This post will help parents have an in-depth discussion with their kids about internet usage including issues and precautions they should take online, good and bad online behaviors, and how to avoid potential online threats.
I have a 13 year old son who has a cell phone and tablet, plays online games, and connects to public Wi-Fi. It’s a scary thought that he can be connected to anyone, anywhere in the world.
Before he received his first device or was given our wireless password, we had a very frank conversation about the online dangers kids can face. I want him to make smart decisions. So, here’s what we discussed…
What should we communicate with our teens/children about the issues and precautions they should take online?
This is a rather open ended question and I can help advise parents as follows: The conversations you have with your 10-12 year old is completely different than the conversations with your 13-17 year old.
But there is one thing all parents should be certain to share with their kids: Never share any photos, social media posts, or text messages you do not want everyone to see.
There is no such thing as privacy online! Teach kids about this early and never let them forget it. There are so many stories of inappropriate photos, text messages, social media posts that come back to haunt our kids in ways we could never have imagined even a couple short years ago…
What are some basic good and bad online behaviors?
This is a great question. The main thing I would like to share here is good and bad online behavior is basically the exact same thing as “offline” behavior.
It is funny that we would never think about giving advice about “what is good offline behavior” because it’s easy to answer: Don’t bully people, don’t make fun of others, don’t be mean.
These are all fundamental behaviors, but somehow when kids (or anyone really) are online they may feel disconnected from the moral compass we have offline or in “real life.”
Most people would never say the kind of things to someone’s face that they would say in a text or a social media post. These are the things as parents we need to really focus on with our kids.
What advice would you give parents who are concerned about their children being exposed to sexting, cyberbullying and other potential online threats?
All parents need to understand how urgent it is to stay abreast of their children’s “digital lives.” In all of recorded history there has never been a change as radical as the one parents are facing today.
Our children are growing up as “Digital Natives” with an innate understanding of devices and games, apps, and social media that most parents have no clue about.
We urge parents to read, research, and learn what their kids are doing in their digital lives as it can have a huge impact in the real world in ways most children cannot comprehend.
How can we combat and prevent them?
TeenSafe was created by parents for parents to help understand what apps their teens are using, and whether they are engaged in risky online behavior. TeenSafe is about protecting our children. TeenSafe is a conversation starter and a solution to help parents stay in the know.
The information provided in this post is courtesy of TeenSafe, the popular parenting smartphone monitoring service. No compensation was received for sharing this information.
More Ways to Keep Your Kids Safe:
- How to Keep Kids Safe Online
- Easy Home Security Tips Every Parent Should Teach Their Kids
- Internet Safety for Kids
- Things to Consider When Giving Your Child His or Her First Mobile Phone
- After School Safety: Tips for Keeping Kids Safe Until You Get Home
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