Sex, Drugs 'n' Facebook
In addition to the time honored trinity (sex, alcohol, drugs) of
difficult subjects parents must discuss with their kids, there is a
new kid on the block: the Internet. This can be a scary and
intimidating mandate. Kids who were weaned on social media can seem
frighteningly more sophisticated and knowledgeable than their digital
nonnative parents. The traditional news media doesn't do us any
favors. Ratings seeking stories that focus on cyberbullying, sexting,
and other problematic behaviors can be quite alarming. What's a mom
or dad to do?
Obtaining a copy of Megan A. Moreno's Sex, Drugs 'n' Facebook
can be a very good way for the anxious parent to gain basic knowledge
and the assurance that he or she is up to the task. Her work was
funded by National Institutes of Health and is researched based. It
is also, however, told in a narrative most parents and other
professionals will find accessible and useful.
The book starts out with an overview of on line trends (basic
enough for even the technological left behind such as your humble
reviewer) and a description of the stages of tween and teen
development. Section one ends with three issues that are at the heart
of any Internet use: balance (a healthy equilibrium between off and
online presence), boundaries (healthy and safe usage), and open parent-
child communication. I strongly advise parents not to skip this
section. It makes the rest of the book much more comprehensible.
Chapters four through ten cover problems that can happen such as
cyberbullying, exposure to inappropriate content, problematic Internet
use, and special health issues. Each chapter ends in a parent
toolkit. There is encouragement to involve other professionals such
Chapters eleven through thirteen look ahead toward the future.
I'd recommend Sex, Drugs 'n' Facebook as a starting point for
parents, older kids with younger siblings and cousins, and
professionals who work with the middle school to college crowd.
Bookstores and libraries have plenty of volumes to continue the
discourse. A handy resources section is included in the appendix.
On a personal note, Eugene and I recently went on a road trip. We
drove up around the Lincoln area, stopping a every yard sale we saw.
I got some really cool stuff. My favorite find was close to home: a
thrift shop just outside of Orono with a sizeable crafts section.
A great big shout out goes out to Eugene.
Sent from my iPod