Posts Tagged ‘online’

Youth, Internet & Message forums, Oh My!

Yesterday I got into a discussion on Facebook about kids 13 and under using the Internet, and kids under 16 participating in message forums (ie: Facebook and MySpace to name a few).  This morning when I woke up I logged on to my Facebook account, read the conversation again and thought to myself “this is an important topic I’d like to discuss”.  Children, tweens and young adults flock to the internet not always thinking of the dangers lurking with the click of the mouse.  With the proper supervision and guidance I feel the internet and message forums can be a positive place for children, tweens and young adults.  With that said… without supervision and guidance, the internet and message forums can be a cruel place.

Children, tweens and young adults today feel entitled and we as parents have the right to say no, impose restrictions, and monitor what they’re doing online.  In my household we hold firm to the belief that privacy is earned by graduating, getting a job and living on your own.  I randomly/frequently check my oldest daughter’s email, Facebook, text messages, and call logs.  I don’t allow her online just because she wants to and when I do allow it I monitor what she’s doing.

I know the internet is not going away anytime soon, and access to porn, perverts and cyber-bullying are at their fingertips.  The internet does not have to be a negative thing.  I see it as a teaching tool, just as we teach our youth everything else.  I try my best to educate my daughter on internet safety, the posting of private information & pictures, and how to respectfully carry herself online.

I’d be interested to hear what others think on this topic, so please feel free to comment!

Tips to keep children, tweens and young adults safe online:

*Computer use should be limited to the common area of the house (living room/family room)
*Educate your child about Internet do’s and do not’s
*Talk about acceptable/unacceptable pictures/posts
*Teach youth how to handle cyber-bullying
*Use the content advisor
*Only accept friend requests from individuals he/show physically knows
*Keep their usernames/passwords written down

Helpful Links:

National Crime Prevention Council  http://www.ncpc.org/topics/internet-safety
FBI Cyber-bullying parents guide  http://www.fbi.gov/stats-services/publications/parent-guide/parent-guide
National Crime Prevention Council  http://www.ncpc.org/topics/cyberbullying/stop-cyberbullying

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