as harmful to a child as verbal ones, and a greater deal of harm can be done online, where there is a large network available for these bullying teens to put down their victims. They aren't just picking on them at school in front of a few others, but they are writing horrible things to them or about them on the Internet, spreading like wildfire, doing damage to the bullied child's reputation and psyche.

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Young People and Social Media: Doctors Look at Generation M2

This original article was posted by Pat Etheridge , Special to CNN.com:

Many teens learn the hard way that once they hit "send," there is no such thing as an "erase" button. 

Editor's note: Former CNN correspondent Pat Etheridge is a journalist specializing in children's health and family issues. She previously hosted CNN's "Parenting Today." 

(CNN) -- They're called "Generation M2": highly tech-savvy children ages 8 to 18, whose lives are immersed in electronic media.

Now, the nation's top pediatric organization is mobilizing efforts around their well-being.

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Your Teen's 10 Worst Online Habits

Your teens know how to use the Internet. They've been using it since they were old enough to talk. But do they know how to use it responsibly, without compromising their safety or just plain being rude or irritating to others? If your teens are online, which they undoubtedly are, they need to be aware of committing these 10 Internet faux pas.

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Two Lives Ruined Over YouTube Video: Parental Monitoring Needed

youtubeOver the years, I have seen many YouTube videos and unfortunately, the one that is permanently cemented in my mind is “Racist White Teen Girls.”  This video is one of the most disturbing things I have ever seen.  The girls who speak in it are young, impulsive and troubled.

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Caution: Google Images and Keeping Your Kids Safe

I love and use Google Images about as much as any parent can. Just this week I've used it to find clip art images for household chore charts, answer my daughter's question about what the flag of Bolivia looks like, and make car-themed bingo cards for my son's birthday party. And it only took me a few seconds.

But all my love for Google Images notwithstanding, I do caution parents whenever their children are using it. Keep your kids safe by monitoring what they search - and what they find.

No matter what the keyword, it's pretty much inevitable that some suggestive, inappropriate, or downright pornographic images are going to appear somewhere in the search results. Luckily, most of the words your kids are going to be searching for will not have these images on the first page.

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5 Reasons Teenagers Act the Way They Do - Kids Safety

teenagers on computersWhy do teenagers do what they do?  If you are the parent of a teen, you have probably asked yourself this question many, many times. When they have access to the internet, those questions are even more prevelant with the addition of ones like: are my kids safe on social networks, at what age is facebook for kids a good dicision- Well now we know.  This article provides 5 interesting, scientific explanations of why our teens do what they do. This article was originally published by Mental Floss.

The Number 1 reasons stated in the article is:

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Cyberbullying Statistics: It Gets Better

Cyberbulling is a particularly destructive, intense form of bullying that can devastate a teen or tween who becomes a victim. Adults can be cyberbullied, too, but if we can gather anything from the deluge of suicides in the last few years due to recurring cyberbullying, it's that cyberbullied teens and tweens are the ones particularly crippled by the effects of online bullying.

Statistics back up this particularly grim picture of cyberbullying and how it's impacted by age. The Pew Internet and American Life Project found in a July study of 799 families that 20% of teens say that their peers are “mostly unkind” online. Another 11% said that “it depends.” On the other hand, adults ages 18 and older says that only 5% of their peers are “mostly unkind” online.

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Teen Communication: More Texting and Sexting Than Talking

Which way does your teenager prefer to communicate? Sexting and texting, or face to face?

Most parents would guess “technology.” But even in a world where teenagers seem glued to glowing screensface-to-face still rules. Ericsson, the cell phone manufacturer, just did a study where they asked young people, “Which method of communication would you miss the most?” The answer should be encouraging to many of us who are worried about our teenagers’ growing dependence on technology. “Meeting in person” was the number one answer.

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Kids Safety Alert: Teen Driver Kills Baby While Texting at the Wheel

A kids safety nightmare for all parties involved: Nineteen-year-old Kaitlyn Dunaway from California was sentenced this week to five days in jail, 115 days home confinement, and three years probation. Her crime? Running over a mother and her 2-year-old daughter as they crossed a crosswalk while Kaitlyn was texting and driving.

The mother, 42-year-old Ling Murray, was critically injured and spent the next several months in a rehabilitation facility. The 2-year-old daughter, Calli, was killed.

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We are pleased to announce that Bark will be taking over where we leave off. The uKnowKids mission to protect digital kids will live on with Bark. Our team will be working closely with Bark’s team in the future, so that we can continue making the digital world a safer, better place for kids and their families. While we are disappointed we could not complete this mission independently, we are also pleased to hand the uKnowKids baton to Bark.
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