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Tween Safety: Summer Boredom

by Ronald A. Rowe | June 19th, 2013 | Tweens

summer boyNo more homework. No more books. No more teacher’s dirty looks. School’s out for summer. For some parents, parents of children transitioning into the tween years, this summer is going to bring a whole gamut of new challenges. Up until now your child may have been happy as could be watching TV, playing video games, and playing around the house in ways that were controlled and supervised by you.

Suddenly those safe old standbys are not so safe anymore. Shows about purple dinosaurs and happy little explorers are being replaced by teenaged angst and romance. His friends are recommending video games that involve blood, violence, and all manner of bad language. Playing in the backyard by herself is not as satisfying as playing with the neighbor kids, especially the ones a year or two older. And there is the ever-present lure of the internet with hundreds of sites specifically designed to lure and corrupt your child.

One of the biggest challenges to tween summer safety is the always lurking danger of boredom. With so many choices available to them, tweens today are inundated with options — too many options for their own good. When some of those choices are removed from the equation, tweens get bored — and quickly. It doesn’t take long for a tween to spiral down from full engagement to utter and despondent boredom.

That is when the danger looms large.

A bored tween is susceptible to temptations that would otherwise be easily shirked. It is important to note here that we, as adults, cannot impose our reasonable standards of boredom upon our children at this age. It won’t work. You cannot explain, rationalize, or impose your expectations of how much stimulation is required to fend off boredom. This is the world our technology has created. We can only manage those expectations and work diligently to limit, monitor, and control their exposure to the big world outside your home.

We are not battling against tween boredom. That will happen. We fight against the dangerous temptations that arise from said boredom. Your best weapon in this war is communication. Know what your children are watching. Know what sites they visit online. Know with whom they spend their time. You cannot over-communicate in this area. You’ll never know too much. So dig in deep. Snoop. Spy. Prod. Pry. It will be worth it in the long run.

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