If you have a teen lurking in your home, you have inevitably been informed at one time or another that something you've just said or done was "sooo not cool." Since the beginning of time "cool" has always had a place in teen vernacular. More than a word, a state of being, that has never been considered outdated. It is without irony then that That's Not Cool, A public education initiative to prevent teen dating abuse, has taken off. This initiative includes a web site focusing on abuse prevention that delivers a clear and concise message to teens about exactly what is NOT COOL in a way that they can relate to.
That's Not Cool concentrates on preventing controlling or abusive behavior occurring within the digital universe (online, cell phone, etc.). The message and delivery could not be more relevant in today's environment of sexting, cyber bullying and general digital abuse. This site wisely encourages teens to draw their own lines about what is, or is not, acceptable relationship behavior rather than lecturing. There are fun, yet educational videos (see below), call out cards and games.
February 2011 marks the 2nd Annual National Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month, so take time over the next few days and weeks and encourage your Teen to spend some time discovering what is not cool at That's Not Cool.
Entertainment Software Rating Board
FBI Parent's Guide to Internet Safety
Internet Lingo Dictionary
National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
National Children's Advocacy Center
Online Safety Quiz
Parental Controls and Online Child Protection study
Parent's Guide to Social Networking
Virtual Global Taskforce