Today's world is changing so fast (even when we are on pause) and teens' needs are changing just as rapidly. At their fingertips is the entire world - the good, the bad, and the ugly. It is no longer easy to keep them safe and to feel safe when they are at home. The big world can still get to them even when they are supposed to be safe at home.
Parents are every day trying to make the right decisions for their children to stay safe, happy, and healthy. How much screen time is too much screen time? How much should I monitor their social media accounts? What is a spam account? My child would never do that, would my child ever do that? When your kids have unlimited access to the world, how do you manage the world?
Then you have the fear of having people troll your children. There are a lot of dangers on social media that can affect and "infect" your child. Especially now, in a time when being social as teen requires social media, how do you make sure you are helping and not hurting your child?
As a parent of an artist, there are even more considerations to take while making decisions and house rules for your teen. If your student is pursuing a career or college scholarships in either arts or in sports, internet exposure is critical to their success. The world, the college scouts, managers, and agents are devouring internet popularity for anyone that wants to break into the business or their college. It is no longer a luxury to have a website, Instagram, Facebook, and Youtube account as a professional artist. It is critical to have these things in order to be seen and taken seriously. If your child is serious about their art or their sport - you have to allow them to build these professional sites. (When I say professional, I do not mean you have to spend a lot of money on sites. My use of the word professional is intended to point to your child's career as a professional.)
Encore High School's focus when it comes to all of the arts programs is to help the advanced students understand how to build and to separate their "social sites" from their "professional sites." In the artist development programs for performers, musicians, filmmakers and film actors: this is a requirement for them to complete the programs. Students graduating from their arts conservatory with a master's certification are also required to set up their professional footprint. It is now a way of life. When one in five jobs in Los Angeles are tied to the arts, it is important to think about how your child will stand out to get that job.
For parents looking at where to start and feel comfortable with a fast-paced world, I would like to share with you a short social media course that you can take as a parent for free that will help give you an overview and insight into the world of social media. https://nfhslearn.com/courses/social-media
The course is geared toward high school athletes looking for college scouts, but the information and the advice pertains to artists as well. The course is about 45 minutes and is free. As a parent, it will help you feel more informed and give you tools to understand the neverending world of social media.
Life is a lot different than when we were growing up and for artists, the rules have changed. It is critical that we help our young artists gain the competitive edge. Social media and a social media presence is critical to their success in careers and gaining those college scholarships that are needed. I hope that this is a helpful tool to help equip your children for life after high school.
Petey the Pirate writes for Encore Education Corporation. Encore High School is a regional school for grades 7 - 12 that is an arts and acacemic program featuring a variety of arts careers preparation located in Southern California. www.encorehighschool.com is a free public school with transportation available from the Inland Empire and High Desert regions. Accredited through WASC. Copyright 2020.