There are few appropriate and healthy boundaries when everything can be accessed at any time, and a teens attention and emotions can be hijacked in a click of a button. In what used to be the safety of the home, anyone and anything can access your teen and your teen can access almost anything. There are no end to the social pressures when a child leaves school. It is incredibly difficult to manage and control since internet access is required by the schools for homework. Unless there is an adult in the home with nothing to do but sit beside a teen most of the evening and weekends, they pretty much will have some freedom to interact with anything they want before you even have your morning coffee.
If this makes you nervous, you are not alone. It makes them nervous too. It makes teachers and school personnel overwhelmed too. It leaves therapists at times at a loss of how to help.
Ultimately I think we need to keep our relationships with our kids intact. We need to be more mindful and collaborative in our approach. We cannot control the world they are living in or bubble wrap and protect them from it, but we can be involved and respect what they are going through. We can be engaged and ask questions and respect them in ways that may seem too "mature" but they are living in a very adult world. Its important to stay close to them even more than ever, but respectful of the challenges they are facing by not trying to be naïve or controlling.
Sometimes its the parents that need the support much more than the kids. I am open to listening to and supporting the teens, but its the relationship with their parents that seems now, more than ever, critical....and a calm and supportive connected and collaborative parent can do a lot more than I can do in my office. If any of this resonates with you please feel free to give me a call. You need support too.