Sunday, July 22, 2007

"Your teen is just an overgrown cat (who makes a lot more of a mess)."

or at least that is one of the descriptions Candice M. Kelsey applies to today's average teen in her book Generation MySpace: Helping Your Teen Survive Online Adolescence (her reason for making that particular comparison is that both teens and cats tend to operate on their own terms and schedules when it comes to sitting in laps and purring~or whatever it is teens do~i prefer my cats). So why am i reading this particular book you may well ask, and i'm not sure i have the answer to that question other than just a little quality control on my collection, or keeping up with the medium, or something, sometimes i just pick something up and read it and then it's read~guess some of us bibliophiles are like that at times.

Anyway, this is a great book for parents, or anyone who has to deal with today's teenagers (or pre-teenagers, or pre-pre-teenagers, for that matter.) Kelsey is the co-founder of a private high school in California where she teaches English, (she is also a mother) and is constantly embroiled in her students MySpace dramas. Although she is definitely not soft on the dangers of online social networking (and predators exist not only of the sexual variety, but in marketing and advertising bigwigs after that ever-lucrative teen demographic, and in the rather naive vulnerability of the teens themselves~though they often see themselves as more savvy than adults~and in some ways they may be. What Kelsey offers is practical and timely advise on how to navigate the "MySpace" world to experience it for yourself and then she offers you talking points and ways to approach your teen so that they might actually hear what you are saying (and talk to you, as well...)

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