Do you know what your children are up to, or can see on social media?

image

In the world of iPads, Smart and iPhones children are handed devices and more than you know comes with it!

It starts with fun apps, movies, then moves on to much more than most parents are aware of.

I just read, “American Girls“, by Nancy Jo Sales, which is a MUST read for all parents with children in middle/high school or college.

It cracks the silent code as to what is going on in the United States & the world with tweens/teens on social media which is truly mind blowing!

From bullying, body shaming, explicit photos & videos, internet surfing, the rise of STD’s, rape, online predators, sexting, dangers with some apps, pornographic videos all of which children can gain access to in a snap!

Below are just a few of the most popular apps that tweens/teens are using.

The A B C’s of the App World:

Ask.fm is one of the most popular sites used by children.  It allows users to anonymously ask questions consequence-free forum.

Blendr is an app that uses GPS to meet people. This app is used to flirt, send messages and videos. Users rate the others uses on a scale of their hotness.

The Down app is used in a way connecting Facebook friends and indicate if they want to hook up or hang out with someone.

Kik Messenger has over 100 million users on this app.  Exchanges of pictures, drawings, YouTube videos can be sent to users.  Sexting is done also on this app through having a, “Kik buddy”.  There are no parental controls on this app, and classified ads are done through giving out Kik usernames.

Apps like Snapchat (Allows a user to send videos and photos on his/her list of friends. The sender determines how long the image can be seen, then it destructs. This app is most used for sexting by teens because they think it is a safe bet no one will know.

What children/parents don’t realize is that the image can be screen shot then passed on by friends, as well as on porn sites for revenge like, Snap Porn!

Tinder is an app used for dating or, “hooking up”.  Through GPS users can search and see unlimited profiles from minors to adults.

This app pulls information from Facebook profiles.

Yik Yak is an app that allows users to post texts up to a certain number of characters.  Messages can be viewed by fellow Yakkers through GPS which is startling!

Although posts are anonymous, children can start to reveal personal information to complete strangers!

Whisper is an app that is used anonymously to confess thoughts or feelings.

Again through GPS users can communicate with people in their area.

What information I thought I knew to look out for in the years to come I was clueless to what is out there for kids/teens!

Social media does not come with a parenting guide, so my advise is as follows…

*Be aware of what apps your children have.

*Have continuing conversations about what they are doing on social media.  Discuss what is appopraite and not okay to post.

*Teach them online safety, versus lecturing.

*Have rules for example:

*Never post anything you do not want the world to see (bullying, inapporate photos/language).

Never give your full name, address, cell/home phone numbers

Never arrange face-to-face meetings

Never upload/post personal pictures of yourself

*Maintain access to your children’s online accounts, and randomly ask to see his/her devices.

*Set up a parenting contract and establish rules/consequences together.

*No devices in bedrooms!  Have a common area your children can ise their devices.

*Have a check out/check in for all devices.

There are countless parents I mentor and am friendly with who complain of their childrens sleeping habits, as well as that they cant get their kids off their devices.

If you set a time in the am/pm it will solve most issues!

They are children and NOT the parent!  It is easy to hand a device and the room is silent.  However as parents it is our job to set boundaries, and follow through with them.

The world is changing so fast, and we need to educate ourselves, as well as our children of the online world.

One of my favorite teachable moments I did in a workshop in one middle school was to give every student a piece of paper, Sharpie marker and an eraser.

I asked each student to write his/her most personal secret that they would NEVER share with everyone.

I then collected the Sharpie’s and asked them to erase what they just wrote.

The room was silent, and I think they understood that what your post can not be erased forever!

Friends can screenshot and share posts/photos and NOTHING is guaranteed that no one else can see!  Emails that are trashed aren’t really trashed!

This post is one I wish that you will share on all social media to educate other parents of what is going on in today’s world.

Take it from a Mom who wants to thank Nancy Jo Sales for shedding light onto what is happening in the social media world!

.

Want to stop nail bitting for girls & boys naturally?

image

Then head to www.chewbeads.com!

Nail bitting can cause many issues, infections to nail beds, illness, and is a habit that most parents want to put an end to!

There are many products on the market, & polishes which taste horrible! Why have your child ingest chemicals or have their fingers wrapped and feel embarrassed right?

Chewbeads are BPA, Phthalates, Lead, Metal & Cadmium FREE, & are dishwasher safe! ~LOVE this!

This fab company features necklaces and bracelets for girls & boys, as well as for moms, & teething rings for babies.

My Goddaughter who is seven, has been biting her nails for a while, and her mother was besides herself! I had students years ago who had the same issue, and therapeutic rings to chew helped, then I had the idea to give her a Chewbeads necklace!

The plan was to have her wear the necklace and when she felt like bitting her nails, she was to chew on the beads. I promised her that we would get fun nail art if she didn’t bite her nails. In just a few weeks her nails have grown & her nail bitting is a thing of the past!

As a reward, we are heading to my fave, Valley Nails in NYC for a fun leopard manicure!

Some other great ideas are to take pictures before and after, choose a unique reward, or have a small celebration!

Take it from a Mom Who is so proud of her Goddaughter’s success thanks to Chewbeads, & it is worth a try!

Want to know two scary statistics about abuse?

image

Then go to www.itstimetotalkday.org!

On Tuesday I had the opportunity to attend an event hosted by The Moms, sponsored by Mary Kay & Verizon Wireless.

Denise Albert and Melissa Musen Getsten did had a fabulous Q & A session with a panel, and opened questions to the public.

US Gold Medalist Jordyn Wieber, her mother and actor Morris Chestnut were on the panel discussing their personal views about standing up to abuse. There was a parent discussing how she lost her daughter to abuse, as well as a teen who told us her heartfelt story which started by texting via text and the problems escalated.

Representatives from Verizon Wireless and Mary Kay both discussed their free services for these issues which could be found on their websites.

1 out of 3 teens have either been abused verbally, sexually or physically, & 3 out of 4 parents have never had a conversation about this topic!

Those two statistics were startling to me, which I felt the need to spread the word, & you can too!

We as parents need to start earlier than middle school or high school with these conversations!

As early as age five, you can begin to discuss hitting, good touching and bad touching with your child. Having your pediatrician yearly at well visits discuss what you feel comfortable about your child learning, is an easy way to handle start the conversation.

I also brought up the fact that on playdates or on the playground, is a great opportunity for parents to step in. For extreme teasing, roughhousing or when a child says, “Stop!” or “No!”, we need to discuss what this means, and for them to RESPECT these boundaries!

It is imperative that we model and talk to our children about these issues when you have a, “teachable moment”. Whether it be watching a movie or a tv show, reading a book or stepping in when they are playing with friends. Children need to understand what is okay and what is not, so start today!

For more information go to:

www.itstimetotalkday.org

www.loveisrespect.org
Text “loveis” 22522 or call 866-331-9474 for 24/7 peer counselors that will talk to teens anonymously

www.marykay.com/dontlookaway
Contact them for a free compact for your daughter with help information hidden inside in each one.

www.nyc.gov/domesticviolence

Take it from a Mom Who wants to help end abuse, so spread the word with me!

#itstimetotalkday

Want a great, “Time-Out” tool that works!

image

Then follow these simple steps!

Step 1: Collaboratively as a couple set rules for your family, & talk it over with your children.

*It is imperative that everyone is on the same page, (Like your spouse, family members, nanny’s or babysitters) because it reinforces the rules.

Step 2: Give you child/children a reminder of what they did. If they do it again, then something will be taken away, & that it will be their choice!

*By giving your child a reminder, it is helpful for them to reflect on their behavior. Also by putting the choice in their lap after a reminder, it can be helpful.

Step 3: Have an area in your home which the toy or item that I being taken away is far out if reach.

I have a collection on top of our refrigerator, or some other ideas is to keep the items in a clear plastic bin, or in a bag to be kept in your car or closet, & the list can go on!

Step 4: Explain to your child that they chose for the toy/item to be taken away, & that is was their choice!

Then place the toy/item in the designated area for a few hours, the entire day, or overnight.

Also they will get it back, but not at this time, & let them know when.

Step 5: By the end of the day, or the day in which you give the toy/item back, explain why it was taken away.

*We as parents need to teach our children right from wrong, as well a need to set boundaries, & implement family rules.

If everyone is on the same page, this method truly works, & so far it has for my family for almost nine years!

There are days we face as parents that can be challenging, but have faith, because you will be helping your child in the long run!

Take it from a Mom Who Knows!