Chattanooga Area Parents Will Learn To Navigate Teen Technology At Program On Jan. 21

Friday, January 10, 2020

Hixson United Methodist Church is partnering with Northside Neighborhood House, Hixson Middle School, Hixson High School and Soddy Daisy Middle School in hosting a seminar to discuss teenage internet safety, technology addiction, social media, cyberbullying, sexting and more.

“We guarantee you will leave this event with specific steps you and your family can take to safeguard your home and children's lives," officials said. "How young people use technology is creating more teenage anxiety, depression, isolation and addiction than ever before.

Parents today struggle enough with engaging their child 'in real life,' not to mention keeping up with them in the digital world. How can parents and families be prepared to deal with this hidden challenge?"

This evening seminar entitled "Becoming a Tech Savvy Parent" is for parents of young children, middle and high school students. The program will be on Tuesday, Jan. 21 at Hixson High School beginning at 6 p.m. Dinner will be provided by Northside Neighborhood House at 5:30 p.m. (available with preregistration at https://techsavvy.family/register). 

Speaker Brian Housman, of 360Family, offers encouragement and coaching as parents take on the intimidating process of understanding their teenage student’s digital world. “Just imagine that for a day you could live the life of a 10th grade boy or an eighth grade girl,” says Mr. Housman. “You could go to all the places they go, see the things they see, hear the things they hear and participate in all of their life’s activities, both real and digital, but maintain your adult mind. It would be a shock to any parent’s system. It’s difficult to make sense of what you would experience.”

According to Hixson United Methodist Student Ministry Director Kevin Gray, “The teen years are a rough and confusing time for a lot of kids. Teens are trying to figure out who they are and what their lives are about. Add to that the complicated issues that come with access to an entire world of digital information, and you’ve got a lot to navigate. What students really need are parents that are willing to model for them and help them figure out how to set their own boundaries in order to make mature choices.”

"Learning how to help a teen avoid digital landmines like sexting, cyberbullying, addiction to social media and the isolation that follows can be an overwhelming task without some help. Many times a parent simply doesn’t know how to effectively protect their families with all the changes taking place in our fast paced technological world,” says Mr. Housman. “This seminar gives you the practical tools you need to become a relevant part of your teen’s digital life.”

RaeKenya Walker is Northside Neighborhood House’s Community School coordinator at Hixson Middle School. “I try to feel the pulse of what our community needs,” said Ms.Walker. “Several families have expressed fear and uncertainty around the issue of internet safety and creating healthy boundaries around technology. Families need a way to openly communicate these concerns while gaining insight on how to address these challenges.”

360Family is a Memphis-based non-profit organization that provides support and training for parents, teachers and churches. For more information on this upcoming event, contact Hixson United Methodist Church Student Ministry Office at 432-877-1246 or kevingray@hixsonumc.org.


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