Tuesday, January 17, 2017

It Takes a Village to Raise a Middle School Child

EMS has been buzzing since returning from the holiday break two weeks ago. Between Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Periscope and text messaging the students are communicating to each other and to the outside world all the time. It’s not all positive though and I want to share some ways to best monitor your child and their use of social media.  

Know their passwords:  News flash to some of you…...Some students have more than one account.  They have one for grandma and one for friends.  Know them all!

Check your child’s privacy settings.  Make them as limiting as they can be.

Don’t be afraid to limit the use:  Have an agreed upon contract of when to use it, where to charge it and how it’s going to be used. A wonderful tool is a website The Smart Talk. It's an interactive website that allows kids and parents to work together to create a set of personalized rules for their electronics. 

Check out what pictures are being posted:  What’s interesting is I’ve seen pictures of students that give away their identity by what’s in the background.

Know who they’re chatting with: Each year I hear about students chatting with someone they don’t know.  Ask questions and demand to know the answers.  

Listen to your gut: The old analogy is a lioness listen to her gut when protecting her young. We need to do the same.

It takes a village to raise a middle school child. We are in this together.  We owe it to each other to be on the same team.  If you see, hear or suspect something…..say something.  If you feel uncomfortable about making the call…..Let me know and I’ll make it.  I’ve made many phone calls not as the principal but rather as a father.  If I’d want to know as a dad…..you deserve to know.  

A couple of Apps to help: Teen Safe, Secure Teen, Net Nanny
ADL, Westford and EMS will be working together to provide parents an opportunity to learn more about Social Media.  Be on the lookout for an evening of learning over the next few weeks.

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