Do You Know What Your Kids are Tweeting and Texting?

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I get it, I’m old.Kids Are Good.  But Their Texts and Tweets Sometimes Aren't.

Keith Richards has better hearing than me (that would be a Rolling Stones guitar player reference kids).

My eye site gets worse by the day.  I wear contacts, but also need glasses to read anything smaller than a 24 font.

I just know my next pet will be a guide dog (sorry Buddy, but I need more than your sweet sweet love).

But old doesn’t have to mean naive.

Or just plain stupid.

If you have kids, I’m begging you to be aware.

Here is what I see and experience on a daily basis.

Technology is great.  But just like alcohol and cars, students are sometimes to young and/or immature to handle it.

The great thing about the world today is all of this new technology making the world smaller.

The bad thing for parents with teenagers is it’s making the world smaller.

Trust your kids, but don’t be a moron.

Check their Twitter accounts.

Then check their cell phone texts.

If you ask them if you can and they get mad or defensive, you’re on to something.

As a tired old school administrator, I’ve learned a few things over the years.

One, never eat food prepared by a student (figured this one out the hard way).

Two, never ever smell anything when a student says "Hey, smell this!"  Odds aren’t in your favor that it’s going to be good (if it’s food they’ve prepared, revert back to my last sentence).

Lastly, anyone between the ages of 8 and 18 is a lot smarter than you might think.

My hope is when parents check their children’s phone or social media they aren’t surprised by what they see.

But I won’t be surprised if they are.

Follow your kids on Twitter and Facebook.  It can’t hurt.

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6 Responses to “Do You Know What Your Kids are Tweeting and Texting?”

  1. Dwight Carter
    on Oct 21st, 2012
    @ 7:34 pm

    As a building principal, I share the same message with the parents of my students. Thanks for sharing your words of wisdom. I look forward to your posts, especially your sense of humor!

    Be Great,


  2. nbrach
    on Oct 21st, 2012
    @ 8:01 pm

    …and it helps to have their grandmothers and great-grandmothers follow them, too. Love it when I get an email from Pinterest letting me know that my 81-year-old mother is following me. She’s still watching out for me.

  3. Khushbu Patel
    on Oct 22nd, 2012
    @ 1:57 pm

    Dear Mr. Smith,

    I am a student in EDM310 at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, AL. I am studying to be a science teacher. I agree that many students are too young or immature to handle technology, especially when using social networking or texting, and parents should definitely stay cautious. Despite this, if used positively, social networking can provide a great outlet for education. Just as you stated, it can make the world smaller. The diffusion of ideas and creativity can be a great thing. The education system can be based on a community rather than a classroom. If this technology is integrated into education, students will attain a range of skills that will make them better prepared for the jobs they will hold in the future. For example, one skill includes working in multicultural and multilingual teams. They can gain with technology, above all, the ability to problem-solve. What are your thoughts about this?

    Khushbu Patel

  4. Hanna Kebede
    on Oct 23rd, 2012
    @ 1:15 am

    Mr. Smith, I am always eager to read your blogs. You always raise very interesting issues and address them in a fun way. Regarding today’s blog, I also believe parents should have a closer follow up on their kids more than ever since, kids can go out to the world in a second and do what ever they want to do. But, isn’t this what we want our kids to do. To go out and search. To learn from the small world. Off course, kids need a guide on how to use technology properly but they learn by just hanging out in the internet than they learn in classes this days. In today’s world we encourage students to ask “why not” to be more independent thinkers. But, how can we close the gap between parents, who wants their kids in general to be “SAFE”, teachers, who want to be part of the Tech world but still need to work hard and kids who are going really fast, even faster than their teachers (when it comes to technology). Isn’t taking a risk the first step to be productive? do we take the risk and allow kids to learn and change the world even more or do we just sit with fear and see the young generation pass us by. What is your opinion on narrowing the gap? I hope I will hear your response in this matter.

  5. Traci
    on Oct 23rd, 2012
    @ 3:40 am

    Thank you for posting this as I think many parents are too afraid to approach this subject with their children. I work at an International school and have received this type of advice numerous times this year as I have two young children. Start monitoring the kids accounts and devices when they are young so that it is a shared experience for as long as possible, this is simply smart (ie. not being a moron). In terms of maturity, why do we all assume the kids are mature enough to handle all technology – it is simply not true. I have seen one child become addicted to WII almost instantly at the age of 5 – not a pretty site because she was simply not mature enough to handle the reality of the game. Parents must be involved in technology decisions for their kids and not automatically assume that all technology is age appropriate.

  6. Siham Omar
    on Oct 25th, 2012
    @ 3:04 pm

    I love love all your posts Mr. Smith and this new post drew my attention because I recently wrote a blog for my Coetail Addis class on Where do we draw the line when it comes to technology usage for our children. I believe it is a great dilemma for many parents, especially for those that are not “techno Savvy.” Our children know more about technology then we do. However, I do not believe the answer is to spy on them, because that just creates a gap between us as a parent and our children. I believe we need to be on top of things by knowing all these Facebook, Twitter, My space all the places that our children are visiting on the web. We need to be talking with our children about the dangers of certain things that they write or post on these social web sites. We need to talk to them about boundaries and where we draw our line when it comes to their time on the web. Otherwise, I believe children have learned and are still learning many great things on their own by being part of these social networks.. it might not all be positive, but we have to learn to trust that we have thought them well and that they will utilize their web time better.

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