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Teens online and social media use
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- Teens online and social media use
Use of the internet is a big part of teens’ lives. According to a 2018 Pew Internet and American Life Project survey, 95% of teens have access to a smartphone and 45% say they are online “almost constantly.” Social media along with gaming sites and instant messaging, allow teens to have 24/7 access to peer networks through cell phones and other mobile devices. That allows teens to extend the time they spend with people they already know — and sometimes with those they don’t.
For teens, social media platforms is an everyday part of life. Parents may benefit from learning more about these platforms and the ways they influence the lives of their teens. By being informed, parents can make the best decisions about monitoring their teens’ social media use and equipping them with skills to navigate these platforms with care.
Social media use
Mobile devices like smartphones, laptops, and tablets make the internet and social media easily accessible to teens.
The 2018 PEW report on Teens, Social Media & Technology reveals in addition to popular sites such as YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook, there are hundreds of others that appeal to specific groups or are used in other parts of the world, like LinkedIn, Twitter, WhatsApp, Reddit, and Pinterest.
In the United States, YouTube has become the most popular social media platform with 85 percent of 13 to 17 year olds using it, 72% use Instagram, 69% use Snapchat, 51% use Facebook, and it’s estimated that 69% of US teens are monthly TikTok users.
Why are teens attracted to social media?
Teens’ developmental needs match well with what social media has to offer: developing friendships, figuring out their identities, and establishing social status by being “in the know.” For example, it is typical for teens to try on different identities based on pop culture.
Maintaining existing friendships is reported as one of the most common reasons for using social media. As today’s teens grow up, they view social media as an online place to “hang out” and connect with friends around mutual interests.
Teens are not using social media in isolation. Consider the world in which today’s teens are growing up. Entertainment, sports, and political celebrities live out their lives in the focus of public attention. Ordinary people become celebrities through reality shows on television or a viral social media post. Schools, universities, news outlets, and companies all have a social media presence. With so many people and organizations using social media, teens make accessing social media to stay informed can feel like a necessity.
The internet provides many opportunities to teens for connection and information gathering. From the teen’s viewpoint, the internet is a place to “hang out.” When asked, teens told Common Sense Media the top five activities they use the internet for are:
- Going to websites about movies, TV shows, music groups or sports stars (81%).
- Getting information about news and current events (77%).
- Sending or receiving instant messages (68%).
- Watching videos on video sharing sites (57%).
- Using an online social networking site and getting information about a college or university they are thinking of attending (both 55%).
If teens need to find information, they look to the internet first. Access to a wide variety of resources helps them with school projects, as well as pursuing personal interests such as sports, and music. Looking at large amounts of data via the internet can enhance teens’ abilities to interpret and manipulate information. Other benefits include developing thinking and writing skills as they post to blogs or other online forums, and connecting with others to discuss shared interests.
Despite the benefits, social media is also filled with risk.
Just as parents are encouraged to monitor where teens are going, who they are with, and what they are doing, parents also need to be knowledgeable about teens’ internet activities, and talk with teens about the potential dangers of sharing personal information online (e.g., phone number, address, passwords).
The Digital Wellness Lab at Boston Children’s Hospital Center for on Media and Child Health notes that frequent social media use among teens has been linked to poor academic performance and other potential negative consequences:
- Information teens think would only be of interest to their friends can get in the hands of others and produce unintended negative results. For example, a joke about a friend could get circulated around school, hurt the friend, and ruin the friendship.
- College admissions officers and employers might screen out applicants who post negative or questionable information on social media.
- Financial risk. Giving out personal information, parents’ credit card, banking, or other financial information could lead to trouble. If an offer appears to be “too good to be true,” then it probably is.
- Heavy users are at risk for problematic internet use and internet addiction.
- Inappropriate relationships. A teen may not realize that the 15-year-old boy asking to be an online “friend” is really a 45-year-old man. Teens may find themselves in online relationships for which they are unprepared.
- Frequent social media users report higher rates of depression, low self-esteem, and eating disorders.
- Social media exposes adolescents to alcohol and vaping marketing and information about the experiences of alcohol and vaping use by peers. This may normalize the behaviors and convince teens it’s okay to try alcohol or vaping. This may apply to other risk-taking behaviors such as marijuana and other substance use.
- Teens can experience cyberbullying on social media, either as a victim or bystander. Unmonitored social networking could provide a forum for messages that are indecent, demeaning, violent, or racist. Sometimes comments are misinterpreted or intentionally hurtful and the conversation can quickly turn into bullying or harassment.
What parents can do
Parents and caregivers need to know more about how social media works and how their teens are using these sites and apps. The best way to learn is to set up your own profile. Most social media platforms have an age requirement of 13 before teens are allowed to create their own profiles. When your teen creates a personal profile, make sure you are on the same platform so you can monitor his or her activities.
- Engage in ongoing conversations with teens about online citizenship and safety, including treating others with respect, avoiding cyberbullying and sexting (sending sexual explicit photographs or messages), being wary of online solicitation, and avoiding communication that can put personal privacy and safety at risk.
- Ask them for help in navigating your own internet journey to learn how much they know about the virtual world.
- Be clear about what is unsafe to post: full name, address, specific places they go, phone numbers, vacation plans, or anything else that would help someone identify or locate them.
- Remind teens that strangers and people they don’t want accessing their information may have the ability to do just that. Once something is posted on the web, it is no longer private, even if you think it has been deleted.
- Work with teens to choose appropriate privacy settings for their social media. Social media sites provide tools for parents on how to set privacy settings. You can also visit Common Sense Media - the "Parents need to know" section - provides everything you need to know about social media, how different apps work, and how to set privacy controls.
- Stress that the rules of social media must be followed, including age limits. Let teens know you will be monitoring their online activities.
- Actively develop a network of trusted adults. These family members and friends can engage with teens through social media, and your teen can turn to them when they encounter challenges.
- Installing protective software for blocking, monitoring, or filtering websites.
- Not allowing teens to sleep with their cell phone nearby. When teens are always connected, their rest will be interrupted.
- Paying attention to any behavioral changes that might be related to internet use. Signs to watch for include secretiveness, spending increasing amounts of time on the internet, inappropriate sexual knowledge, or sleeping problems.
- Monitoring teens’ online purchases, whether material or downloadable. Encourage teens to buy only from reputable companies.
- Parents can check what their teen does online and on social media by using web browsers’ history to check which websites their teen visited or checking their teen’s social media profile.
If parents discover their teen has visited an unacceptable website, it is important not to overreact. A conversation about how the website was found and what kind of information was being sought will help sort out the situation. For example, a teen may have accidentally found a porn site when seeking health information. Parents can help teens find credible, helpful websites and teach them to be critical consumers of information. The websites listed under “Related Resources” are a good place to start.
How parents can advise teens
In addition to establishing basic rules, parents should advise teens to:
- Never agree to meet someone in person they have met online. Teens need to talk with a parent or trusted adult first.
- Avoid chat rooms or discussion areas that look risky or provocative. Encourage teens to trust their instincts.
- Be wary of those who want too much information. There is no rule that says personal information must be given out.
- Log off, close a browser window, or navigate away if something online doesn’t seem right or causes uncomfortable feelings.
- Never give out passwords, even to friends.
Some parents may have challenges keeping up with their technologically savvy teen. Adults consider themselves more technologically capable than children perceive them to be. Teens can teach their parents a great deal about use of information technologies; this can be a good way for parents and teens to co-create family rules and expectations and interact with the teen as the expert.
Jodi Dworkin, Extension specialist and professor in Family Social Science
Reviewed in 2021
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18 Social Media Apps and Sites Kids Are Using Right Now
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Social media apps that let teens do it all -- text, chat, meet people, and share their pics and videos -- often fly under parents' radars.
By Christine Elgersma | June 6, 2019
Topics: Cellphones and Devices Mental Health Sex, Gender, and Body Image Social Media
It's official: Facebook isn't cool. Though some teens still use it, they prefer to use a variety of apps to connect, curate, and capture their lives in different ways. And though household names such as Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter have proven their staying power, teens love to try out new apps they hear about from friends, ads, or even what's trending in the app store.
This can be challenging for parents to keep up with. But you don't need to know all the ins and outs of all the apps, sites, and terms that are "hot" right now (and frankly, if you did, they wouldn't be trendy anymore). But knowing the basics -- what they are, why they're popular, and what problems can crop up when they're not used responsibly -- can make the difference between a positive and a negative experience for your kid.
Below, we've laid out some of the most popular types of apps and websites for teens: texting, microblogging, livestreaming, self-destructing/secret, and chatting/meeting/dating. The more you know about each, the better you'll be able to communicate with your teen about safe choices.
The bottom line for most of these tools? If teens are using them respectfully, appropriately, and with a little parental guidance, they're mostly fine. So take inventory of your kids' apps and review the best practices.
GroupMe is an app that doesn't charge fees or have limits for direct and group messages. Users also can send photos, videos, and calendar links.
What parents need to know
- It's for older teens. The embedded GIFs and emojis have some adult themes, such as drinking and sex.
- Teens are always connected. Without fees or limits, teens can share and text to their heart's content, which may mean they rarely put the phone down.
Kik Messenger is an app that lets kids text for free. It's fast and has no message limits, character limits, or fees if you only use the basic features. Because it's an app, the texts won't show up on your kid's phone's messaging service, and you're not charged for them (beyond standard data rates).
What parents need to know
- Stranger danger is an issue. Kik allows communication with strangers who share their Kik usernames to find people to chat with. The app allegedly has been used in high-profile crimes, including the murder of a 13-year-old girl and a child-pornography case.
- It's loaded with covert marketing. Kik specializes in "promoted chats" -- basically, conversations between brands and users. It also offers specially designed apps (accessible only through the main app), many of which offer products for sale.
WhatsApp lets users send text messages, audio messages, videos, and photos to one or many people with no message limits or fees.
What parents need to know
- It's for users 16 and over. Lots of younger teens seem to be using the app, but this age minimum has been set by WhatsApp.
- It can be pushy. After you sign up, it automatically connects you to all the people in your address book who also are using WhatsApp. It also encourages you to add friends who haven't signed up yet.
Discord started as a place for gamers to chat while playing video games but has become a bigger platform where users can use text, voice-chat, and video-chat to discuss a wide variety of topics.
What parents need to know
There are public and private "servers" or discussion groups. Teens can join public groups, ask to join private ones, or start their own. The safest option is for them to join a private group with people they know in real life.
Some groups are more moderated than others, some are NSFW, and some are hate-filled. There are plenty of groups that are meant for adults only, and some are totally tame and well moderated. If your kid is in one of the latter, the risk is much lower.
PHOTO AND VIDEO-SHARING APPS AND SITES
Instagram lets users snap, edit, and share photos and 15-second videos, either publicly or within a private network of followers. It unites the most popular features of social media sites: sharing, seeing, and commenting on photos. It also lets you apply fun filters and effects to your photos, making them look high-quality and artistic.
What parents need to know
- Teens are on the lookout for "likes." Similar to the way they use Facebook, teens may measure the "success" of their photos -- even their self-worth -- by the number of likes or comments they receive. Posting a photo or video can be problematic if teens are posting to validate their popularity.
- Public photos are the default. Photos and videos shared on Instagram are public unless privacy settings are adjusted. Hashtags and location information can make photos even more visible to communities beyond a teen's followers if his or her account is public.
- Kids can send private messages. Instagram Direct is like texting with photos or videos and you can do it with up to 15 mutual friends. These pictures don't show up on their public feeds. Although there's nothing wrong with group chats, kids may be more likely to share inappropriate stuff with their inner circles.
Tik Tok - Real Short Videos is a performance- and video-sharing social network that mostly features teens lip-synching to famous songs but also includes some original songwriting and singing. Users can build up a following among friends or share posts publicly.
What parents need to know
- Songs and videos contain lots of iffy content. Because the platform features popular music and a mix of teen and adult users, swearing and sexual content are commonplace.
- There are often creepy comments. Though lots of comments are kind, videos often have comments about the performer's body or other sexual references, and since kids under 13 and adults use the app, it's especially creepy.
- Gaining followers and fans feels important. Teens want a public profile to get exposure and approval, and many are highly motivated to get more followers and likes for their videos.
MICROBLOGGING APPS AND SITES
Tumblr is like a cross between a blog and Twitter: It's a streaming scrapbook of text, photos, and/or video and audio clips. Users create and follow short blogs, or "tumblogs," that can be seen by anyone online (if they're made public). Many teens have tumblogs for personal use: sharing photos, videos, musings, and things they find funny with their friends.
What parents need to know
- Porn is easy to find. This online hangout is hip and creative but sometimes raunchy. Pornographic images and videos and depictions of violence, self-harm, drug use, and offensive language are easily searchable.
- Privacy can be guarded but only through an awkward workaround. The first profile a member creates is public and viewable by anyone on the internet. Members who desire full privacy have to create a second profile, which they're able to password-protect.
- Posts are often copied and shared. Reblogging on Tumblr is similar to re-tweeting: A post is reblogged from one tumblog to another. Many teens like -- and, in fact, want -- their posts to be reblogged.
Twitter is a microblogging tool that allows users to post brief, 140-character messages -- called "tweets" -- and follow other users' activities. It's not only for adults; teens like using it to share tidbits and keep up with news and celebrities.
What parents need to know
- Public tweets are the norm for teens. Though you can choose to keep your tweets private, most teens report having public accounts. Talk to your kids about what they post and how a post can spread far and fast.
- Updates appear immediately. Even though you can remove tweets, your followers can still read what you wrote until it's gone. This can get kids in trouble if they say something in the heat of the moment.
LIVE-STREAMING VIDEO APPS
Houseparty - Group Video Chat is a way for groups of teens to connect via live video. Two to eight people can be in a chat together at the same time. If someone who's not a direct friend joins a chat, teens get an alert in case they want to leave the chat. You can also "lock" a chat so no one else can join.
What parents need to know
- Users can take screenshots during a chat. Teens like to think that what happens in a chat stays in a chat, but that's not necessarily the case. It's easy for someone to take a screenshot while in a chat and share it with whomever they want.
- There's no moderator. Part of the fun of live video is that anything can happen, but that can also be a problem. Unlike static posts that developers may review, live video chats are spontaneous, so it's impossible to predict what kids will see, especially if they're in chats with people they don't know well.
Live.me – Live Video Streaming allows kids to watch others and broadcast themselves live, earn currency from fans, and interact live with users without any control over who views their streams.
What parents need to know
- It's associated with Tik Tok - including musical.ly. Because of the parent app's popularity, this streamer is very popular, and many kids who use one app use the other, too.
- Kids can easily see inappropriate content. During our review, we saw broadcasters cursing and using racial slurs, scantily clad broadcasters, young teens answering sexually charged questions, and more.
- Predatory comments are a concern. Because anyone can communicate with broadcasters, there is the potential for viewers to request sexual pictures or performances or to contact them through other social means and send private images or messages.
YouNow: Broadcast, Chat, and Watch Live Video is an app that lets kids stream and watch live broadcasts. As they watch, they can comment or buy gold bars to give to other users. Ultimately, the goal is to get lots of viewers, start trending, and grow your fan base.
What parents need to know
- Kids might make poor decisions to gain popularity. Because it's live video, kids can do or say anything and can respond to requests from viewers -- in real time. Though there seems to be moderation around iffy content (kids complain about having accounts suspended "for nothing"), there's plenty of swearing and occasional sharing of personal information with anonymous viewers.
- Teens can share personal information, sometimes by accident. Teens often broadcast from their bedrooms, which often have personal information visible, and they sometimes will share a phone number or an email address with viewers, not knowing who's really watching.
- It's creepy. Teens even broadcast themselves sleeping, which illustrates the urge to share all aspects of life, even intimate moments, publicly -- and potentially with strangers.
Snapchat is a messaging app that lets users put a time limit on the pictures and videos they send before they disappear. Most teens use the app to share goofy or embarrassing photos without the risk of them going public. However, there are lots of opportunities to use it in other ways.
What parents need to know
- It can make sexting seem OK. The seemingly risk-free messaging might encourage users to share pictures containing sexy images.
- There's a lot of iffy, clicky content. Snapchat's Discover feature offers a grab-bag of articles, videos, and quizzes from magazine publishers, TV networks, and online sources mostly about pop culture, celebrities, and relationships (a typical headline: "THIS is What Sex Does To Your Brain").
Whisper is a social "confessional" app that allows users to post whatever's on their minds, paired with an image. With all the emotions running through teens, anonymous outlets give them the freedom to share their feelings without fear of judgment.
What parents need to know
- Whispers are often sexual in nature. Some users use the app to try to hook up with people nearby, while others post "confessions" of desire. Lots of eye-catching, nearly nude pics accompany these shared secrets.
- Content can be dark. People normally don't confess sunshine and rainbows; common Whisper topics include insecurity, depression, substance abuse, and various lies told to employers and teachers.
- Although it's anonymous to start, it may not stay that way. The app encourages users to exchange personal information in the "Meet Up" section.
CHATTING, MEETING, AND DATING APPS AND SITES
Monkey -- Have Fun Chats. If you remember Chatroulette, where users could be randomly matched with strangers for a video chat, this is the modern version. Using Snapchat to connect, users have 10 seconds to live video-chat with strangers.
What parents need to know
- Lots of teens are using it. Because of the connection with Snapchat, plenty of teens are always available for a quick chat -- which often leads to connecting via Snapchat and continuing the conversation through that platform.
- Teens can accept or reject a chat. Before beginning a chat, users receive the stranger's age, gender, and location and can choose whether to be matched or not.
MeetMe: Chat and Meet New People. The name says it all. Although not marketed as a dating app, MeetMe does have a "Match" feature whereby users can "secretly admire" others, and its large user base means fast-paced communication and guaranteed attention.
What parents need to know
- It's an open network. Users can chat with whomever's online, as well as search locally, opening the door to potential trouble.
- Lots of details are required. First and last name, age, and ZIP code are requested at registration, or you can log in using a Facebook account. The app also asks permission to use location services on your teens' mobile devices, meaning they can find the closest matches wherever they go.
Omegle is a chat site that puts two strangers together in their choice of a text chat or a video chat. Being anonymous can be very attractive to teens, and Omegle provides a no-fuss way to make connections. Its "interest boxes" also let users filter potential chat partners by shared interests.
What parents need to know
- Users get paired up with strangers. That's the whole premise of the app. And there's no registration required.
- This is not a site for kids and teens. Omegle is filled with people searching for sexual chat. Some prefer to do so live. Others offer links to porn sites.
- Language is a big issue. Since the chats are anonymous, they're often much more explicit than those with identifiable users might be.
Yubo (formerly Yellow - Make new friends) is an app that is often called the "Tinder for teens" because users swipe right or left to accept or reject the profiles of other users. If two people swipe right on each other, they can chat and hook up via Snapchat or Instagram.
What parents need to know
- It's easy to lie about your age. Even if you try to enter a birth date that indicates you're under 13, the app defaults to an acceptable age so you can create an account anyway.
- You have to share your location and other personal information. For the app to work, you need to let it "geotag" you. Also, there are no private profiles, so the only option is to allow anyone to find you.
- It encourages contact with strangers. As with Tinder, the whole point is to meet people. The difference with Yellow is that the endgame is sometimes just exchanging social media handles to connect there. Even if there's no offline contact, however, without age verification, teens are connecting with people they don't know who may be much older.
Amino - Communities, Chat, Forums, and Groups is an interest-based app that lets users find people who are into the same things. Teens can join groups -- or create them -- and then post within the group, follow other users, and chat with them via text, voice, or video.
What parents need to know
- Contact with strangers is part of the experience. While it's great for kids to be able to feel a sense of belonging and kinship with others, the mix of kids and adults blended with all varieties of chat makes it risky. Also, unless a kid is in a closed group, everything they post is public, and other users can search for them. Make sure your kid's location is not included in their profile.
- Mature content and bullying is common. Since each community makes its own rules, profanity, sexual references, and violent content are a part of some forums. A lot of what your kid sees, who they meet, and what people post is determined by the groups they decide to join, as some are very tame and some are definitely not for kids.
- It's not made with kids in mind. Because this app wasn't created for kids, it doesn't have the same safeguards or privacy standards as apps that are made for kids.
The bottom line for most of these tools? If teens are using them respectfully, appropriately, and with a little parental guidance, they should be fine. Take inventory of your kids' apps and review the best practices.
TV senior editor Polly Conway and former Common Sense Education writer Kelly Schryver contributed to this article.
When does adolescence begin and how to behave with a child
Remove the didactic tone and turn on respect. Your teen isn't bullying you - he's just growing up.
You can listen to a short version of the article. If it's more convenient for you, turn on the podcast.
What age is considered transitional
Transitional or adolescence is a long and difficult stage in the transformation of a child into an adult. WHO classifies Adolescence / Encyclopedia Britannica to adolescent children and young adults aged 10 to 19. Transitional age covers the period of puberty, or puberty, but is not limited to it. After all, a person must grow up not only physically, but also psychologically, and this takes more time.
The transition from childhood to adulthood is divided into Adolescent health / The Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs (AMCHP) into three stages: early, middle and late.
Early adolescence: 10-14 years
Puberty begins in children, accompanied by intense physical growth and development of sexual characteristics. In girls, hormonal changes start Stages of puberty: What happens to boys and girls / NHS 1-2 years earlier than in boys, and last an average of 3 years, and their classmates - 4. The key here is the average. Normally, the process takes from 2 to 6 years.
Understanding Earlier puberty: Age 9 or 10 for average U.S. boy / WebMD that the child has entered puberty? In girls, breasts swell first, and menstruation comes a little later. In boys, the testicles are enlarged. Both those and others have Why is puberty starting younger? / Guardian first pubic hairs.
In early adolescence, children live for today. They are not yet able to establish How to recognize the 3 stages of adolescence / KinBox causal relationships between their actions and far-reaching results. Emotionally, students often experience mood swings. Gradually, their social circle expands: they go beyond family and close friends, covering various peer groups.
Mid-Adolescence: 15-17 years old
Puberty completes: physically teenagers can continue, but psychologically they are not yet ready for parenthood. In girls, growth slows down, while in guys it is still intense.
Young people already manage to solve complex problems, they know how to look into the future and plan for it. They want to get away from the family, but at the same time they need parental support and a sense of security that their native walls give them.
The company of peers becomes the center of social life. A teenager is very dependent on the opinions of friends, they often become the main authorities for him.
Late adolescence: over 18 years old
According to various sources, this period can last up to 21 years and even up to 24 years. By its completion, young people begin to think rationally, acquire emotional stability and real, not imaginary independence. They are able to build their lives on their own, without the help of their parents, and in their decisions they rely on themselves, and not on the opinion of friends. By the way, many people get stuck in their late teens for the rest of their lives.
What are the characteristics of children of adolescence
A teenager is under a double burden: on the one hand, he is stormy from hormones, on the other hand, he grows up psychologically and breaks away from his family. A real revolution is taking place in the brain of adolescents, which is expressed in the following behavioral features Why 14 is the riskiest age for a teenager / The New York Post.
Staring at them is very embarrassing.
Teenagers feel anxious when they know they are being watched by peers or parents. They may even sweat from exertion.
They make unfavorable decisions under the influence of the company
Adolescents aged 13-16 are not so inclined to take risks when they are alone. Another thing is in the company of peers. They would rather harm themselves than lose face in front of others. Moreover, this behavior is observed at a later age - up to 21 years.
Why 14 is the riskiest age for a teenager / The New York Post
14 years old is called the most dangerous age: a teenager is more likely than ever to take risks and make rash decisions under the influence of peers.
Their memory deteriorates
Some studies show that between the ages of 12 and 14, teens have a harder time remembering, and as a result, academic performance may drop. Perhaps this is due to hormonal changes.
They are not motivated by punishment
Neuropsychologists found S. Palminteri, E. J. Kilford, et al. The computational development of reinforcement learning during adolescence / PLOS Computational Biology, that between the ages of 12 and 17, rewards are the best incentive for good study. But teenagers are much less susceptible to punishment than people aged 18-32.
They are in search of themselves
Hence the tendency to experiment with appearance: dye their hair, get tattoos, dress provocatively.
How to communicate with a teenager
Adolescence cannot be cancelled. Your child grows up, moving away from you, and this is normal. Get ready to gradually let it go, encouraging the teenager's attempts to find himself and be independent.
Remember yourself at that age.
Surely you weren't an angel, and you got on the nerves of your own parents. If you feel like a teenager again, it will be easier for you to build bridges with a child who is controlled by hormones and peer opinion.
Support your child's hobbies
If your teenager is willing to talk to you about what interests him, great. So, despite the hormonal storms, a connection has been preserved between you. Ideally, when you share his hobby: create cartoons on the computer together or play football. But this is not at all necessary. It is enough to show respect for his choice and sincere interest.
Help him cope with his new body
It is not easy for a teenager to cope with his new body, which changes too quickly. Never criticize his appearance. On the contrary, help the teenager accept and love the new self. Maintain his self-esteem, do not compare with other people. Encourage sports, or better yet, go to the stadium or the gym together.
Don't bother with questions and advice
Adolescents are often annoyed by overprotectiveness, intrusive advice and conversations similar to interrogations: where have you been? What exactly did you do with your friends? What is wrong with you? If the child answers reluctantly and in monosyllables, change tactics.
Talk less, listen more, and let the teenager speak. Build a dialogue with him, as with a smart adult, whose opinion is important to you.
Author of the book Inventing Ourselves. The Secret Life of the Adolescent Brain.
It is customary in society to demonize teenagers. We don't like that the children, who only yesterday were following our commands, suddenly start to rebel and become independent. This is hard to come to terms with.
Allow mistakes to be made
Relax control and stop deciding everything for the teenager. You can give advice, talk about the possible consequences of a wrong step, but let the teenager disobey and fill his bumps. In most cases, he will be able to learn the lesson. Just in no case finish him off with the phrase: “But I told you (s) ...”
Hug more often
No matter how prickly and distant a teenager may seem, he periodically needs physical contact with his parents. Hugs are a signal of care and safety. The only thing is not to climb with tenderness in public, especially with peers. Leave them for home communication.
Accept a teenager as he is
In principle, this rule applies to communication with any person, not just with a teenager. Do not try to remake it in accordance with your attitudes and views. He is a separate person that you love no matter what.
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Who we are | Teenergizer
is a movement that brings together teenagers from the region of Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Together we are creating a world where every teenager can fulfill their potential. A world free of discrimination in all its manifestations, including in the area of HIV. A world in which the rights of all adolescents and young people, especially girls, do not need to be protected because they are fully respected. The uniqueness of Teenergizer is that projects for teenagers are invented and implemented by teenagers themselves. After all, we, like no one else, know what we need!
Mother of Dragons
Deputy DirectorDaria Shershun
Operations DirectorMaria Grishina
Guardian of the psyche
Regional coordinatorLina Pogorelova
Sorceress of the Word
Communication SpecialistAlina Ovcharenko
Adolescent CoordinatorPolina Nikitina
Teenergizer teams conducted 191 support groups for 135 HIV-positive teenagers in the cities of the Eastern Europe and Central Asia region: Kyiv, Krivoy Rog, Nikolaev, Kremenchug, Kazan, St. Petersburg, Osh, Bishkek and Almaty.
Teenergizer teams conducted 8 internships for 109 HIV-negative adolescents in the cities of the Eastern Europe and Central Asia region: Kyiv, Nikolaev, Kremenchug, Krivoy Rog, St. Petersburg, Kazan, Osh and Bishkek.
Teenergizer activists delivered 65 trainings on HIV, sexual health, leadership, tolerance and advocacy to 4,042 teenagers and young people in the cities of the Eastern Europe and Central Asia region: Kyiv, Nikolaev, Kremenchug, Krivoy Rog, Kazan, Osh and Bishkek .
At the initiative of Teenergizer, an analytical note "Studying the availability of medical services in medical institutions for adolescent girls and the principles of a friendly approach to their provision" was prepared in cooperation with the NGO "Ukrainian Institute for Social Research named after Oleksandr Yaremenko" with the support of the UNICEF Representative Office and the IBO "Ukrainian Foundation public health".
In Krivoy Rog, Teenergizer held the first "VICherinka" for the first time. As a result, 40 adolescents and young people aged 14 to 29learned about Teenergizer, the importance of HIV testing and sexual health, 35 of them learned their HIV status.
In Kyiv, Teenergizer held a "VICherinka" with the participation of the popular singer Alina Pash. As a result, 15,439 teenagers and young people aged 14 to 29 learned about Teenergizer, the importance of HIV testing and sexual health, 23 of them learned their HIV status. More than 100 condoms were also distributed.
In Kyiv, Teenergizer held a "VICherinka" with the participation of popular singer Ivan Dorn and Daria Kolomiets. As a result 39062 young people aged 14 to 29 learned about Teenergizer, the importance of HIV testing and sexual health, 150 of them learned their HIV status. The event was held with the support of Courage Bazaar. 1,000 condoms were also distributed.
In St. Petersburg, Teenergizer held the first "VICherinka" with the participation of the musicians of the ZVUKOXOD project, Grishuny and Vita. As a result, 80 teenagers and young people aged 14 to 29 learned about Teenergizer, the importance of HIV testing and sexual health, 40 of them learned their HIV status.
In Osh, Teenergizer hosted the first "HICherinka" with the participation of a popular TV presenter and showman, UNAIDS Goodwill Ambassador Erkin Ryskulbekov. sexual health, 17 of them found out their HIV status.
In Nikolaev, Teenergizer held "VICherinka" for the first time with the participation of Ukrainian fashion designer Rina Budarina. As a result, 6,244 adolescents and young people aged 14 to 29learned about Teenergizer, the importance of HIV testing and sexual health, 15 of them learned their HIV status.
In Kremenchug, Teenergizer held the first "VICherinka" with the participation of the musical group "Happy Family" and DJ "DJ MAXI". As a result, 12,132 teenagers and young people aged 14 to 29 learned about Teenergizer, the importance of HIV testing and sexual health, 10 of them learned their HIV status.
In Kyiv, Teenergizer held a "HICherinka" with the participation of the UN Goodwill Ambassador for HIV/AIDS, singer and actress Vera Brezhneva. As a result 71 093 teenagers and young people aged 14 to 29 learned about Teenergizer, the importance of HIV testing and sexual health, 117 of them learned their HIV status. 1,000 condoms were also distributed.
In Krivoy Rog, Teenergizer held a "VICherinka" with the participation of fitness blogger Evgenia Belonoga and LGBT activist Henry Demyanovich. As a result, 3,698 teenagers and young people aged 14 to 29 learned about Teenergizer, the importance of HIV testing and sexual health, 30 of them learned their HIV status.
In Kazan, Teenergizer held the first "VICherinka" with the participation of popular bloggers @KatyaVagimagia with an audience of 1.9 million subscribers, @Katyaspivak with an audience of 340 thousand subscribers and @Mitya_Music, which has 17 thousand subscribers. As a result, 1,780 teenagers and young people aged 14 to 29 learned about Teenergizer, the importance of HIV testing and sexual health, 52 of them learned their HIV status.
The Teenergizer team is hosting online consultations for the first time. On a peer-to-peer basis, 203 online consultations were conducted for Russian-speaking teenagers and young people in the region of Eastern Europe and Central Asia.
Teenergizer teams conducted 81 support groups for 53 HIV-positive teenagers in the cities of the Eastern Europe and Central Asia region: Kyiv, Krivoy Rog, Kazan, St. Petersburg and Osh.
Teenergizer teams conducted three internships for 33 HIV-negative teenagers. Internships were held in the cities of Ukraine: Kyiv and Krivoy Rog.
In Kyiv, Teenergizer held a “VICherinka” with the participation of young Ukrainian musicians and actors “Theater – Pralnya” on the territory of the Port Creative Hub. As a result, 110 adolescents and young people aged 14 to 29learned about Teenergizer, the importance of HIV testing and sexual health, 50 of them learned their HIV status.
In Kyiv, Teenergizer held a "VICherinka" with the participation of media personalities Yaroslava Kravchenko, Vladimir Dantes and Vyacheslav Vorobyov. As a result, 120 teenagers and young people aged 14 to 29 learned about Teenergizer, the importance of HIV testing and sexual health, 100 of them learned their HIV status.
Teenergizer activists delivered 46 trainings on HIV, sexual health, leadership, tolerance and advocacy to 3,742 teenagers and young people in the cities of Eastern Europe and Central Asia: Kyiv, Krivoy Rog and Kazan.
Teenergizer activists brought 40 young people from Eastern Europe and Central Asia to the AIDS2018 World Conference on HIV/AIDS in Amsterdam. At the conference, our activists were real stars - plenary sessions, sessions with world stars and ambassadors, live broadcasts on television, actions and marches - we made a sensation so that the whole world saw the activists of the Eastern Europe and Central Asia region. As a result, many investments from global donors were attracted to our countries.
Teenergizer activists initiated the creation of a Permanent Youth Working Group on issues of interaction with adolescents in the field of health - in fact, they built a field for dialogue between the Ministry of Health of Ukraine and adolescents.
Teenergizer activists developed the Teenergizer Model, our main document. The Teenergizer Model is an innovative tool for working with adolescents living with HIV and vulnerable groups. To date, the Model has been successfully implemented in 4 countries and 12 cities in Eastern Europe and Central Asia.
At the initiative of Teenergizer, the First All-Ukrainian Youth Forum is held with the participation of 77 teenagers from 4 countries of the Eastern Europe and Central Asia region: Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Georgia and Russia with the support of UNICEF and AFEW.
Teenergizer activists delivered 65 trainings on HIV, sexual health, leadership, tolerance and advocacy to 2,780 teenagers and young adults in Ukraine.
In Kyiv, Teenergizer held the first "VICherinka" with the participation of the stars Dasha Kolomiets and Taras Topoli. As a result, 60 adolescents and young people aged 14 to 29learned about Teenergizer, the importance of HIV testing and sexual health, 23 of them learned their HIV status. The event was held with the support of U-Report Ukraine and ANF Ukraine.
Our Yana and Danya became the first teenagers in the history of Ukraine who lobbied to include the needs of teenagers and youth in the Global Fund proposal for 2018-2021. As a result, the Global Fund allocated $1 million to work with teenagers in Ukraine.
For the first time in the history of Ukraine, Yana Panfilova and Danya Stolbunov represent the voice of teenagers and youth of Ukraine at the national level. The guys are members of the National Council to Combat HIV/AIDS and Tuberculosis under the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine.
Teenergizer activists analyzed and released an analytical report "Barriers to Access to HIV Testing" as part of the regional QuestHIVtest project and checked the quality of work of 126 HIV testing sites in Ukraine, Georgia and Russia.
The Teenergizer team developed the Teenergizer HIV Disclosure Training Module for professionals working with children and adolescents living with HIV in the Eastern Europe and Central Asia region.
Teenergizer activists independently collected interviews of famous people and published the Interview book to inspire teenagers. The book contains an interview with the grandson of Nelson Mandela himself!
Teenergizer activists held a roundtable discussion on Sexual and Reproductive Health Education in Ukraine, which resulted in a discussion about introducing sexuality education into the school curriculum.
The Teenergizer team has produced a guide book, Can a Teen Change the World, to inspire teens and provide clear guidance for adults who work with teens.
Strategic planning is underway, in which children from 6 cities of the Eastern Europe and Central Asia region took part: Kyiv, Kazan, Poltava, St. Petersburg, Tbilisi, Yerevan with the support of UNAIDS.
Children from 7 cities in Eastern Europe and Central Asia: Kyiv, Poltava, Krivoy Rog, Odessa, Kazan, St. Petersburg, Tbilisi create teams of teenage activists with the support of UNICEF, UNAIDS and VIIV Healthcare.
On International AIDS Day on the initiative of teenagers officially registered:
• Association of teenagers and youth Teenergizer.
• Teenergizer Eurasian Association of Teenagers and Youth.
Adolescent activists study the needs of adolescents living with HIV. The guys visited 21 regions of Ukraine, participating in meetings with adolescents living with HIV, with doctors and local authorities.
The report "Access to continuous care for HIV-positive adolescents in Ukraine" is published.
10 children, including participants in the Leadership Development Program, decide to create a common space where adolescents affected by HIV can share knowledge, support each other and organize various activities.
teenergizer.org website launched
A book of stories of HIV-positive adolescents from 7 countries in Eastern Europe and Central Asia is published “Here is a story that is similar to yours”
The first meeting of activist parents was held to ensure the rights of children and adolescents affected by HIV in the Eastern Europe and Central Asia region.Internships
You won't learn at school, at home or at university what we are going to teach you at the internship! We guarantee you will improve important skills in the field of activism, advocacy, management and digital space!Online counseling
Our online counselors and psychologists provide psychological support to adolescents, regardless of status, confidentially and free of charge.HIV party
The HIV party is a business card of Teenegizer! We talk about sex, health and HIV, and also have fun and hang out with your favorite star at this party.Trainings
Our activists conduct peer-to-peer trainings on HIV, sexual health, leadership, tolerance and advocacy.Advocacy and protection of the rights
We change laws and represent your voice at the local, national and global levels. We are working to ensure that your rights are represented and protected.