SOURCE: Author Jacquie Ream

Author Jacquie Ream

June 29, 2011 16:14 ET

What Are the New Rules for Teen Texting?

Expert Reveals How to Fight Cyberbullying at Home

SEATTLE, WA--(Marketwire - Jun 29, 2011) - Between the proliferation of cyberbullying and the inappropriate communications that cell phones enable between teens, Jacquie Ream believes it's time for parents to set up new rules for their teens regarding technology.

"The common joke with teens is that they're all developing oversized thumbs from all the texting they do on their cell phones," said Ream, a former educator and author of "YNK - You Never Know" (www.reamink.com), a book about the pitfalls of technology aimed at today's teens. "The truth is that technology has moved faster than parents' ability to keep up with it. Parents need to be able to explain to them how this technology can affect their lives."

Ream's new ABCs for parents of teens with cell phones include:

  • A is for Acknowledge -- Parents need to acknowledge and accept that technology is here to stay, and it will likely move faster than they can keep up with it. We need to stop and try to calculate the ramifications of having that technology, and it goes beyond worrying about making sure our hair looks neat before we answer the video-phone.

  • B is for Beware -- When we were kids, bullying was restricted to the schoolyard, and when we were home or with our friends, we were safe from it. Today, cell phones enable bullying 24/7, and the implications are far-reaching. Cyberbullying has been blamed in the suicide deaths of teenagers all over the country, so parents need to provide proper guidance for their kids so that they don't wind up as either the bully or the bullied.

  • C is for Care -- Kids need to be taught to place a higher value on their friendships and acquaintances. Internet sites like Facebook have taught kids that making a friend is as easy as clicking "yes" to accept a friend request, and that ending a friendship is even easier -- just click on "block." We should use that technology to represent our values, and not allow the technology to determine what they are.

About Jacquie Ream

Jacquie Ream attended college on writing scholarships at Pitzer, Claremont and Cal State and completed her Masters Degree in Creative Writing at the University of Washington, and has taught creative writing classes for students from age five to 65.

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