TLDR: Keeping your kids safe on the internet. Especially when you’re not able to protect them. Keep your kids educated and smart about the risks so that they can make smart decisions with technology.
Morning, Smart Moms!
I know many of you have teenagers, and I’m already stressing about my daughter as she gets older when it comes to internet and social media.
You’ve heard and read about the bullying that goes on not to mention the sickos that hang out on there.
Furthermore, how do you keep kids making good choices about social media, texting, and dating when it comes to technology?
I think I have a good place for you awesome moms to start.
- Use what they use. If you know what they’re using and how it’s used, you can talk to them about it and communicate with them over it. (1) With platforms like Facebook and Instagram, you can stay in touch with what your kids are up to, what they’re feeling, and what their friends are saying.
- Coach them on safety. There are some excellent sites that have checklists of what you can go over with your kids. I’ll post some links under resources at the bottom you can look at. But here are some basic outlines to follow: a) never post personal information online such as phone numbers, home address, or your location, b) never share a password with anyone, not even friends. Parents and guardians are the only ones that need to know, c) never meet up with anyone first met on the internet. Arrange for a safe place to meet with parents if a meet-up is desired, d) be kind—don’t say cruel things to people either in person or online, d) the internet never forgets. Don’t post something unless it’s absolutely sure to be ok forever. (2)
- Keep computer in an open area of the home. Cuts down on temptation for kids to do things they might not otherwise do if you were around. Their intentions might even be good, but may be influenced to do otherwise without your guidance. (4) Remember though, your teens will have phones and access to other computers when you won’t be around. So the emphasis should be on actively helping kids learn how to make informed and value based decisions with and without you.
- Keep social media private. Just post and communicate with friends. Keep a tight network so you can weed out the undesirables. Only friend people you know. Help your kids understand that people may not always be what they seem to be online. (5)
- Know how to use social media blocks. Teach your kids how to block people if the attention they get from them is unwanted.
- Double check before you click. Educate your children about phishing, scams, ads, and other security risks to computers and personal information. You should both know what’s safe and be well acquainted with security risks. (3)
- Research smarts. Help and educate your children on how to look up information for themselves. It’s an important skill to know how to look up legitimate resources and learn about valid, professional websites with good information vs. just opinion or crap websites. (3)
- Manage conflict. Help your kids understand how to manage confrontation and deal with challenges gracefully. Teach them how it’s better to delete unwanted messages and comments rather than respond to them. Teach them how to handle their issues but to know when things look bad they can come to you or another trustworthy adult.
- Be there for them. You’re your kids number one resource and protector. It’s important they feel that they can come to you, talk to you about hard things, and feel taken care of. Communication is important to your relationship and to damage control when things do go awry.
Mistakes happen, kids are kids, and we’re all human. Even if your child makes a mistake, you can be there for them to help with damage control, learn, and build a trusting relationship between you both.
Thanks for tuning in today. And, as always, I hope this helps!