The digital world is constantly evolving with new social media platforms, apps, and devices, and children and teens are often the first to use them. Some negative things that may occur include cyberbullying, sexting, posting hateful messages or content, and participating in negative group conversations. If your child posts harmful or negative content online, it may not only harm other children; it can affect their online reputation, which can have negative implications for their employment or college admission.
While you may not be able to monitor all of your child’s activities, there are things you can do to prevent cyberbullying and protect your child from harmful digital behavior:
- Monitor a teen’s social media sites, apps, and browsing history, if you have concerns that cyberbullying may be occurring.
- Review or re-set your child’s phone location and privacy settings.
- Follow or friend your teen on social media sites or have another trusted adult do so.
- Stay up-to-date on the latest apps, social media platforms, and digital slang used by children and teens.
- Know your child’s user names and passwords for email and social media.
- Establish rules about appropriate digital behavior, content, and apps.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
SAMHSA offers a comprehensive list of resources for parents regarding underage drinking. This campaign is called, Talk; They Hear You.
Planning, implementing, and evaluating programs
Better Brodhead follows the Strategic Prevention Framework to identify issues, build the capacity to address those issues, plan and implement prevention activities with community partners and evaluate the impact our work has had.
The Strengthening Families Program is a nationally and internationally recognized parenting and family strengthening program for all families. This evidence-based program has been found to significantly improve parenting skills and family relationships, and improves social competencies and school performance in children.
Parents Who Host Lose The Most
During prom season for high schoolers, we are aware that some parents may host parties that include alcohol for the teens.
Why is this bad for their child or young adult? The human brains goes through three major growth spurts during a lifetime. If alcohol is consumed before the third and final growth spurt (during the teen years and into young adulthood) it can cause changes in the structure and function of the brain.
Compared to the adult brain, the teen brain reacts differently to alcohol. Drinking alcohol can damage the frontal lobes of the brain forever. The age when a person first consumes alcohol strongly predicts the developments of a lifelong addiction to alcohol.
Children who begin drinking before age 15 are five times more likely to develop problems with alcohol than those who start drinking alcohol after age 21. These changes in the brain can impact decision making, personality, memory and learning.
Adults will be given fines and time in jail and will be held liable if they are caught serving or giving alcohol to a minor.
Text To Protect
Text to Protect is an awareness campaign that Better Brodhead, in collaboration with Green County Crime Stoppers, promoted during the month of December. This allowed the public to notify law enforcement of any suspicious or illegal activity anonymously.
This tip line is an easy, confidential way to report suspicious activity, whether it is in a school or neighborhood, without being identified. It’s simple, just text “Green Tip” to 274637 and add your message.
For emergencies, callers should use 911.
The text are anonymous. Messages are relayed to Canada, encrypted and returned to the designated law enforcement agencies, so your phone number is not displayed and police will not ask for identification. This anonymity encourages people to feel safe about coming forward to report suspicious activities.
Anonymous tips correct the tipsters and helps law enforcement protect the community. When reporting a tip, provide as much detail as possible about the date, time, location and descriptions of individuals or incident. If vehicles are involved, a license plate and car description would be very useful.
Activities that can be reported to the tip line include: threats against schools or students, domestic violence, child abuse community vandalism, wanted persons, drug use and sales, underage drinking, gang activities, weapons and rumors of potential crimes.
If law enforcement needs more information, they will reply to the text message which follows the same route to Canada and back to the tipster. This ensures anonymity.