Facebook-Your Teen’s Friend or Foe?

“Get off the computer and come down for dinner!” “Put that phone down and look at me when I am speaking to you!” It seems that teenagers these days are glued to their information connection. As parents, you want to safeguard them from danger while allowing them to flourish and grow into functional human beings.  How do you strike a balance between the two? Tough conundrum .

 For teens, Facebook and the like are probably a vital part of your child’s social life. It may seem hard to understand as a parent where the thrill lies or how they can spend hours interacting through the online world. These outlets however are a wonderful way for your teen to interact with the world and establish their identity. As parents, it is your job to make sure they are being safe in doing so. We have all seen horror stories on the news about girls being snatched after meeting older men online. These numbers continue to grow as more and more people use the internet to communicate with one another. Parents need to be mindful of their child’s online activity while maintaining a level of privacy. Talk with your teen about online safety, on a continual basis. Assure them that you understand their need for autonomy but you are still the parent and set ground rules for Facebook. Some parents require their child to be their friend on Facebook, whilst others ask for their child’s password. The discussion should be an open one between teen and parent.

~Kate MacHugh, Intern for Driven


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