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Chariton Noses
Chariton Noses

Reality Spy Teen

Julie Bargo is a 15-year-old from State College, Pa. Her mother puts her $25-a-week allowance into a PocketCard debit card, which sends an e-mail back to mom every time the teenager uses it with a full report on what she bought.

reality spy teen

Yes, say most experts. But they dispute how extreme the situation must be. The risk, says John Friel, co-author of "The 7 Worst Things Parents Do," is that all trust will be destroyed and your teen won't ever again turn to you when a problem arises.

It is particularly scandalous in Britain because one of those smuggled teens was Shamima Begum, then 15, who remains in a detention camp in Syria fighting to return to Britain after her British citizenship was stripped from her because of her support for IS.

It's hard work to parent a teen. In a recent New York Magazine article, Jennifer Senior writes, "It's dicey business, being someone's prefrontal cortex by proxy. Yet modern culture tells us that that's one of the primary responsibilities of being a parent of a teen."

Of course, it's no surprise that the last thing teens want is to have a parent looking too closely into their lives. It's a constant push-pull phenomenon for parents and for teens. One minute, a teenager can descend into grumpiness, isolation and solitude, and in the same breath, that teen wants a hug, affection and a laugh.

In the realm of social media and texting, teens want to go wherever the adults are not. The evidence bears this out, as Facebook grapples with how to keep teens in the fold. Facebook's failed attempt to purchase Snapchat for $3 billion fell through to much public fanfare and reflected a larger issue of the migration of teens away from adults. The kids want their own digital playground.

It's a bit like a parent playing four square or pickup basketball on a nine-foot hoop at school recess. With the parent in the mix, the game is going to change. For the parent, sure, it can feel good to dunk on a nine-foot hoop or slam the red rubber ball into one of the four square corners, but the kids are left looking at the adult as though he or she has three heads. It's not the way the game is supposed to be played at school recess. The same thinking applies to social media and teens. Parents are not meant to be part of texting, Instagram or Snapchat.

Swan quotes Sue Porter, Dean of Students at Marin-based Branson School: "It's as though we've put all teenagers in a room together with megaphones, and left them unsupervised. And now we have to punish them for being loud."

Benign neglect is certainly an option, but as many of today's parents may recall from their own teenage years, that option can be just as risky. In the same San Francisco Weekly article, Albany High School Assistant Principal Susan Charlip says, "I mean, we did all those things. But nobody put it on a billboard on Route 9."

The notion that kids will be kids and that what happened in the days before social media and texting was somehow OK is dangerous and misguided thinking. The fact that the lives of teens are "public by default," a phrase coined by Microsoft researcher danah boyd, is a reality that adults need to come to terms with.

This is the ultimate question facing parents right now as they try to figure out how to parent a teen, all the while wanting to be the "proxy" for their teen's prefrontal cortex. Parents are eager for a magical algorithm that will help them solve the equation of monitoring social media use and consumption among teens. It would be nice and convenient if such a thing existed.

The concept of the neighborhood has changed. Gone are the days of being able to walk next door to ask the neighbor and to share or commiserate about raising a teen. The school has instead become the neighborhood that parents have come to rely on for guidance and support.

The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), features several recommended titles for both the avid and reluctant teen reader, ages 12-18. Parents, caregivers, librarians, and educators can use these lists to find good books for teens. While these books have been selected for teens ages 12-18, they span a broad range of reading and maturity levels. Adults are encouraged to take an active role in helping individual teens choose books that are the best fit for them and their families.

Teens' Top TenThis list allows teens to choose their ten favorite books from a list of current titles nominated by teen book groups. Nominations are listed in April. Teens vote for their favorite books in August and September. The votes are tallied and YALSA names the Teens' Top Ten during Teen Read Week.

Sixteen-year-old Koral and her older brother Emrik risk their lives each day to capture the monstrous maristags that live in the black seas around their island. They have to, or else their family will starve.

All sixteen-year-old Georgia Avis wants is everything, but the poverty and hardship that defines her life has kept her from the beautiful and special things she knows she deserves. When she stumbles upon the dead body of thirteen-year-old Ashley James, Georgia teams up with Ashley's older sister Nora, to find the killer before he strikes again, and their investigation throws Georgia into a glittering world of unimaginable privilege and wealth--and all she's ever dreamed. But behind every dream lurks a nightmare, and Georgia must reconcile her heart's desires with what it really takes to survive. As Ashley's killer closes in and their feelings for one another grow, Georgia and Nora will discover when money, power, and beauty rule, it's not always a matter of who is guilty but who is guiltiest--and the only thing that might save them is each other. 041b061a72

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