Nothing Good Ever Happens After Midnight.

EVER.

REALLY. NOT. EVER.

Vampires do their best work in the middle of the night but they are fictitious. And since Robert does not exist, the argument stands…nothing good ever happens after midnight.

Your parents said it a million times growing up, mostly as it related to curfew. They wanted you home. They didn’t want you roaming the neighborhood or in a car riding around until all hours of the night. As a parent now, I see the validity of the argument. I can look back to my younger days in college and beyond and see a direct correlation between staying out after midnight and really poor decision making.

Yet as valid as the argument is, parents don’t even realize that their kids are roaming around ONLINE, moving in and out of people’s lives via social media and online games, till all hours of the night. And some kids are making some really bad choices. Because WHY? Nothing good ever happens after midnight. Some of the choices have to do with cyber-bullying and overall digital ugliness. Some choices have to do with sexting and other inappropriate subjects. Some choices have to do with letting strangers into their rooms via online games. Now that is not to say a teenager can’t be online at 3:00am and make good choices…it is just a lot harder to make good choices covered in the safety of darkness.

As parents, we all have to face setting curfews for our children. It’s a balancing act between freedom and boundaries. But do you as parents set boundaries as it relates to your child’s online activity? Does your child have a technology curfew?

There is a trend growing among teens to spend late night hours online as a way to connect with others socially. Some have coined the phrase “vamping”. I asked my 14 year old daughter about the term and she said she had not heard of it but giggled at the fact that there is a term describing this activity because it is something they all do.

Teenagers need time to socialize. They get very little time to do that with the demanding schedules of school and activities that dominate their lives. This generation is also very sheltered compared to past generations leaving them little unstructured time to connect with others.

As a parent, making sure there are clearly defined boundaries relating to late night online activity is important as your child moves into a more social time in their lives. Discussing and enforcing a technology curfew for your teen will help them learn to navigate this vast online world. And don’t forget to remind them nothing good happens after midnight!