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To Keep Teens Safe Online, They Need to Learn to Manage Risks

Monitoring and restriction are not a substitute for education and conversations. (Lots and lots of conversations.) "If we want to help protect teens from online risks, we have to stop assuming that they are the perpetrators and treat them like partners."

X-Plan: Giving Your Kids a Way Out (#xplan)

Many friends have shared this great post. Does anyone else have an #xplan equivalent that you are willing to share? By the way, if you have younger kids without cell phones, come up with a secret code phrase that they can call you with from a land line if they are ever uncomfortable with something going on at a friend's house or a birthday party, etc. Even younger children can find themselves in tricky situations. So many creative parents out there-- let's build a community and help one another!

Growing Up In a Pornified Culture

I had the opportunity to see Gail Dines speak last night. Parents, if you haven't already educated yourselves on the topic of raising kids in the world of digital pornography, buckle your seat belts and watch her TED talk. This discussion comes up in my parenting talks regularly, whether I am speaking with parents of teens who are using porn for "sex ed" and entertainment, or parents of elementary school kids, who are inadvertently stumbling upon porn during innocuous safari searches. Check out Dines' organization, Culture Reframed, for more info and to see why she considers porn the public health crisis of the digital age.

Is a Teen Depressed, Or Just Moody?

A tough and important topic. "Any parent of an adolescent has to wonder, of course, what’s the difference between 'regular' adolescent mood swings and teenage behaviors and these warning signs. Parents need to ask themselves how severe the symptoms seem, and how persistent. When a child really seems to have changed, you can’t just write it off as adolescence."

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