The Short of It
A new website aims to keep track of dangerous trends and the latest teen lingo in order to help parents stay aware of what their kids are into.
If you're having a hard time keeping up with everything your teen is doing, saying, seeing, and hearing, you're not alone. Enter carefulparents.com, a website created by John Michels and Tim Sabens that lists new slang terms, song lyric meanings, new popular apps, and disturbing trends, like the Duct Tape challenge and drinking "Dew Shine," in order to help keep moms and dads in the loop.
"My goal behind the site was to create a resource for parents to share what they already knew," Michels told Fox 8 TV. "But also to educate themselves on things that they didn't know across a broad range of categories."
Michaels got the idea for the site after hearing about a case in Wisconsin involving two 12-year-old girls who stabbed their friend 19 times in order to please a fictional internet meme character known as Slenderman—something parents had no idea even existed.
"How can parents stay informed about what their children are doing and being exposed to?" explains Michaels on the site. "Sure, parents can Google anything and find information, but what if you don't know what to look for?"
CarefulParents has been up and running for about four months and has more than 400 members. Membership is free, and material includes texting acronyms; reviews of young adult books, movies and songs; and the latest illegal drug trends among teens.
"We are hoping that we can create a line of communication between parents and kids," Michaels said. "Just to help them be aware of what's going on, but also to talk their kids through some things that their kids don't even truly understand."