Parent resources

We dug deep, we asked all our partners and we scoured the internet to find you the best!  Here are our top recommended resources to use as your teen completes The Cool Aunt Series:

Simply put: Spend quality time.

We can't say it any better than this quick, inspirational video by Love146:

"There’s nothing so bad you could ever do to make me stop loving you"

..even if you break a rule or do something you're not proud of.  I always want you to tell me if something's going on.  I especially want you to tell me if someone says not to tell me— those are the types of people and situations that can turn out to be really hurtful.  I’ve been through things in my life that I’ve learned from and I’m here to help you through your life too, no matter what.  When I was around your age (example of a bad situation you found yourself in and how it impacted you).”
Find more good examples of how to open the conversation on page 3 of this A21 parent guide& this resource page by Unitas.

1) The X Plan: create a code word for your teen to text or say as a signal that they feel unsafe or uncomfortable wherever they are.

2) Help your teen identify two "trusted adults" besides you and encourage them to memorize their phone numbers.  Call those trusted adults together and let them know that they're part of your teen's safety plan.

3) Pages 15-17 of this Love146 Caregiver Guide  offer sample scenarios to walk through with your teen.  Our favorite is "when you meet someone online that you want to meet in person".

This amazing Online Safety Toolkit from JusticeU has everything you need to know in 1 place!  With 12 major topics including gaming, social media, sexting, online schooling, cyberbullying, family media agreements, safety checklists and 60 links to even more great resources, this is your one stop shop to online safety for your teen.  Thank you JusticeU for this excellent resource!  To do a course for parents on how to talk to your teen about porn, here's one by Culture Reframed.

If you're more of a documentary person, check out the videos below.  You can watch them with your teen and have an open conversation afterward.

To monitor or not to monitor? For younger kids with social media accounts (which is not recommended by the way), monitoring is a must. For teens, however, the answer should be one that you and your teen agree on.  

There’s great technology (like the Bark App and NetNanny.com) that lets parents monitor their kid’s accounts and be alerted when suspicious activity happens. The downside is that teens don’t always like the idea of being monitored due to perceived lack of privacy and trust, which sometimes leads them to create secret accounts.  If your teen is active on social media, here’s what The Cool Aunt recommends:

After your teen finishes The Cool Aunt Series, let them know you’re proud and spark up a casual yet private conversation (preferably over good food or dessert!). Here are some great follow-up questions to ask:
* How are you feeling?
* Did you learn anything interesting or surprising?
* Do you think you have experienced any of vulnerabilities (called STREAMS of Influence) that Rachel brought up?
* What would you do if you realized you or a friend experienced any of the STREAMS of Influence?
* Is there anything you want to talk about? I’m here to listen.

Remember it’s a good thing they’re coming to you to talk. Do:
* Stay calm in both speech and body langauge
* Use “I” statements
* Assure them that you can handle anything together

Don’t:
*Questions what they’re saying or ask why they’re saying it
* Expect the teen to know if something is illegal or abusive
* Push for information beyond what the teen is ready to share
Read more tips on pages 18 – 19 of this Love146 Caregiver Guide.

To report online solicitation or an online predator: https://report.cybertip.org/

To report suspected human trafficking:
888 3737 888 or text BE FREE

To report a missing or runaway child:
National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678).

To help someone escape Human Trafficking:
Rescue America https://rescueamerica.ngo/
1-713-322-8000

To report and help stop online sextortion:
https://www.stopsextortion.com/

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