Parenting in the Social Age

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“Back in my day…”

These famous words uttered by parents and grandparents around the world can cause new or young parents many an eye roll. Raising children isn’t easy- we all know that. However, our family members often give their advice freely without pausing to consider how things have changed over the years.

Just within the last decade, society has undergone a digital revolution that has changed the parenting game in ways that were unthinkable when we were children. Today’s parents are raising digital natives that can’t recall a time without wi-fi or instant access to the Internet. Kids snicker when we mention card catalogs or encyclopedias; appalled that we would consider such outdated methods.

With greater access to instant information comes greater use. This can find parents struggling to keep up with our sons’ and daughters’ social media and devices. It is believed that 70 percent of children take measures to hide questionable apps and their online activity from the adults in their lives, which can be disturbing when we consider the dangers lurking behind the soft glow of their beloved screens.

As we see headlines about cyberbullying, online predators, identity theft, and Internet addiction it is essential that we know the places our teens are hanging out online. As teens leave behind Facebook, they are seeking refuge in a variety of anonymous, disappearing, and location based social media apps. By not understanding the unknown, we might be exposing our children to many unforeseen dangers.

Unfortunately, the parenting advice we are able to garner from our parents isn’t always applicable to the situations facing our kids today. Just like our banana seat bikes and pegged jeans, their perspectives might be a little outdated. While our moms and dads may have great tips for dealing with tantrums, teenage angst, and other dramas we need to seek out more information and tips on social parenting.

We need to know the current trends, age restrictions, and the parental controls available to protect our highly connected teens. To help you on your journey, please click on the image below to read the following infographic:

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Born and raised in Austin, TX, Hilary Smith is a free-lance journalist whose love of gadgets, technology and business has no bounds. After becoming a parent she now enjoys writing about family and parenting related topics. You can follow her at @HilaryS33 and hilarylsmith.wordpress.com

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