The importance of social networks for teens and tweens

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The importance of social networks for teens and tweens

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I'm often asked whether teens should have Facebook or Twitter or access to all the social networking available. I always hesitate to give an answer because a lot of it has to do with family values and a lot of it has to do with age. The reality is that -- We have research that shows that, by age five, 50 percent of girls are on Facebook. Of that, half of the parents don't know. It is what I call an "is." It's an "is" that children will find a way to do. Try to delay it a bit, but when it happens, you need to be there to guide. We always say to parents, it's important for you to go on a social networking site at least once a week, put in your child's name, and see what you get. That helps for a couple of things. One, it helps open up a conversation with your child; and two, it let's you know what your child is dealing with.

Watch JoAnn Deak, PhD's video on The importance of social networks for teens and tweens...

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JoAnn Deak, PhD

Psychologist & Author

JoAnn Deak, PhD, has spent more than 30 years as an educator and psychologist, helping children develop into confident and competent adults. The latter half of that period has also focused on working with adults, parents and teachers in their roles as guides or ‘neurosculptors’ of children. On her website is a quote that best describes her perspective on her work: “every interaction a child has, during the course of a day, influences the adult that child will become.”

Parents and educators at schools from New York to Hawaii, as well as such organizations as the National Association of School Psychologists, the National Association of Independent Schools, the Association of International Schools, the American Montessori Society and the International Baccalaureate Association, have heralded Dr. Deak’s ability to demystify complex issues of child development, learning, identify formation and brain research.

Dr. Deak has been an advisor to Outward Bound, a past chair of the National Committee for Girls and Women in Independent Schools, on the advisory board for the Center on Research for Girls (Laurel School), for the Seattle Girls’ School, Bromley Brook School, the Red Oak School, Power Play and GOAL. She consults with organizations and schools across the United States. Most recently, she has worked internationally with schools, organizations, associations and parent groups in every continent (except Antarctica!) She has been awarded the Woman of Achievement Award by the National Coalition of Girls’ Schools, was given the first Female Educator of the Year Award by Orchard House School, and the Outstanding Partner for Girls Award from Clemson University. She has been named the Visiting Scholar in New Zealand, the Visiting Scholar for Montessori Children’s House and has been the Resident Scholar for the Gardner Carney Leadership Institute in Colorado Springs for the past five years.

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