Published On: Wed, Feb 17th, 2016

Parents in the Digital World: 5 Crucial Don’ts

Most of the kids are online these days. They have a whole life on the Internet with lots of friends, pictures, games and other things they love some much. Parents are used to control their kids’ life; controlling their online activities is not as common, yet. However, with the Internet playing such a big part in almost every kid’s life, parents have to pay more attention to it. You have to do a lot, but there are also things you shouldn’t do. Here are some of them.

Don’t ignore the importance of the online world

Many patents today are not so active when it comes to online activities. They may notice that their kids constantly do something on their phones or laptops, but they don’t take it seriously. That’s a big mistake, though. There is a number of serious online dangers that can have a huge impact on kids’ real life. Here are the things that every parent should be aware of:

Cyberbullying. Most parents think that bullies can hurt only physically at schools or on the streets. However, this terrible phenomenon is currently widespread online, as well. And it can be as hurtful as the actual face-to-face bullying. The survey says that 65% of 8-14 year olds have been involved in a cyber-bullying incident. This number is too big to ignore the whole thing.

Explicit content. The Internet is full of porn and violence, did you know that? Do you want your kids to see that? Many children see such content involuntary as it can be published everywhere on the Internet as an ad or in some other form. Watching such inappropriate things at a young age can lead to serious psychological consequences.

Sexting. It may surprise you but 48% of teens have received sexually suggestive messages or pictures at least once, statistics show. I bet you don’t want your children to do so, as well.

Online predators. One in five American teens says they have got an unwanted sexual solicitation online. Online predators are becoming more widespread around the world trying to lure kids to meet them.

Parents should not only be aware of these and others online dangers, but to teach their kids about them, too.

Don’t think that all of their online friends are actually their real-life friends

Out of curiosity, ask your kids how many of their Facebook friends are actually people they often see and communicate with. You’d be surprised by the answer if it is honest. Kids tend to have as many online friends as possible even if they don’t know these people or don’t like them in real life. It is just what modern kids do. You should have a serious talk about it and explain that seemingly innocent Facebook friend can turn out to be somebody completely different.

photo/ Pixabay

photo/ Pixabay

Don’t hope they’ll tell you everything

Even if you are very close with your kids, it doesn’t mean they tell you everything. They may keep things in secret out of shame, fear, embarrassment or just because they think you won’t understand them. Don’t blindly believe that they share every little detail of their life with you as there can be lots of things you don’t know about your kids’ lives.

Don’t be ashamed to monitor

Some people say that looking through your kids phone calls, text messages and social networks is the violation of their privacy. Well, maybe it is true in some way, but if it helps to avoid many different problems, then there is nothing to doubt here. You as a parent have the full right to know what happens in your children’s lives both real and virtual. You have the right to know who they are friends with in social networks and who they chat with via different messengers. Do it from the very start so that your kids get used to it.

Don’t think your kids know the risks

The things that seem dangerous to you may seem innocent to your kids. For example, the majority of teens who sext don’t even know that sending or spreading nude pictures of underage people is considered child pornography and they can be criminally liable for that. Those kids who bully others online don’t even assume that such acts can lead to harsh consequences such as a nervous breakdown or even suicide. Don’t expect them to realize all the risks on their own and just teach them.

Apart from all those things, you should just try to maintain close friendly relationships with your children and tell them what’s right and what’s wrong from the very young age. That is the key to them behaving nicely both in real life and on the Internet.

Guest Author: Vincent Dexter

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