Focused Friday: Internet Safety for Children

January 18, 2008 at 12:47 am | Posted in children, dads, Families, Focused Fridays, moms, Mothers, parents, Safety, Self Esteem, teens, Tweens | 2 Comments
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 Welcome to Focused Friday!  This week we are talking about how to keep your kids safe on the internet

Question #1:  

I am online quite a bit.  But I really don’t want my daughter to get on line as much as me.  How can I tell her that she must not be online as much as me?

GEM Answer: 
First you need to ask yourself why you are on line so much?  Is it important or necessary?  Are you learning something?  Or are you filling up time with being online.  If the last is your answer then, as much as I am glad to have you here, you need to curb your own time online.  Instead of being on line take time to be interactive with your daughter.  Ask her to show you some of her school projects.  If you show her how to spend time doing other things than being online she will emulate your new behaviors. 

If, on the other hand, you are the internet for important, necessary, or learning reasons then explain to your daughter that there are times for being online that are different for children than for parents.  Because you are the parent, allow yourself to create and make limits for your daughter.


Question #2:  

I am very concerned that my 13-year-old daughter is having a relationship online that is inappropriate.  How can I figure it out and stop her?

GEM Answer: 

The first thing for you to do is explain to her that you know of some people who get involved with people on line who they don’t know and it turns out to be a really bad situation.  Ask her if she has ever heard of any one like that.  Have a few conversations about other people, and what happened to them.  But try to keep the conversations to be about how to get out of the problem and how the kids came to parents or even counselors at school to get help. 

At some point, I suggest you let your daughter know about your concern.  Be sure to speak to her with concern rather than judging.  Let her know that you love her too much to let her get mixed up in a situation that would be harmful to her.  And also that it is your both your job and responsibility as a parent to protect her from harm.  Remind her of sometime when she was much younger and you protected her.  You want her to respect you and that means you must respect her.  But it does not mean you must let her do whatever she wants.


Question #3:  

I am in a real panic and your stuff came out just in time.  I know my son is communicating with someone online who he met in a chat room.  And they are thinking of meeting in person.  What do I do?

GEM Answer:  

You immediately speak to your son about the dangers of such meeting in person.  You simply forbid it to happen.  You explain to your son that the kind of people who want to meet boys from chat rooms usually have bad intensions.  The other alternative is to meet the person with your son, only in a very public place.  But I personally would not allow any of my children to meet someone whom they have met only in a chat room.

You should also inform your local or state law enforcement agency, the FBI, and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.


It is important to remember that the Internet has opened the world in amazing and wonderful ways.  Being committed, interactive, and responsible for your children in all their endeavors will give you and them the stability and foundation to be able to live peacefully and safely with the Internet.

Dont forget:  Our weekly GEM Parenting podcast for the week, “Keeping your Kids Safe on the Internet” is only $5.99 for a full hour of information, tips, and guidance on the best practices for making sure your kids stay safe online.  Dont wait….order your podcast today!

Just e-mail me at

FREE 8 PODCAST SERIES: “7 Deadly Mistakes Parents Make That Create Spoiled Brats!”  In this FREE Audio Parenting Series, you’ll learn the tested methods and strategies that produce the behavior your heart desires from your children.


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  1. Part of internet safety is also communicating with the school, and finding out what the school allows for your child to use the computer and be online. When I was in high school, I took an internet class. Part of the class involved creating a personal blog–I did my blog on a popular server, with a party atmosphere, and chatted with older people. I learned how to e-mail and IM in school. I had my own e-mail account. I even went into chat rooms. I can honestly say that a teenager has no idea of the danger, and truly believes the people online are “friends”. If you tell the child “no” they will think you are just being mean. It is imperitive that you take control as a parent. Set up clear expectations and rules. Get passwords for all online accounts. Talk to the parents of your child’s friends to see what their online access is outside of the home. Install online tracking programs. And stay involved with your child’s life.
    After chatting and going online at school, I thought the internet was a safe and fun place to hang out. When I got my own computer at home, I met a much older man who seemed to really care. All it took for this person to find me was to put my age and location in my profile. Another tip: Look up traits and characteristics of abusers and pedophiles. Often pedophiles will manipulate and charm the parent to gain access to the child.
    I met my online buddy–and after he did something horrible to me, I did not have the courage or the strength to leave. I spent 8 years of my life in an abusive relationship. Even now it is difficult to escape.
    If I could stress one thing it would be to stay involved in your child’s life. No matter how they resist or what kind of fight they put up–fight for your child! I nwould never wish the hell I have lived through on anyone.
    Peace, Lynn

  2. Lynn,

    First I want to thank you for taking the time to share with us. Obviously, you have had one of the tragic experiences that are caused by lack of parental involvement. And you are so right. It is essential to take your interest in your child’s Internet safety outside the house. It is important to understand what is being done in Internet classes, what your children’s friends are allowed to do on line. And as a parent you need to be sure that you let your children understand that the reason you are involved with this area of their life is because you cherish them. No matter what your children say about your involvement remember to be involved with respect and caring, not with control and domineering.

    Thanks again Lynn for being so open and honest with us.


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