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After reading about the Choking Game post (still reeling from that) and worrying about all the young kids getting into sex in middle school (can't quite fathom that) and learning about Rainbow Parties a year ago (completely astounded), I'm ready to lock the door and keep my kids in the house for the next 15-17 years.<br><br>
That not being a realistic or healthy prospect, my question for you is how do we keep on top of what stupid and/or dangerous things kids are doing? Where do we find this information? Are there any websites dedicated to informing people about the latest (and old) trends in amongst kids?<br><br>
I plan to have and always maintain an open dialogue with my kids (they're 3 and 1 at the moment) and hope to instill in them the confidence and trust that they can tell me anything and should tell me everything that their friends are doing. We will talk about safety, treating our bodies with kindness, treating others with kindness, etc. But will that be enough? I don't want to be the mom quoted in the article as saying "Well at least my son's death won't be in vain if I can help other parents avoid this kind of tragedy." I don't want to know that kind of pain.
 

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I am a mother of an 18 year old girl, a 1 year old and a 3 year old. The best advice I can give you is communicate, communicate, communicate with your teen (I realize you have many years to 'warm up' lol!). What I learned is that there are some contexts in which my teen is very open with me, and others where she is not. So I learned to create opportunities for candid communication in those contexts that worked for us. Riding alone together in the car is one of those contexts; my teen would really open up to me when one or the other of us is driving and we are on the road for an hour or so (nothing else to do, no escape!). Then you have to learn to listen between the words, and to ask questions that are somewhat indirect. One technique I use a lot is to say, "I read a story in the newspaper about teenagers playing this 'choking game'" (I use that example beacuse it is one I used recently IRL and it worked beautifully). And then just sort of trail off and let the teen take over. Indirect works better than directly asking "Do you ever play the choking game?"<br><br>
Also get to know your child's friends and their parents. One caution though: never expect or rely on your child's friends parents to be on your side or even to be mature with regard to protecting their kids. I have been sorely disappointed in other parents' lack of backbone when it comes to their teens. It is truly sad and scary.
 
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