Are Parents Clueless?

If you asked a parent of a teen in your youth group where their son or daughter spent time online they would probably guess Myspace or Facebook, but do they actually know what they do while using these mediums?

Findings from a new survey by Common Sense Media revealed that parents underestimate how much time their teen spends online, how often they engage in risky behavior and how much time is spent bullying other teens. Here is an exerpt from the report:

  • 37% of teens said they used social networks to make fun of other students, but only 18% of parents believe their own angels do so.
  • 13% of teens said they posted naked or semi-naked photos or videos of themselves. Only 2% of parents said their kids have done that.
  • 24% of teens said they signed on to someone else's account without permission, while only 4% of parents said their kids have done that.
  • 28% of teens posted personal information that they normally would not have revealed in public, but 16% of parents said their kids did that.

[Click here] to download the full, executive report from Common Sense.

Common Sense suggests parents take the following actions:

  • Parents should learn about the networks their children are involved in by registering and exploring these mediums.
  • Parents should talk to their teen about privacy settings and help them discern between whom to friend [and not friend] and what is appropriate to post.
  • Parents should explain to their kids that stuff online is public [to an audience that is invisible] and can last... forever.

Related: Gen Y'ers say their REAL friends are found online.

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