OffenderWatch Blog

Posted: Feb 23, 2017
Categories: Blog Posts
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written by Kim W.

As a parent of a teenager, I have found myself many times getting preoccupied with what my child is doing on social media but not just what he is doing. I also find myself consumed with knowing what he is seeing. Thankfully, I’ve got a rare case of a child who really is not a big fan of social media. He is fourteen years old, and I don’t know any other fourteen year olds who feel that they can live without it. Now, having said that, he is a “lurker” since he only watches what everyone else is doing on social media. That is one of my concerns.

He is accepting Instagram followers and Facebook friends. He does not “post” but he does see what others are doing. I had to have a serious discussion with him about who he accepts as followers and friends, but until very recently, I thought we were done with that conversation. It was easy: do not accept friends or followers that you do not know.

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Posted: Feb 23, 2017
Categories: Blog Posts
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For parents of teens and tweens who use text messaging with any frequency, it can be tough to figure out whether or not the content of their messages is appropriate when so much of the conversation consists of tiny pictures and smiley faces. While many of these images (known as emojis) can be perfectly innocent, some kids are using them as a means to engage in sexually graphic communication right under their parents’ noses.

To help you understand when you should worry about emojis showing up in your children’s text messages, here’s a handy cheat sheet of some of the more common emojis used for sexting:

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Posted: Jan 23, 2017
Categories: Blog Posts
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As use of electronic devices becomes almost universal among adults in the U.S., it’s no surprise to learn that use of devices is skyrocketing among children as well. Experts estimate that at least 1 out of every 5 elementary students owns a cell phone, and that number more than quadruples among teens. However, the technology often advances faster than many parents can keep up with, and children tend to lack the developmental maturity to realize when certain social boundaries are being crossed. This combination can be disastrous when it comes to protecting children from sexual predators.

So how can we lessen the danger of sexual abuse or harm and empower children to make safe choices?

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Posted: Jan 17, 2017
Categories: Blog Posts
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It is important that children stay safe during Mardi Gras. This is a fun and exciting time for children. Communicate with your children so they know the rules and you know they’re safe.

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Posted: Dec 13, 2016
Categories: Blog Posts
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On December 7th, a Chicago Tribune reporter published an article regarding a re-purposed version of the holiday classic, "Baby It's Cold Outside.” The updated lyrics, penned by Minnesota couple Lydia Liza and Josiah Lemanski, were created to convey a message of consent. The couple argue that the original song has undertones of date-rape, saying, "At this point in time, the original song is totally unacceptable. It's got pretty predatory undertones. There's no way around it, especially with our generation."

The article — which can be found here - has caused quite a stir online, sparking an intense debate from both ends of the spectrum.

No matter which side you’re on, the discussion around what constitutes as “no” has its merits. Give the original tune another listen, and leave us a comment on Facebook letting us know how many “no’s” you hear.

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