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What Online Problems Should Parents Really Worry About?

Gaming. Pornography. Bullying. Some activities online are worth worrying about. Watch our webinar to find out what experts recommend when it comes to talking to your adolescent about online behavior.


Featuring: William E. O’Neil, Assistant Headmaster and Academic Dean at University School in Cleveland, Ohio; Michael Rich, MD, MPH, of Harvard Medical School and Boston Children’s Hospital, director and founder of Center on Media and Child Health and founder of; and Deborah Paris, LISW, Pediatric Therapist, Cleveland, Ohio.


Jennifer Cohen: So all three of our panelists have incredible expertise with teenagers and the role parents need to play in helping teenagers develop and make good decisions about their behaviors. I know I speak for many parents that the rapid advances in technology have created many parenting moments that are beyond what we experienced when we were teenagers. Often times I don’t think we’re really prepared to deal with some of the things that go on now.

There are three main topics that we want to talk about tonight: gaming, cyber bullying, and pornography.

We wanted to start off with something a little bit different than what we’ve done with our other webinars. And we really wanted to have each of you offer a key piece of advice. So if parents listening in tonight take away one thing that they could do that’s very practical, hands-on, that maybe they’re not doing today, what could that be? I just want each of you to think about that, and to respond. So, Debbie I’m going to ask you first.

Deborah Paris: I’m first up, throwing myself onto the pyre here. I’m going to try to condense a sort of complicated idea into something sort of short. I think that the most practical thing is a process-oriented thing. The most important thing that I feel in addressing any issue with children, and particularly kids in the middle of developmental change, which every adolescent is, is to keep a dialogue going. Not an easy thing to do with teenagers, but the whole idea of control, whether parents are controlling the child or the child is grabbing control, might miss the point. The goal of raising children and of developing adults is helping them develop self-regulation, self-control, and self-discipline.

(For the rest of this presentation, please view our attached video)

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