Wednesday, August 13, 2008

how friendly is too friendly with teens?

One of the great challenges of working with teens is finding ways to show you care, to reach out, and to make connections...all while maintaining appropriate boundaries. These boundaries are important in helping teens develop into healthy adults, and when properly enforced they provide a sense of dependability and trust that is incredibly important for those of us trying to make a positive difference in their lives.

This article brings up some interesting points about friending kids online. Clearly MySpace and Facebook are wonderful places to connect with teens in an environment they are comfortable in, and I know many people who have had much success in these areas. But where is the line?

Online student-teacher friendships can be tricky
By Mallory Simon

"As an educator there is a line of demarcation between you and your student," Keith said. "It's a line that you cannot come close to, let alone step over. You've got to establish it from Day One and say, 'I'm not your buddy, I'm not your friend, I'm just your teacher.' "

As librarians, we have a slightly different position. We are authority figures, but not teachers. Where do you feel our line should be? How do you establish this line with your patrons? Have you ever been in a situation where it has been crossed? What did you do?

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