Teens in cyberspace: The Truckee Library has resources for parents | SierraSun.com

Teens in cyberspace: The Truckee Library has resources for parents

Teri Andrews Rinne

PARENTAL PRESSURE: Use the Truckee Library's resources to learn about how the world wide web now impacts tweens and teens.

Over the next few weeks I will showcase books that are designed to educate parents on how to help their teens successfully navigate online adolescence. As if the garden-variety adolescence we all experienced wasn’t challenging enough, we have a whole new layer of complexity to deal with in the 21st century. While we might have monopolized the family phone for hours or poured out our angst into personal diaries, today’s kids have online chatting, texting and blogging, all potentially much more public forums of expression. Consequently, the stakes are much higher.

As parents, we need all the help we can get to ensure we can remain involved in our children’s lives ” especially their online lives. The better informed we are, the better we can do our jobs in protecting our children and making sure they have the skills and values to make good choices online. Toward that end, there are some excellent books written on the subject, all available at the Truckee Library.

One of the first books written on the subject is “Generation MySpace: Helping Your Teen Survive Online Adolescence” by Candice M. Kelsey, described as “an absolute must-read for any parent…an essential guide… eye-opening.” Kelsey poses the question: Does it seem like your teen can’t tear herself away from friends on the computer screen (except to text them on her cell phone)? That’s because MySpace, Facebook and YouTube are your son or daughter’s life, not just another passing diversion. All that energy and time spent online is affecting your teen’s life in countless ways, from sexual pressure and privacy to social standing and self-esteem. Some schools are banning online networking sites, yet your child insists they’re “no big deal.” Who’s right? Drawing on personal interviews with hundreds of teens, Kelsey helps parents assess what they should ” and shouldn’t ” be worried about when it comes to technology.

Among the topics covered in this landmark book include the appeal of social networking sites such as MySpace and Facebook and how the interaction can become addictive, and how to stop it from taking control, how online “friending” is redefining friendship, how kids as young as 11 are learning to “market” themselves, how social networking has made illicit substances easier for teens to get and even easier to hide and how to help your kids protect themselves from predators and cyber-bullies.

As I mentioned above, we are talking whole new layers of complexity added to the already complicated lives of our adolescents. But fear not! Educate yourself and consider exploring the world of social networking firsthand, by joining Facebook or another site. See for yourself how they function and what they can and cannot do. Next week, I will feature more excellent books on the subject of tweens and teens and cyberspace.

Library Hours

Recommended Stories For You

Monday 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Tuesday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Wednesday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Thursday 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Friday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

No storytime during Spring Break, April 13-17, 2009.-

Tuesday Toddler Time at 10:30 a.m. (ages 2 to 3 years)

Babes in Bookland on Wednesdays at 10:30 a.m. (ages 6 months to 2 years)

Storytelling with Mrs. Fix on Thursdays at 11:15 a.m. (ages 3 years and up)

Spanish Storytime on Fridays at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. (ages 2 and up)

Bookshelf’s Dry Camp Book Club at the Library

Meets monthly at the Library. Participants at the book group meeting will receive a coupon for 15 percent off a one-time book purchase at the Bookshelf at Hooligan Rocks. Everyone is welcome. Next meeting is Tuesday, April 21, 2009 at 7 p.m. to discuss “Breaking Trail: A Climbing Life” by Arlene Blum.

Now on display at the library:

Portraits by Truckee artist Raphael Jolly

Above the Fireplace: Sand Harbor in oils by Linda D’Toole