by Cheryl Jackson Friday April 30, 2010

Facebook, YouTube, MySpace, blogs, email, texting, chat rooms.  It's oh so easy to share anything and everything about yourself if you're so inclined. Like your cool new outfit? You can share a picture of you in it right now, this minute. Like the party you're at? Blast your friends, or the world, with video.

This is the world our kids live in. They are growing up sharing in a way we never did. Now, 400 of their best friends may find out at the same time that they got into a fight with a schoolmate, or that they hate school.  What are the implications of this?  Do kids consider anything private anymore?  How does that affect them, and us?

We got three people together to talk about this on Your Voice, and I was surprised to hear that some things still are private for kids. Bodies, for instance. At a certain point, young children will demand their physical privacy and can learn to respect yours. That hasn't changed. But in many other ways, parents have to guide their children on issues of privacy.  And that can be tricky.  You have to find the balance between giving your children the freedom and trust they deserve and need to become independent, yet protect them from unwanted consequences of sharing too much information. Hopefully our discussion will provide some answers.