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Lake Oswego therapist offers parents online safety tips

Doreen Dodgen-Magee will speak to parents about social media and online activity


Dodgen-Magee

Does it seem like your kids are always looking at a screen? Do you know how to ensure your kids are being safe online?

Doreen Dodgen-Magee, a licensed psychologist from Lake Oswego, will visit West Linn High School to present “Plugged in,” which offers parents an overview of their students’ online experience. All are welcome to attend the free Feb. 4 event, which is aimed at parents of students in or near their middle school years. Dodgen-Magee will discuss the social dynamics among adolescents and young adults.

“Over the last 10 years, I have brought my interest in pop culture and technology to my love of good, high-quality research to try to understand how our digital experiences are shaping us,” said Dodgen-Magee, who has a private therapy practice and has an 18-year-old daughter and a 20-year-old son. “I feel strongly that adults need to understand the digital pools that young adults, adolescents and children are swimming in, and, from that place of understanding, have a responsibility to model and teach healthy (moderation) ways of using technology.”

She also will touch on the impact of technology overuse and give parents ideas for being effective role models.

“I am frustrated with my generation for handing the younger generation a ticking time bomb, so to speak, then resenting them for using it,” Magee said. “It is my hope to educate people about how technology use shapes their brains, their relationships and their senses of self and then to empower them to make choices that are healthy and promote better relationships and more sturdy selves.”

The talks are like a Technology 101 course for parents.

“My talks are high energy and fast paced,” Dodgen-Magee said. “I use a lot of video and integrate quality research with fun pop culture nods. I try to approach what is typically a scary and difficult subject with positive energy then infuse the attendees with hope and ideas of how to turn things around.”

Dodgen-Magee’s presentation will include positive information and strategies as well as warnings for parents. Dodgen-Magee will hold a-question-and-answer session after the presentation, and she will bring copies of her book and other resources that will be available for purchase.

Parent groups from Athey Creek Middle, Rosemont Ridge Middle and Three Rivers Charter schools are co-sponsoring the event.

Saleen Chenevert, resident of the parent group at Athey Creek Middle School, has children in seventh, grade, fifth grade and kindergarten.

“As parents we have all these (safety) talks with our kids,” Chenevert said.

Those talks often start in the toddler years with warnings about stranger danger. Yet, parents may not be aware of all the online options their children have, so it can be difficult to ensure children have the knowledge and the tools to stay safe.

“What are our kids really doing?” Chenevert asked.

In a presentation to Rosemont Ridge parents last year, Dodgen-Magee shared ideas for getting kids to unplug, at least temporarily.

Dodgen-Magee spends time in the presentation familiarizing parents with the online options their children have. Parents generally are familiar with social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr.

Fewer may be aware of sites such as Kik, Snapchat and Chatroulette.

Although you may not allow your child to access a site like Snapchat or Chatroulette, you can’t be sure that he or she won’t sit next to a fellow student accessing the site.

“Just because we don’t use it in our home doesn’t mean our kids are not exposed to it,” Chenevert said.

If you go

What: "Plugged in," a presentation on social media and technology awareness for parents of middle school children.

Who: For parents of preteens and young teenagers

When: 7 to 9 p.m. Feb. 4

Where: West Linn High School auditorium, 5464 W. A St., West Linn

The event is free and open to the public.

Kate Hoots can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and 503-636-1281, ext. 112.

Jillian Daley can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and 503-636-1281, ext. 109. Follow her on Twitter, .



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