Teen drama will never change. Kids who were best friends in September tire of each other by March. In April everything is hunky dory again only to falter once the school year ends. And then there is the summer. Teen drama is what it is but the ways that fights and arguments develop has changed.
In my day — I’m not that old, but feel like it some days — I talked to friends when I arrived at school, at lunch, on the weekends if we got together, and at the occasional afterschool practice/event. I rarely talked on the phone. The rotary dial phone (What can I say? It was England in the 80s…technology was slow to get to our side of the pond) and the fact that the phone was hung on a wall in the study with no chair nearby meant that calls were brief.
Teens have the home phones (multiple handsets), cell phone, e-mail, face-to-face talking at school, on the bus, and at events, and Facebook.
Facebook is something I avoided for months and years. My teen first heard about it in 5th grade. I know she had friends who were on it from 6th grade onwards.
I wasn’t on Facebook yet. Sounded too unfamiliar to me. I put her off for a few years. Once I got on Facebook, I started to formulate how I would teach my daughter to be safe. I wanted to avoid the dangers of her talking to people she had never met for as long as I could.
By 8th grade, I could no longer deny her an account. She begged for one. I gave in.
At 14 she knows how to act on line. She knows not to reveal personal information. I still talk to her about my expectations of her while she is on Facebook. Talking to kids about online safety is an ongoing conversation. Keep the lines of communication open.
For teens, Facebook is their meeting place. Plans are made. As parents we need to give our teens firm guidelines for what to say online and what to keep private. Venting on Facebook about a friend is never a good idea. Teens need to know that a face-to-face conversation is always better.
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