Social media and the parent-child bond are among the themes in my novel, “Don’t Try to Find Me.” They were also among the topics of a recent radio interview I gave (thanks to Answers for the Family for a great talk! you can listen to it here.) While there are the obvious ways that social media can harm a teenager (for example, cyber bullying) there are some more insidious ones as well.
What are they, and what’s a parent to do?
There’s a fresh wave of stories about yet another young model told she’s “too fat for the runway.” To the vast majority of us, that young woman doesn’t have a pound to spare.
And there’s always the latest story of another young woman driven to suicide after being raped, or being bullied for being too sexual or not sexual enough or too hot or not hot enough. The online world is rife with opportunities to be told that something is wrong with you.
So what’s a parent to do?
Every parent has had that feeling at one point or another. It could be an error in judgment, a moment of frustration, a public spectacle, a comparison to other people’s kids… Lucky us, there are a ton of scenarios that can evoke feelings of anxiety, insecurity, self-doubt, and self-laceration.
What if you’re having those feelings with some regularity? Here are ideas of what to do.
Some people learned how to parent by experiencing good parenting. Some have learned the opposite (what not to do) because of the family they grew up in. But there are particular challenges for those who were abused or neglected, once they have their own children.
Here are some ideas of how to face those challenges and become the parent you wish you’d had.
These are equal opportunity parenting tips. They apply no matter the age of your kids (be they toddlers, teenagers, somewhere in between, or even adult children.) Once you’re a parent, you can’t really quit or retire, so might as well keep doing it better.
Sometimes parents want to negotiate with their teenagers but aren’t sure how. We don’t want to be pushovers, but we don’t want to be dictators either. So where to start?
This one is for all the parents of toddlers out there. I started doing it three weeks ago and since then, no tantrums (from her, or from me!). So I thought it was my civic duty to pass it on.
This was a question that came up on my Facebook author page among some mothers who’d read my book, “Don’t Try to Find Me.” Yes, my novel represents a very particular case but the desire to protect your kids is pretty universal.
Do all teens require online monitoring? How do you monitor? And what do you do with what you find out?
There are numerous studies showing narcissism is on the rise, and altruism and empathy are declining. When that’s the greater social context in which we live, what’s a parent to do?
In my novel, “Don’t Try to Find Me” (out today!), Rachel’s 14-year-old daughter Marley runs away, and during the social media campaign to bring her home, many secrets are revealed. Among them: What Marley thinks about her mom is radically different from what Rachel believes she’s communicating.
While my novel presents a high stakes fictional situation, many parents can relate to the idea that we don’t necessarily know what our teens are thinking about us as parents and as individuals, and that can really cost us in terms of our relationships. So what’s a parent to do?