Teen Online: Keeping them safe | SierraSun.com

Teen Online: Keeping them safe

Teri Andrews Rinne
Truckee Childrenand#8217;s Services Librarian

TRUCKEE and#8212; Two titles worthy of mention to help our teens survive their online adolescence have been published and are also available at the Truckee Library. Both books emphasize youth should not only survive their online adolescence but also thrive with our proactive (as opposed to reactive) parenting, literally teaching your child to look both ways in cyberspace.

and#8220;Totally Wired: What Teens and Tweens are Really Doing Onlineand#8221; by Anastasia Goodstein is yet another and#8220;must-readand#8221; for parents according to its glowing reviews. The former editor-in-chief of Seventeen magazine tells parents to consider the author Goodstein as the and#8220;daughter you totally and#8216;getand#8217; and#8212; explaining all the behaviors of the daughter you totally donand#8217;t and#8216;get.and#8217;and#8217;and#8221; and#8220;Totally Wiredand#8221; is considered a and#8220;parent/teen dictionary, brilliant and lifesaving.and#8221; According to Publishers Weekly, Goodstein isnand#8217;t a parent and hails from Generation X, but she has a keen interest in teenagers, a background in teen media and writes a blog (Ypulse.com) which is devoted to teen media and marketing. The author explains sheand#8217;s spent her career trying to be a and#8220;voice of reasonand#8221; for teens and for adults trying to reach them; in this book she continues her quest to help parents understand their children by offering a window into their digital world. Goodstein covers the bases, including cyber bullying, blogs and social-networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace.

What I most appreciate about Goodsteinand#8217;s book is she accentuates the positives rather than scaring us with the potential risks. Goodstein urges parents to take the plunge into cyberspace not only in order to keep their children safe but also to build closer relationships. and#8220;Ask them about their digital lives,and#8221; she advises, and#8220;and theyand#8217;ll start talking about the rest of their lives.and#8221;

Another book that also accentuates the potential upside of our wired generation is and#8220;Me, MySpace and I: Parenting the Net Generation.and#8221; Author Larry Rosen is an international expert on the psychology of technology who also co-wrote and#8220;Technostress.and#8221; Guided by extensive research and presented in easy-to-read language and real-life examples, Rosen’s book helps bridge the generation divide between parents and their technologically literate kids. Rosen explains how online communities can actually be beneficial for your kids. While he doesnand#8217;t downplay the risks associated with some of the complex situations youngsters confront online (cyberbullying, addictions, sexuality and virtual friendships), he challenges our commonly held beliefs these communities are somehow damaging. In fact, Rosen argues social networking sites such as MySpace and Facebook can even improve adolescentsand#8217; socialization skills and their overall emotional health.

and#8212; Submitted via aedgett@sierrasun.com