FAIS was fortunate to have a visit for the Family Enrichment Series from Jo Langford, a Seattle therapist, author, sex educator (and himself a father) who has worked with tweens, teens, parents, and professionals for over 20 years. Langford talked with an audience of parents about Digital Safety 101, providing an overview of tween and teen' online behavior and the benefits and risks of popular social media sites they are using.
Langford listed the various apps that teenagers are currently using and categorized them into three levels: Good, Bad, and Ugly. He also spoke about sexting, cyberbullying, and porn. He gave the analogy that parents need to prepare their children for using the internet safely just as when we teach them how to drive a car: we do not just give them the keys and expect them to figure it out regardless of risk. The parents need to be present and slowly introduce them to the Internet and social media. They also need to make sure they understand the risks and consequences of social media. Langford also emphasized the training that needs to happen "before you think you need to start." He also discussed some monitoring apps such as Disney's Circle and Qustodio. Langford encouraged parents to explore his website, beheros.net, particularly a number of free downloads and other resources. Langford is the author of the "Spare Me 'The Talk,'" series, a modern guide to healthy sexuality for boys and their parents, and a guide to growing up for girls written by their parents. Both books are available locally at Powell's Books.