Wednesday, June 6, 2007


When’s the last time you checked your email? How many times a day do you check your email? Have you ever talked on your cell phone while you were driving? There is a lot of concern these days about our kids and their apparent addiction to technology, but those apples didn’t fall very far from the tree. It’s easy as parents to dismiss computer applications that we don’t use as frivolous and harmful, and the poster child of this attitude is MySpace. The current feeling seems to be that if it involves bits and bytes, then someone, somewhere has found a way to make it dangerous. So what do you do? Hermetically seal your house, put a 24-hour guard on your kids, ban them from contact with anyone their own age? Or maybe just close your eyes and hope things will turn out for the best? How about this: acknowledge that your kids will find technology just as addictive as you do (how many times did you check your email today?), learn how their favorite technologies work, and talk with your kids. We can help you tackle item #2 with a new book: Generation MySpace: helping your teen survive online adolescence by Candice M. Kelsey. Co-founder of a private high school and evaluator for the U.S. Dept. of Education, Kelsey not only presents her own experiences with high school students, she also includes interviews with kids who explain why they use MySpace, problems they’ve encountered, and the ways they have dealt with those problems. She advocates communication and understanding, and helps parents understand what MySpace is and what they need to know about how their children use this site. This is a must-read for anyone with kids from 9-19.

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