Walking the line between nerd and cool.


In case you haven’t heard, teens like using the internet.  Some statistics from Pew Internet (Full Report):

  • 93% of youth are online
  • 94% of their parents are online
  • 88% of teens think tech devices make their lives easier
  • 69% of parents say the same
  • In 2004, 67% of parents said the internet has been a good thing for their children.  In 2007, only 59% say the same
  • 65% of parents report checking what websites their children viewed while online
  • 74% can correctly identify whether or not their teen is involved in social networking sites like MySpace or Facebook

I’m going to be teaching a class on parenting the internet generation for St. John’s Lutheran School‘s Parent Teacher League in January.  I’m interested in what topics parents would like to know more about in this area.  Leave your suggestions below in the comments.  I’ll periodically be blogging about this topic up until the class, so look for more updates in future weeks.  All entries will be tagged with “CyberParent” for easy searching.  Questions you have or resources you’ve found helpful are both beneficial to me!


4 responses

  1. Jason, great software for monitoring and blocking teen’s use of the Internet is at http://www.safeeyes.com. $49.95 per year and gives you robust control of sites and topics your kids visit, plus the ability to view all online chat conversations. Kids hate it but that’s a good testimony to how well it works. Internet Access is a privilege, not a right and parents need to not be afraid of invading teen’s privacy. There is too much terrible stuff out there not to use a product like this, particularly if the kids are younger.

    December 19, 2007 at 2:28 pm

  2. Thanks! I’ll add it to my recommended resource list for the parents!

    December 19, 2007 at 3:46 pm

  3. Kelly


    There are a couple of issues that I beleive are important to parents. Blogging, Cyber communities (i.e. facebook, myspace, etc.) and instant messaging should be addressed.

    There are a couple of communit service announcements that you may be able to get your hands on to show in the class. I might also suggest looking up a couple of profiles on these types of sites to see what type of info is out there. For example, if I post that my name is Susie Smith from Jamestown and I am the star pitcher on the softball team, how hard is it really to find out who I am? Heck I even have 30 pictures of me on my page (Several of me in my uniform with my team) for you to pick from.

    Kids can surf the web and IM on their cell phones in addition to the computers at home. Purchasing a kid safe cell phone plan with limited features will help. I know that the major carriers offer kid plans. They have predetermined minutes (with the option of pre-paying for additional time) and are created with parents in mind.

    Another thing to consider is the type of phone you buy for your kids. the fancier it is, the easier it is to surf, text and IM.

    I can go on and on please let me know if you need any help.

    December 19, 2007 at 4:40 pm

  4. Great stuff Kelly! The miniaturization of devices makes it easier to hide what you are doing online because it’s not as obvious that you are doing it. Thanks!

    December 19, 2007 at 4:46 pm

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