With social media influencing more and more of our lives, both publicly and privately, it is no wonder that internet safety for children is a growing concern among parents.
How can I protect my child from inappropriate sites? What if my child is chatting with someone whom they have never met, yet have come to trust over the internet? How can I educate my child to know whom to befriend and who might pose a risk? How will I know if my child is being cyber bullied and what can I do about it? Is there a way I can be aware of what my child is browsing on the internet?
These are just a few of the disturbing questions that concerned parents in today’s modern world face. The internet is full of scams, pedophiles appearing as friendly buddies, and freely available adult content.
Although it may seem like a nearly impossible task, there are ways you can protect your child. It will take vigilance and dedication on your part, but you can help him or her know whom to trust and who might be dangerous, who is a potential predator or a bad influence.
There are also tools you can use to keep an eye on your child or teenager’s internet activities without intruding too much on their privacy.
The first and foremost way you can protect your child from possible internet and social media dangers is through educating them. Parents are often surprised to find out how naïve their child is, especially if their child is a teenager and seems to be responsible and street-wise in other ways.
Be sure your child understands that the people they “meet” over the internet may or may not be who they say they are. If they are aware of the dangers, risks, and scams that are so prevalent on the internet, hopefully when they come in contact with one of these, an alarm bell will sound in their mind.
A convincing tactic is to read them stories of what has happened to other young people just like themselves when they trusted someone and it led to a dangerous situation. While we do not like to intentionally scare our children, it is better than it actually happening to them.
2. Rules and consequences
Making internet rules which must be adhered to is an important step. In order for rules to be kept, there must be consequences attached. These should be reasonable, yet enough of a deterrent so that your child does not want to risk having to be punished.
Consider posting the rules somewhere obvious so that you child can be easily and constantly reminded of them, and so that they can never say, “I didn’t remember”, or “It wasn’t clear to me.” Make it as easy for them as possible. Remember, you are not the bad guys—you are protecting them from the bad guys.
More often than not, child-parent issues can be solved with some good ol’ fashioned communication, especially with older children and teens. This principle holds true even in our modern world with all its modern gadgets.
If your child feels free to communicate with you, there is a much better chance of you being able to keep her safe and able to answer any questions she may have.
4. Educate yourself
Stay abreast of what your child is doing, who they are in touch with, what they are into, who they like to hang out with, as well as the lingo of the youth and what it all means.
Today’s youth have developed their own coded language, which many parents find amusing and don’t understand. While it is mostly innocent, it wouldn’t hurt to know some of the basic terms, such as “POS”, which means, “Parents looking over shoulder”, and “LMIRL” means, “Let’s meet in real life.” Obviously, if you ever see abbreviations such as these, they are hiding something and it’s time to have a good talk.
In the case of cyber bullying, knowing the signs is essential, as victims of cyber bullying are often too embarrassed to talk about it. Some signs include a sudden increase or decrease in the amount of time spent texting or online, withdrawing from social activities, and becoming sullen for no apparent reason.
5. Parental controls
Consider using software that allows you to monitor your child’s internet activity. This is especially helpful for teenagers who are not as prone to tell you everything that is going on in their lives.
For younger children, there is filtering software that you can install that will block any sites you choose, or even certain types of sites. Unfortunately, an innocent search by a young child can easily result in them landing on a child predator site, or a site with inappropriate content. Take every measure necessary to keep your child safe.
Parental monitoring software can also be used as a deterrent for teenagers. For example, “If you continue to break the rules, I will put this software on your computer so you won’t be able to access certain sites until I know I can trust you again.”
6. Computer placement
As much as possible, try to place the computer that your child uses in a public area of the house. This way you can more easily monitor your child’s online activities. A teenager may balk at a rule like this, but if it protects them from danger, it is worth it.
In the end, as a good parent, you have to do what is in the best interest of your child, whether or not she (especially if your child is a ‘tween or teenager) fully grasps the gravity of the situation. Children will be children, and they will not always completely comprehend the possible ramifications of their actions until they are much, much older. Therefore, you must decide what is best for them, lay down some firm yet reasonable rules, and be sure to follow through on them.
Hi everyone! I just wanted to write a little post to see if any of all y'all can help my friend over at savygreensaver.com send her son to the next level of cub scouts! Check it out here
! A little bit goes a long way!
Have a great weekend!
I know I've been a stranger to my own blog recently, and I just wanted to say, that although I've neglected it for quite some time, I am not totally abandoning it! There are other things going on in mylife besides the 2 little ones with me at home!
In case you're interested in my new site, it's all about toddlers, preschoolers and babies! It's been up for just a little over 3 weeks now and I'm getting very good responses from it! If you like, you can check it out here: The mommy talks!
As far as I go, like me, just me as a person, regardless of the "mommy" title, I have been doing, you know, other "stuff" too!
Like, I have started a new exercise regimen! I'll get into it more later in a different post, but basically, I do my exercise in increments scattered throughout the day, rather than all in one go.
I've also made a commitment to eat more healthy, and I'll write up about that sometime too! I've gotten into doing things like drinking a cleansing organic apple cider vinegar drink with "the mother" (Oh how fitting?) several times a day, and other nerdy healthy stuff like that!
I am loving my new baby and toddler blog, but I gotta say, I'm missing this blog a bit--it's kinda more "me" and I have a lot of fun posting here.
And yeah, I do have 6 other kids who take up a lot of my time, thoughts, concerns and prayers! (esp the tweens/teens I must say!)
So a big thank you to all who have shown support to my new baby/toddler blog! I sure do appreciate it!
Here's a little something to keep you entertained and entertaining others over the weekend!
Till next time, Angelina
The first installment of summer fun is here! Click on the link
for an easy, mess-free yet fantastic activity for all ages! Seriously, my kids went crazy over this! MARSHMALLOW CREATIONS!
The last few months have been a vibrant mixture of adventure, messy and amazing art projects and crafts, computer woes (try all 4 computers in our house breaking down at once!), 7 birthdays (yes, 7!) , new dog, tasty new foods, boring old foods, swimming everywhere we can--lakes, pools, bathtubs, big buckets in the yard, in the dog bath, (What doesn't kill you makes you stronger?) dealing with 8 different emotional beings from teenage rants to toddler psychology and baby baby-ness, summer camps, too much TV, turning off the TV (!), books, fist fights and tickle fights, hippie hair, marine buzzed hair, visiting friends, Dad looking for a new job, Mom learning how to adjust to life with a new baby and all other 7 kids at home, and the list could just go on and on....
Wow, I'm exhausted just writing it, but it's a good kind of exhaustion--the kind that leaves you feeling like smiling while your eyes are closed right before you fall asleep! :-) Seriously though, it was a great summer, we stuffed so much into it and learned so much! Now we're ready for the new school year!
Since I didn' t have a working computer pretty much the whole summer, I didn't do any blogging, but we did so much and I took a ton of pictures, and hope to put a lot of it down for everyone as soon as I can! So don't forget to check back in--tons of kid-friendly recipes, including meals kids can make themselves, art and outside activities, and more!
Meet the teacher day for the 2 youngest scholars!
We decided to make our own Easter Egg Wreath, and it turned out to be a great family project, with everyone getting involved in one way or another, and it now proudly adorns our front door! If you are interested, I've put together a tutorial for it! Even if you don't want to make the wreath, you can make either the flowers or painted eggs as separate projects--both of which my kids love love LOVED!
I especially like the flowers, as you can use old newspapers, magazines or used paper to make the flowers and they look just fabulous! No need for expensive bows--make your own flower/bows to put on gifts or to use as decorations! Original, creative, and all made from recyclable materials!
Here's a picture of our beautiful Easter egg wreath:
It has a very home made feel, which is what I love about it! And the kids did it pretty much all themselves--which is a great feeling for them!
Paper flower tutorial
Egg wreath tutorial
We all know that doing activities with kids, esp little kids, while fun for them, can be a messy nightmare for mama if we don't watch out! I've put together a list of top ten tips for avoiding the big mess blues! Check it out here: Tidy Tips for Messy Moments!
If you haven't yet, be sure to check out all the hops at quicktattletails for lots of fun, follows, and friends! Just click on the icon to be taken to her site and choose which one (s) you want to join! Happy Hopping!
Click here if you want to connect with more people and for more people to connect with you!
Time to get your weekend on! I present to you a video clip
which went viral over the past couple of days (although I laughed out loud when I saw it, I also admire the wife for being so merciful on her husband for posting it on youtube!), as well as a note
from a man comparing the teaching of math today to when it was taught 50 years ago! Both have to do with math and both will crack you up! Check them both out at my weekly Silly Saturdays
post! And don't forget to SMILE!