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.

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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.

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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.

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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 grace@gemparenting.com

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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