Parentline Plus has launched a new social networking site aimed at parents of teenagers. It has been funded by the government and also runs a 24-hour helpline.
Gotateenager is a “social networking and advice site that gives parents of teenagers an online space to support each other through the challenges and successes of bringing up teens”.
Valerie Outram, an area manager for Parentline Plus, said that half the calls charity received by the charity were from parents of teenagers who felt that they had nowhere else to go for help. “After your child turns 13, you are pretty much on your own. Parents start to think they are the only ones going through it and the problems seem a lot bigger as a result”.
The website covers problems from the lighthearted and funny to the serious and important. As well as a forum, which enables parents to chat anonymously about situations, the site will have ‘e-learning’ modules to help with problems such as drug or alcohol abuse. They can view acted-out storylines or comics covering scenarios such as teenagers staying out too late or getting drunk to get ideas on ways to communicating with their children. The site provides parents with an opportunity to create their own blog if they wish, about themselves and their family and share their own experiences. The site has sections which cover Sex and relationships, Drugs and alcohol, setting boundaries and Bullying (including Cyberbullying) cover Bullying (including Cyberbullying) and also has a list of useful sites for advice on internet safety with teenagers.
The website also has a “jargon buster” so parents can translate slang words their child uses, to help them to understand what their teenagers are talking about! Users are also able to add and edit new phrases.
How many do you know?
Rents = Parents, eg, “I have to go on holiday with my rents”
Buff = Attractive, eg, “He is buff”
Bedrin = Mates/friend eg “He’s my bedrin”