Dear Parents and Guardians:
As students are entering a few months where they have more free time than during the school year, we wanted to make you aware of some potentially dangerous mobile apps and provide you with some helpful resources:
One of our principals shares a unique perspective:
As a parent and an administrator, I think it's important to realize two things: there's never going to be a list of apps that we should disallow for children because new apps are developed every day. Second, there's no set of procedures or protocol that is going to guarantee that a child is going to be safe online. In my household, we have found that we have to humble ourselves as parents and realize we CAN'T know everything they're doing and everyone they're in contact with online.
Parenting this generation is so difficult because our kids are encountering things we have never dealt with, and we as parents don't have the tools to help them navigate these unfamiliar waters. Kids aren't really doing things now on social media that they weren't doing 20 or 30 years ago. It's just that the social media platforms allow those things to be more pervasive and even more hidden from parents than they were with our generation.
It's not apps that are the problem, it's behaviors. Dealing with phones and social media is just like anything else we do as parents. We try to teach the values we have as a family and we have to trust our children to do the right thing. Every child will eventually push the boundaries and violate their family's values and principles, whether it’s on social media or somewhere else. As parents, we have to be willing to then give appropriate consequences for those behaviors.
These are wise words that I hope will remind us all to continue to be engaged with our children. Over the summer, please consider setting aside time for meaningful conversations with your child. Many of our students share their hopes, dreams, and fears with us at school. This generation is filled with extremely smart and talented children. They have challenges, temptations, and dangers in their hands every day, ones that we never experienced. We must stay engaged to protect them the best way possible, through intentional conversations and dialogue.
I hope you all enjoy a summer when you can carve away some quality time to reflect, rest, and relax. We will continue to provide you with information and resources that will hopefully help you in your parenting efforts. We look forward to seeing our students back at school in August!
Darrin L. Hartness, Ed. D