Dear MSM Parents,
Thank you to those of you who expressed your appreciation to me over the last few weeks that we would take the time to go through the “Made” series on puberty and sexuality with the students. Being overall rather an innocent group, I was concerned that our students might feel uncomfortable discussing these topics, but their attitude was quite different. My sense from our small group discussion time is that they appreciated having a supportive place to share their thoughts, feelings, and questions - even the shy ones were speaking up more than usual! We have made it clear to our students that even though we have reached the end of our teaching series, they are welcome to ask us questions about sexuality and what the Bible has to say about it at any time. I encourage you as parents to make the same offer, and we can tell from what the students have shared that many of you have done that already.
This month we will begin a series entitled “Best for Last,” which will examine the teachings of Jesus to his disciples in the days leading up to his crucifixion. This is a five-week series in preparation for Easter. We will also be doing a one-week lesson which will discuss a Biblical approach to social media. I will include the “Parent Cue” and series overviews for the “Best for Last” series below (the social media lesson has not been released yet, but we will add the handouts for that lesson soon).
Sundays we will continue going through the book of Luke with the rest of the church body.
For those of you who enjoy podcasts, the Orange team, which produces XP3 curriculum that we use on Wednesdays, also produces a parenting podcast called “Parent Cue Live” which you can find on iTunes. I have not had the time to check this one out myself yet, but they have nearly 100 episodes to choose from, most of them around 30 min long and covering a wide range of parenting issues.
A “head’s up” for the first week of April: Haven Academy of the Arts will be setting up for their spring performance, so our first Wednesday of the month will be off-campus. We will send more information for that week in next month’s newsletter.
3 - Luke 9:18-36
10 - Luke 9:37-50
17 - Luke 9:51-10:24
24 - No MSM, Family Communion
31 - Luke 11:1-13
6 - Best for Last: Week 1
13 - Best for Last: Week 2
20 - Trending: Social Media
27 - Best for Last: Week 3
The broad reach of teen social networking
According to Pew Internet & American Life Project's "Report on Teens, Social Media, and Privacy," released in May 2013, fully 95% of kids ages 12-17 use the Internet. Eighty-one percent of online teens use some form of social media. Sixty-seven percent of teen social media users visit social sites daily, and 42% visit several times a day.
Facebook is still the #1 social network for teens, but it's fading
While 94% of teen social media users say they have a Facebook profile, and 81% say that Facebook is social site they use most often, it appears that Facebook's teen appeal is fading. According to the Pew report, "Many teens expressed a waning enthusiasm for Facebook." Teens complain of too many adults on the site, advertising, and too much drama interacting with friends.
Teen Twitter use is increasing significantly
Teens largely ignored Twitter when it first appeared and those who used it found it chiefly as a way to stay current with celebrities. In 2009, only 8% of teens used Twitter. Today, the number of teens using Twitter has increased to 24%.
Why teens are migrating to Twitter
The reasoning starts with fewer adults on Twitter than Facebook. While 67% of online adults have Facebook profiles, only 16% are on Twitter. Further, Twitter's platform and character limit (140 characters) allows kids to express their thoughts, feelings, and what they are doing without the drama that Facebook's platform of longer posts, endless comments, and "likes" allows.
Advice for parents who allow kids to use Facebook and Twitter
1. Set the expectation that you will friend (Facebook) or Follow (Twitter) your teenager on their social media account. This requires you to establish your own Facebook and Twitter accounts.
2. Facebook: Use profile privacy settings to limit who can access your teen's content.
3. Twitter: Set Tweet privacy setting to "Protect my Tweets." This requires your teen to approve everyone who follows them, and then only displays tweets to those who have been approved. Without taking this step, anyone can follow your teen, and all tweets are available to the public. Make sure your teen approves you as a follower.