Teenagers hang out at malls, chat on the phone, text their friends the latest news on their cell phone, and surf the web. Some teens create a MySpace or Face Book page, which allows them yet another way to socialize with peers. Many teens also work a part-time job to make extra spending money. Then there are the webcam teens, teens that have a webcam, most initially got it to talk with their friends, but learned quickly it was an easy way to make money.
Webcam teens undress in front of the camera for money. They perform for countless people in chat rooms and around the world for a price. The price of taking a shirt off and sitting in front of the webcam is easy money compared to working 8 hours a night at a fast food restaurant or retail shop.
Teenager with webpage’s like MySpace or Face Book are increasingly likely to be approached by someone online soliciting them for a sexual act ranging from performing on a webcam to cybersex. Both MySpace and Face Book have age restrictions that are suppose to prevent teens from joining before the age of eighteen, yet unlike most free sites there is no way to verify age without a credit card.
Our children today have cell phones, texting, cameras and video access to their phones and on-line access to computers. IPods, MP3 Players and have PDA’s to organize their life quickly and then move onward. Life is very fast paced, and many children feel a sense of I have to do this now or I won’t be able to do it later.
In addition many families have one or both parents working more than one job to pay for the electronics of today’s lifestyle. During the teen age years this mom works nights, and hubby works days, so one of us is always home with the kids, after all most teenagers need daily supervision or surveillance. It is imperative that parents teach children from the beginning what is acceptable and unacceptable behavior while on-line or while texting friends.
In my home before 9 am and after 9 pm pm the rule is no cell phones or texting anyone unless it is an emergency. Cell Phones are charged in mom’s bedroom, no exceptions. This prevents teens from talking and texting at all hours of the night. If you doubt your teen is up that late and chatting or texting, think again, and go check your detailed wireless bill.
Our life is being inundated by electronic devices which go with us almost anywhere and as a parent we must teach children the proper etiquette for cell phone, texting, chatting, and calling. We must also touch on the dangers of what can happen if these devices are used inappropriately. Education is not just for teachers in the school building, as parents are truly a child’s first teacher in life.