DANIEL CLIFTON • PICAYUNE EDITOR
MARBLE FALLS — Sometimes, the hardest part of starting a conversation with your teenager isn’t where to start but what language to use.
With the advent of social media (get this, Facebook is old school to today’s teens), it’s even more challenging for parents to find that connection with their child.
“You really can’t wait for your teenager to tell you what’s going on in their world,” said Kara Stewart of the Marble Falls Middle School PTO. “We need to get into their world. And that means learning about the social media they’re using and understanding the language they speak.”
That’s not always easy considering how difficult it can be to crack that tough, sometimes sticky, teenager shell. The Marble Falls Middle School PTO has a possible answer. The PTO is hosting Teen Culture & Communication 6-7 p.m. Jan. 27 in the campus cafeteria.
A speaker from Radical Parents, an organization aimed at helping parents navigate the bumpy travels through their child’s teen years, will give a presentation on communicating with youth. But it’s not about speaking to or with a teen but really getting to know what’s going on in their world — the one they live in person and the one they live online via social media.
“(Social media) changes so quickly, and new ones are always starting up, it’s nearly impossible to keep up with them,” Stewart said. “There’s SnapChat, Instagram and Twitter, and it’s constantly changing. The point is kids are so far ahead of (parents) on these things, we can’t rely on them to let us know what they’re doing.”
A good way to keep up with your teen is to educate yourself about the way they communicate. Stewart said the presenter will give parents and anyone else attending a rundown on some of the latest tools and methods teens utilize, even down to the abbreviations they use in the texting and other communications.
“They will also talk about how to put some parameters on phones so you know where your teen is and what they’re doing (over the phone),” Stewart said. “It’s just a opportunity to learn ways to communicate with teens and see how they communicate with each other and what parents should know about it.”
The event is free and open to the public. There will be onsite child care available at no cost.
“We don’t want people not to come because they have a baby or small child and don’t have child care,” Stewart said.
Marble Falls Middle School is located at 1511 Pony Circle Drive. Call Stewart at (830) 385-1636 for more information.