Teen Health 411
Teen Health 411

Parenting in the 21st Century & Blogs

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As our culture changes, media and technology are exposing our students at younger ages to a greater variety of images and a wider range of information. As I listen to questions from friends about their teens I have been struck by the fact that many parents, perhaps not as quick to adapt to new technologies, may have found themselves without a “community” of people to discuss these changes, and to sort through decisions and dilemmas presented to parents in the 21st century.

One place parents are finding “community,” along with news and information impacting parenting decisions, is through blogs. The term “blog” comes from “Web log,” and is a form of “social media (e.g., MySpace and Wikipedia).” The word “blog” can also be used as a verb, meaning to maintain or add content to a blog. Blogs are user-generated web sites where entries are made, in a style similar to a formal journal or diary entry, and are displayed in reverse chronological order. Many blogs also include links to other blogs and Internet-based resources that you might find interesting.

Some blogs provide commentary on news about a particular subject, such as adolescent health, politics, education, dieting, medical technology, sports, while others function more like personal online diaries. You can subscribe to most blogs so that updates come via email, making it very easy to stay in touch with a topic or group of people with whom you share an interest.

A typical blog post includes text, a picture, and links to other related information about the topic. People reading the blog can leave comments about the content with links to other web-based information about the topic. Blogs frequently generate lively conversation.

Below are some of my favorite parenting blogs, along with other useful online resources. Enjoy and good luck!

Commonsense Media is dedicated to improving the media and entertainment lives of kids and families. They believe in sane judgment, not censorship. Their homepage includes reviews of the latest movies, resources and tools for parents, and links to their blog.

Ypulse is an independent blog for teen and youth media and marketing professionals, but parents find it very informative as a link to the reality of tweens, teens, generation y and generation x.

Interested in finding other blogs? Just go to Google and search for “blogs for parents.”

Not blogs, but great resources for health information include:

Go Ask Alice! is the health question-and-answer Internet service produced by Columbia University’s Health Promotion Program. They publish recently asked questions, let you search for health information by subject, and give you a chance to ask questions.

TeensHealth was created by The Nemours Foundation for Children’s Health Media. They provide families with accurate, up-to-date, and jargon-free health information.

We’re Talking Too: Preteen Health and We’re Talking Teen Health are sponsored by the Palo Alto Medical Foundation (PAMF) and provide reliable health information and resources to families.

Photo credit: Zoonie

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About the Author

Dr. Brown is a developmental psychologist specializing in adolescent health.

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