At OP we don’t come to work because we have to…we care about families that need our resources, support and hope! This week another teen ended her battle with depression & a family is hurting. We extend our resources in hope to save a teen, a family, a life. To see the news piece click here or for more info on suicide click here
by Kelsey Starks
CRESTWOOD, Ky. (WHAS11) — Just when parents thought they had figured out cell phones, computers and even Smartphone’s, it seems the digital generation is always one step ahead when it comes to apps.
“I always tell parents if you remember Atari and you thought that was really cool, you’re the immigrant,” explains Mary Beth Uberti, who works for ‘Operation Parent,’ a local resource for parents dealing with teens on a variety of issues. Uberti hosts clinics to help educate parents about social media and the ever-changing world of the internet. “You weren’t born with this, we have to learn it.”
It’s how this digital generation communicates. Meanwhile, their parents are getting schooled.
“I feel like I’ve had to backtrack just to keep up,” says Kelli Van Zant, a parent of four – ages 14 to 21. Just when she thought she had Facebook figured out, her kids have moved on to twitter and much more.
The high schoolers we talked to at Oldham County High School said that it is parents who made Facebook “uncool.”
“A lot of kids just like having their own thing and when parents invade that it’s time to move on,” Oldham County senior Steven Estes explained. “Snapchat is really more popular; parents can’t really keep track of that.”
SNAPCHAT is a messaging service that allows you to take a photo or short video that you can add text or doodle to and send it to your friends. They can view it up to 10 seconds before it disappears.
“They’re gone in ten seconds,” junior Allison Houk said. “So a lot of kids don’t worry about what they send.”
But Uberti warns – not so fast.
“Anybody who has a Smartphone can screen-shot it,” she says. A screen-shot allows you to take an instant picture of what’s on the screen of your Smartphone at any time. Snapchat has enabled a process that lets you know if someone tries to save your picture, but it still can’t prevent it from happening. “If you are sending an improper or risqué photo, and they get it, they own it,” Uberti said.
When it comes to sharing pictures for public viewing, teens are on INSTAGRAM. In fact, they are using it more than Facebook. For videos, they are on VINE, which shares 6-second videos that are all public.
Uberti warns that using hashtags on these public sites can lead to trouble.
It doesn’t take very long to follow the hashtags,” she said. “I don’t want to say it’s always sexual or porn, but it can get there real fast.”
Apps like KIK or PHEED allow teens to text message using the internet instead of their Smartphone device. That means even if you search their messages, you won’t see it. In fact, there’s a chance you won’t see the App at all.
“There’s even secret apps I just learned about,” Van Zant said. “It looks like a calculator, but when you open it you put in a code and it opens something else.” This is how apps or secret pictures or video can be hidden. 71% of teenagers say they have done something to hide what they are doing online. And although they don’t want you to see it, many strangers can see it and that’s where parents need to focus on stepping in.
“There’s a way to use it to your advantage,” Kelli explains. She follows all of her kids and their friends and their friends. That means she can see what they are doing, when they are doing it and who they are with at any time.
“The most important thing is to get informed and stay involved,” Uberti said. “If you don’t understand what they are doing, just ask them. Keep the lines of communication open so you can discuss the best ways to use social media.”
“OPERATION PARENT” hosts various workshops targeting parents of teenagers. Thursday, November 14th they are holding a course on social media for parents of JCPS students from 6-7:30 at the VanHoose Education Center’s Stewart Auditorium. To find out more information and details on similar courses offered, go to www.operationparent.org
DO’S and DONT’S for Parents on Social Media Apps
- DO ask your teen about the apps they use and how to use them
- DON’T comment and like their photos or videos excessively
- DO read the fine print before allowing apps on phones – most have an appropriate age rating
- DON’T post personal information about you or your family online
- DO discuss boundaries and limits for using the phone and its apps and the forever implications of posting online.
- DON’T ban technology, learn it instead
TRENDS from Operation Parent:
- 94% of teens have a profile on Facebook with an average friend count of 425 (May2013)
- What is popular today may not be in six months; Twitter is becoming more popular with teens than Facebook now.
- 81% of 12-17 year-olds use social media, placing it ahead of texting, email and instant messaging.
- Group texting apps (such as GroupMe and Whatsapp) are gaining in popularity as an easier way to have conversations with a select group of people
HELPFUL PARENTING APPS from Operation Parent:
- Text Arrest disables texting and email when a car is traveling faster than 5 mph (textarrest.com)
- myHomework helps kids organize tests, due dates, study groups, etc.
- Life360 finds family members on a private map, see recent crimes nearby, receive alerts when family members reach specific locations and more.
- iCurfew updates parents on teen’s location.
- Bsafe contact 911 and as many friends as you want with the touch of one button if you’re in trouble.
by Bethanni Williams
(WHAS 11)–JCPS is hosting a seminar for parents to learn more about the ever changing world of social media.
A whopping 81 percent of teenagers say they use social media instead of texting, e-mail or instant messaging.
And although most teens are still on Facebook, most of them aren’t using it as much as they use apps like Twitter and Instagram.
Operation Parent is hosting the seminar on parenting and social media.
The meeting is from 6-7:30 p.m. November 14 at Stewart Auditorium in the Vanhoose Education Center on Newburg Road.
January 16, 2014 – January 16, 2014
423 Cherrywood Road
Internet/Gaming Addiction – Hosted by Holy Trinity
Presenter: Kate Overberg, LCSW, The Morton Center
When: Thursday, January 16, 2014
Where: Holy Trinity School, 423 Cherrywood Rd., Louisville, KY 40207
It is difficult to estimate how widespread the problem of internet addiction is, but according to the American Medical Association, up to 90 percent of American youngsters play video games and as many as 15 percent of them – more than 5 million children – may be addicted. How would you know when excessive online play has crossed into internet addiction? Kate Overberg will discuss this addiction, symptoms and practical tips for parents.
Kate Overberg, Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor, has been working with adolescents and their families for the past 11 years, the past 5 as a therapist. At The Morton Center, Kate works with individuals of all ages struggling with alcohol and drug related issues, and their loved ones; and also sees individuals struggling with a range of internet addiction issues. For more information visit The Morton Center at www.themortoncenter.org
Need a little help keeping up with digital devices & teaching responsible usage at home? Click here to read more and register for this Wednesday’s event. Presenter, Mary Beth Uberti, will make sure you leave with some practical tips and strategies that you can start using right away!
Norton Healthcare is offering Operation: PARENT’s Parenting 101 course to their employees! This course is being offered just before Financial Peace University and comes at no cost to the employees. The course was modified to accommodate a 60-minute time slot. Employees can register through Norton…spouses of employees are included at no charge!