The following was provided by the Wakefield Alliance Against Violence:
With the end of the activities of summer vacation and the start of a new school year, parents are turning their minds back to the concerns of the new social world that their tweens and teens are now facing.
Many parents of today’s tweens and teens may not have experienced even cell phones when they were their children’s age, much less all of the burgeoning technology of today. Therefore, they may feel ill-prepared as to how to guide their children in the use and possible consequences of this technology. These are issues that their own parents might never have had to discuss with them, so they may have no tradition of guidance in this area.
There are now websites available which deal with issues in ways that are informative for parents, as well as kid-friendly and interactive.
One such site is www.That’sNotCool.com, which helps parents to show their children how to prepare for this new social world of texting, Twitter, Facebook, sexting, email, etc. Sponsored by Futures Without Violence, The Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women, and the Advertising Council, it uses audio, text, and video to demonstrate troubling behavior and suggests possible strategies for those experiencing these issues. There are two-sided stories and games to explore troubling behaviors. It provides links to service providers and is a good resource for any teen, family member, or teacher.
Another site is focused more on teens, who may already be in various stages of relationships. www.loveisrespect.org helps young people to train themselves to be healthy in how they treat and are treated by their partners. There is a set of questions the teens ask themselves to help to determine if their relationships are healthy. It also gives warning signs of abuse to determine if a relationship is going in the wrong direction.
These websites are interactive, not preachy, and will hold the attention of the youth who are the intended beneficiaries.