January 22, 2014

Ask Amy: Teen's virtual relationship worries parents - features Internet Safety 101®

 Dear Amy: We have recently become aware that our 14-year-old daughter has been in very close contact with an 18-year-old boy who lives halfway across the country, thanks to the magic of the Internet. We are not aware of all of the details of their communications (which is primarily by texting), but there is definitely a strong emotional bond.

This has been going on for several months, and we noticed that our daughter has been very secretive and texting constantly in any spare time. She is very quiet and shy and not very active about socializing with people in normal (versus virtual) life.

Naturally, we as parents are very concerned about this and unsure of what to do.

For now, we will attempt to open up the arrangement so that we can monitor what is going on: only email contact, with us monitoring the communications.

Frankly, this sounds very difficult, both from an emotional standpoint for the kids and a practical issue of making sure secret contact does not take place. Any access to the Internet is a potential line of communication that we cannot monitor.

Any advice for parents in this modern age of communication? — Parents in the New World

Dear Parents: Welcome to cyberparenting. It's tricky. I shared your question with Donna Rice Hughes, whose website Internet Safety 101® (internetsafety101.org) offers helpful tutorials for parents and kids to navigate through this safely.


Read more: Ask Amy: Teen's virtual relationship worries parents (01/22) - The Denver Post http://www.denverpost.com/askamy/ci_24952133/ask-amy-teens-virtual-relationship-worries-parents-01#ixzz2rLASmkUa
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