- Hesitant to be online; nervous when an instant message, text message or e-mail appears
- Visibly upset after using the computer or cell phone, or suddenly avoids it
- Hides or clears the computer screen, or closes their cellphone when you enter the room
- Spends unusual and/or longer hours online in a more tense pensive tone
- Withdraws from friends, falls behind in schoolwork or wants to avoid school
- Suddenly sullen, evasive, or withdrawn in personality or behavior
- Trouble sleeping, loss of appetite, excessively moody or crying
- Suspicious phone calls, e-mails and packages arrive at your home
- Possible drop in academic performance
As parents, sometimes we need subtle ways to talk to our kids about social media. It is important to keep the lines of communication open and talk often to our kids about the dangers and the benefits of social media and other electronic communication.
True Care is a social media monitoring service for parents, which I am an advisor for. Hopefully, these questions and conversation starters will help you transform a quick after-school chat into an in-depth discussion about stress, popularity, depression and social media.
They offer these questions to help talk with your child:
- Has anyone ever emailed or posted something on Facebook that made you uncomfortable?
- Do kids at your school ever talk about sending sexy photos to each other? Do you know anyone that does it? Why do you think they do it?
- Have you heard about anyone that has been bullied online? What happened to them?
- Has anyone you know gotten in trouble for being a bully online? What happened to them?
- Did you hear about that girl that committed suicide because she was bullied online? Why do you think she did that? Do you think she turned to anyone for help?
- What advice would you give a friend who told you they were being bullied on line?
It’s a new world out there, for parents as much as children. Get involved. Talk to your kids. Visit the sights they are visiting. Let them know you are there when they need you. The teen years are a relatively short amount of time, but decisions made during this time can change both you and your child’s life forever.
Help your child make healthy choices.
–Mary Jo Rapini
For more information go to: www.maryjorapini.com
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Join Mary Jo on Tuesday morning at 8a.m. with Maria Todd and Brad Booker on Mix 96.5.
Join me every Thursday Morning on “Mind, Body, Soul with Mary Jo” on Fox 26 Houston at 9 a.m.
Join me every Friday Morning on Fox 26 Houston for “Healthy Happy Hour” and learn how to make your relationship healthier.