I have posted before in attempts to understand and discuss the impacts of texting and “instant” messaging on youth. As parents, we attempt to monitor who are children are associating with — in person, via devices, and online. When children are younger, it may be easier to chat about the experiences and communications that they are having with friends – both positive and negative. When they are older and relationships become “romantic”, it gets a bit more challenging. Experiences and communication become more private from parents. Parents may also try to give more “space” and privacy. It can be a tough and delicate balance though.
I often hear the messages of “letting kids fail/fall/make mistakes”, etc. I believe kids can learn from bad experiences and relationships just as much as good ones. They have to navigate friendships and relationships and learn from that too. The advice to parents may also be: “Let them figure it out for themselves”. But does this serve well as support for their “instant connecting” worlds? How do parents know when things go too far or become unhealthy given all that can be “unseen” with communication technologies? How do they know when to intervene and how? I am not sure there is enough discussion or clear advice available on this, especially when kids are in their late teens and in relationships. Are there conversations that need to happen sooner?
This is my attempt to provide some support and useful reading. I may add to the list over time ahead:
In(ternet) Love: Have a Healthy Online Relationship (a lot of good resources for relationships on this site… do explore for other relevant topics)
MediaSmarts recently posted a guide for post-secondary students. I think it is excellent and practical, as well as useful for parents to read or have handy as a resource:
Have you got other useful resources or articles? Please suggest!