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Teens and Technology: Friend or Foe for Families?

The Gage County MAPS Coalition can do a presentation for groups called “You and Your Teens in Cyberspace” which offers a brief overview of online awareness and safety tips for parents. If you would be interested in setting up that presentation, please contact the MAPS Coalition at 402-223-1500 x 1059.  They have provided area schools with the following informative article for parents.

Teens and Technology: Friend or Foe for Families?

 While it may seem like you've "lost" your teen to social technology, like Facebook or text messaging, new reports find that this technology - namely the Internet and cell phones - is actually creating a "new connectedness" for American families.

In particular, parents say cell phones allow their families to stay more regularly in touch. And many parents say they are now using the Internet to view material online together.

Are you using technology to its best advantage? Before you put your trust in the latest gadgets, make sure you set a few ground rules for your family:

• Limit your teens' time spent online and keep computers in a common area of the house;

• Monitor your teens' digital devices regularly, checking Internet history and cell phone call and text-message logs;

• Talk to your teens about their Web sites, profiles, blogs, etc., and ask them to show you what they're doing online;

   Talk with other parents about ground rules they have regarding their kids and technology;

   Set ground rules for your kids, and share them with other parents so you can assure that even when your child is at a friends’ home he or she is following the rules important to YOU (i.e. no surfing the web without parental supervision, no cell phone use after midnight, etc)

Are you wondering about the social networking sites your teens visit, like Facebook or MySpace? Get online and check them out – or create your OWN profile so you can stay in touch and monitor what your kids are doing online. Many adults find these sites a helpful way to stay connected with family and friends while also maintaining connection to what their kids are doing online.

If you feel like you don’t have all of the information you need to keep you and your teens safe in Cyberspace, get informed!  There are dozens of websites available for parents who are seeking information on teens and technology. They include:

         www.theantidrug.com (go to the “Teens and Technology” section)

         www.wiredsafety.org (go to the “Parents” section)

The Gage County MAPS Coalition can do a presentation for groups called “You and Your Teens in Cyberspace” which offers a brief overview of online awareness and safety tips for parents. If you would be interested in setting up that presentation, please contact the MAPS Coalition at 402-223-1500 x 1059.

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Freeman Public Schools415 8th StreetP.O. Box 259Adams, NE  68301

p. 402.988.2525f. 402.988.3475

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