We are inextricably linked to our devices. We learn with them, socialize with them, communicate with them, play games through them, and use them to stay up-to-date on the world. At JCFS Response for Teens we help parents recognize that growing up is still growing up. Young people still pay attention to shopping, music, their friends, movies, and schoolwork – even as much of this may happen in digital spaces.
Children and teens are spending more and more time playing video games online with their friends. For most, this is a positive experience, allowing them to communicate with others even when they are unable to physically be with them. This is particularly true for people with difficulty spending time with others in-person, like those with major depressive disorder, autism spectrum disorder and social anxiety disorder.
This unconventional method of communication is helpful in fostering connections while building the skills and confidence necessary to interact face-to-face. Although steps should be taken to ensure children’s safety online, online video games are a large part of the lives of young people and should be recognized as a source of social support.
For parents of children who are interested in video games, it can be difficult to understand what makes one game harmful and another benign. How do you know whether to buy a game for your child? Here are a few factors to look out for.
A teenager balks when his mom asks what time he’ll be home.Another groans when asked about their homework status.Another teen puts on make-up at school, out of their parents’ sight and judgement.And another stays in his room, a lot. These youth are negotiating one of the most common developmental concerns for teenagers:Gaining a sense of independence as they move slowly toward adulthood.
If you grew up in an environment where you received unhealthy messages around eating, body image, and weight, it can be difficult to break the cycle and avoid passing these ideas on to your own kids. But it’s not impossible! A good first step is to listen to the way you (intentionally or unintentionally) talk about eating and body image in your child’s presence. If you find yourself saying any of the things below, try to shift to healthier, happier talk. This will not only benefit your child, but it can lead to your own gradual internalization of more positive thoughts and beliefs.
Here’s a rundown of some of the most popular terms that teens use to describe modern romance, from the tamest to the riskiest. Just to be clear: We’re definitely not suggesting that you violate your child’s privacy, but if you hear or come across any of these terms, there might be more going on than meets the eye. Don’t see the term you’re looking for? Try this comprehensive list of acronyms or this guide to teen slang.