As the Director of Social Norms here at Faith Lutheran Middle School & High School, I am passionate about helping our students avoid risky behaviors like drugs, alcohol, tobacco, and sex. This January we have launched our Faith Facts campaign with renewed vigor to involve the entire Faith Family. Faith Facts is a major undertaking that is part of a comprehensive ‘Avoid Risky Behaviors’ program. To summarize the comprehensive approach, I will summarize it in three words ‘Danger, Data, and Divinity”.
Students today can seem more involved, well-rounded, and engaged then generations before. The result: BUSY teenagers. What can we do to support and mentor them as life gets stressful?
As we read in Part 1, childhood has changed. Our kids live in a world that is more visible and transparent than ever. As parents the choices we made as kids were usually private and undocumented. However, our children are living in a society where everything is filmed, watched, documented and shared. In Part 2, we will discuss how our child's digital world can and will have a direct impact on their physical world and what parents can do.
Raising digital teenagers is hard work especially when today’s parents did not grow up with the internet. As a school counselor and a mom, I often hear that this leaves parents feeling they are ill equipped to cross the bridge between their experiences and the digital childhood of their offspring. We live in an age of sexting, frightening online challenges, cyberbullying, and digital footprints which can follow middle schoolers to college. Less dramatic is the typical struggle over amount of screen time and how that time is spent. All of this leaves adults veering wildly between over-policing children or giving up supervision altogether. The question remains; how can we keep our kids educated and safe?