Posts Tagged ‘parents’

A Social Networking Lesson for Parents: Think twice before you hit ‘send’!

June 2, 2010

It’s amazing how people continue to find new ways to get into trouble with social networking.

Photo by Davin Lesnick

Just a few years ago, a parent might get into trouble with his or her teenager by reading the teenager’s diary. Such domestic misdeeds seem almost quaint by comparison to what some parents are now doing on the Internet.

As reported by the ABA Journal and others, a mother in Arkansas has been convicted of harassing her own teenage son via the popular social networking site Facebook. While the mother and her teenage son had an admittedly difficult relationship before this (the teenager had lived with his grandmother for years), the teen never suspected that his mother would go to such lengths in her ongoing battle with him.

Denise New logged onto her son’s personal Facebook account after the teenager apparently left his account open on his computer. Perhaps many parents can appreciate the temptation of peering into their children’s online activities given such an opportunity. This mother, however, was not motivated by concern over her son’s well-being or even simple curiosity. Instead, Ms. New intended to post phony messages on his site purporting to come from him. For example, after the two got into a physical altercation and the police got involved, the mother posted a message on her son’s Facebook account (again pretending she was her son) essentially bragging that he had intentionally started the fight and called the police on his mother. Cell phone messages played in court corroborated that the mother was posting such phony messages. In other messages left on his site, the mother expressed regret at ever having a child and repeatedly used foul language. Putting all of this together, the court found that this conduct constituted harassment of the teenager. The mother was sentenced to 30 days in jail (suspended) along with probation and parenting classes.

As a reminder to all of us in this new world of social networking, the trial judge offered some sage advice:

“We live in a world now where what used to be said between two people or in a parking lot, now you hit a button and hundreds, maybe millions, of people can hear what you do,” he said. “It makes it maybe even more important for a person to think before they act because the amplification can be tremendous.” (Source: Arkansas Online)

Like it or not, we all now have the ability to broadcast information — even highly personal information — to the world.  Apparently, some of us are still struggling with deciding what information should be broadcast and what should be kept to ourselves.

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Parents – be aware and read this article: Children Don’t Have Strokes? Just Ask Jared About His, at Age 7 – NYTimes.com

January 19, 2010

The New York Times reports a fascinating story about a 7 year old boy, Jared, who one day was a healthy, happy, fully functioning boy and a few short days later was lying in a hospital bed unable to walk, virtually unable to speak and hooked to tubes and wires to support his life.

NY Times photo of Jared

The theme of the story – Children Don’t Have Strokes? Just Ask Jared About His, at Age 7 – NYTimes.com – relates to a medically inaccurate concept – ‘children don’t have strokes.’

The author of the article, Jared’s father, has sage advice, based on accurate medical information:

How little we knew. It turns out that stroke, by some estimates, is the sixth leading cause of death in infants and children. And experts say doctors and hospitals need to be far more aggressive in detecting and treating it.

Dr. Rebecca N. Ichord, director of the pediatric stroke program at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, who continues to be deeply involved in Jared’s care, said that while conditions like migraines and poisoning could cause similar symptoms, “front-line providers need to have stroke on their radar screen as a possible cause of sudden neurologic illness in children.”

The sixth leading cause of death in infants and children and many in the medical profession believe that ‘children don’t have strokes’?!   Maybe, just maybe, the article has some wisdom not only for parents – but perhaps also for the doctors treating these children.

The ‘Times’ article has a good link for a basic understanding of the signs and symptoms of stroke.  Take a moment and familiarize yourself with these so that when you are told ‘children don’t have strokes’ – maybe you can ‘share’ the news that this is nonsense so that precious hours of needed care are not wasted!