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Tween Titans Tween Titans

Tweens/teens and cyberspace

Posted by on Jul. 18, 2013 at 2:32 AM
  • 3 Replies

We care and I'm determined to do something about it!!!

nowadays kids are given cell phones at a young age, in most case as young as 3rd and 4th grade. I understand that we as parent like the idea of staying connected with our kids or simply just in case of emergencies. I  got a cell phone (old style flip phone with no internet) for my daughters when they were in 4th grade (they are now in 8th & 9th grade) however, they were not that interested in the phone and it's functions, it was only used when they went to sleepovers or going on a playdate. It was not until late 5th grade when they started raising interest in having a smart phone (iphone) because most of their friends had them and were using social media sites like FB and they wanted to be a part hype like posting pics and above all seeing what their friends were up to. To this day I check my DD's phone every evening. I make them charge their phone in my room which is when i have the opportunity to go through them and see what all they have been up to as well as their friends. This is something every parent should be doing, why it's not happening, i don't know. Just recently i found a kik message where a boy (which my DD has gone to school with since kinder) was asking my DD for nude pictures, I was glad to see that my DD's response was NO despite this boy nagging for the pic. I discussed this with my DD, began by telling her that i was very proud that she said no to the request and that she stood firm but also explained that this is very risky and it could ruin  her teenage/college/adult life. Cyberspace is vast  and more powerful than her and it's hard to make anything of this magnitude disappear - including a bad reputation.  Lately these requests from boys have been continued (not just to my DD  but other friends) and i have decided to do something about it. I am planning to have a parent meeting to raise awareness about the things that are happening with our kids and what these kids are being faced with. I got in touch with my local PD and was put in touch with the resource office who handles issues like this and works at the high school full time during the school year. I felt alot of support coming from the officer especially when he mentioned that he was very impressed and commended me for my action in wanting to take on such event. He agreed to help me in any way possible. As a result he agreed to come speak at my parent meeting about the consequences of what these kids are doing in detail and how parents can help keep their kids from possibly regreating a bad move and be more proactive. I have also reached out to the local college in hopes to get in touch with a physcology professor who will hopefuly assist me by recommending a student who is working on their child psychology masters/major who will be willing to come speck to the parents as well.

I looking for more advise pertaining to my mission. I need ideas for the "invite" flyer that i'll be sending out. I want the wording to attract parents to the meeting so they want to come and even sound so interesting that they want they want to tell other parents about the meeting. Although i know a good number of parents i'm hoping word of mouth get around about my event and provides a good turnout. I understand some parents may not be able to make due to prior engagements for some and other may just not care sadly but i'll be thankful for whoever show up and express interest for their childs future and safety. Your suggestions are greatly appreciated.

in addition i'm also open to suggestions about resourses to any guest speakers or material. the thought of the following really breaks my heart but  i would love to find someone who has lost a teenage child due to cyber bulling or similar issue who would agree to come talk about her story,  or even a young adult who agree to share their storys of highschool peer presure and bulling they experienced growing up. I think these true stories would really hit home to where parents will understand the importance of what's going on and how these things can hurt so bad, both their child and their families. any information on where i can find help like this would be awesome.

Thanks for reading, your comments and support are greatly appreciated.

-Gabi

 

by on Jul. 18, 2013 at 2:32 AM
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Replies (1-3):
jadedcynic
by on Jul. 18, 2013 at 2:34 AM

I tried reading that wall of tiny print, but my eyes swam and I just couldn't. Sorry.

bzzybeemomof3
by on Jul. 18, 2013 at 11:22 AM

 I couldnt either.

Sorry op, to hard to read.

Quoting jadedcynic:

I tried reading that wall of tiny print, but my eyes swam and I just couldn't. Sorry.

 

MommaB55
by on Jul. 18, 2013 at 12:39 PM

Well, I read it, it was small, but since it is a subject near and dear to my heart, I read it all.  See, I think the problem is, many adults are just as addicted to their phones as their children are.  I have 2 children, 9 and almost 13 and neither one has a phone.  I don't think they need one.  They don't usually go anyplace w/out me and if they did have a phone it would be a basic one, just to make emergency phone calls on.  Also, neither one has a FB account.  Occasionally I allow them to get on Youtube, but it's on a computer in the LR near where I am.  I've explained to them about cyber stalkers and I don't care if all their friends have FB accounts and Iphones, MY children aren't having them.  I grew up w/out them, they'll survive.  Now I know when my children get a little older they'll need a phone for when they're out and about, but right now it's not necessary.  I don't think children need to be texting and sending pics and stuff.  I especially hate when I see a family eating at a resturant and every single member has a phone in front of their face!  People complain that they don't know what their children are up to anymore....well put the phone down and talk to each other!  Now that my rant is done, I'll try to offer some suggestions to your comment.

First of all, if you can get the phone numbers, you should send a text to these parents.  I'm sure most of them check their phone more than their mail.  There are several movies I've seen that display the horrors of letting your children run amok online.  I'm so sorry I can't remember the names of them right now, but I'm sure you could google it.  Second, on this flyer, maybe you could put a scare into them, like maybe put "Please help me find my daughter!  Last seen at the mall waiting for a online friend" and then below it put, "thankfully not true, find out how to prevent something like this actually happening by attending the parent's meeting this Fri." or whatever.  Try a teen hotline or support group to see if anyone would be willing to come talk.  I'm sure that if someone is touched by this, they'll want to warn others. 

Lastly, I'm impressed by your mission to bring this issue to light with other parents in your area.  Just remember, " you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink".  There will be some that just don't care, but maybe there will be several that you can educate!  I wish you the best of luck!

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