June 2014

M O N T H L Y  T I P

Ignore the trolls,
find your friends

We often encourage teens not to share personal information online, including their identities, but does anonymity help or hurt? It could do a little of both. In honor of Internet Safety Month, think of the Internet as a place where teens may try out new personas, experiences, and roles. Sometimes anonymous settings can make that process easier–such as when they allow shy teens come out of their shells. But feeling anonymous can also make more aggressive or mean behavior feel possible and acceptable. To help teens manage online anonymity, set guidelines for acceptable behavior (like keeping their interactions constructive and not hurtful). Also, encourage them to focus on the positives of online engagement (such as affirmative comments on their posts and pictures), while understanding that whatever they post in a public domain may be subject to criticism (from trolls and others). And when the negatives get them down, advise them to turn to their friends and family for encouragement instead of adding to the anonymous negativity. Learn more

P A R E N T  Q U E S T I O N S
Q: How can my six year old explore music on her own without being exposed to inappropriate content?

A: Today’s technology offers great ways to allow your child a way to explore musical tastes in a controlled environment. There are a few different options, such as MP3 players, online streaming services, YouTube, etc., each of which has advantages and challenges. Deciding which to choose will depend on your priorities. Read the full answer here

R E S E A R C H   

Teens and sex online: What you need to know about the risks and harms

Sexual content is prevalent online, and exposure to such content has the potential to upset certain children and teens. In the article When adolescents receive sexual messages on the Internet: explaining experiences of risk and harm (2014), the authors discuss who is most likely at risk to stumble upon sexual messages, and who is most likely to be negatively impacted. Read more

M E D I A  M O M E N T S  

Playing Attention and Finding Your Why

Read how one parent inspired her son to use his imagination (without a screen!) in the great outdoors. Take a look at the full post, and follow along every month on askthemediatrician.com

P R E S S 

Mobile Generation

CMCH’s Lauren Rubenzahl discusses media mindfulness, and the importance of incorporating a variety of screen and non-screen activities into a child’s day.  Read more