Why aren’t more parents monitoring what their children are doing on-line? The answer most parents give is because they are intimidated by the computer. They lack computer skills, don’t have a smart phone and they really aren’t interested in learning how to use one. As parents, we must be involved in what’s happening in our child’s life, especially in the age of modern technology. From one mother to another, I think it’s imperative that we get involved in our children’s activities and stop thinking they’re doing the right thing and don’t need to be monitored.
As parents we all want to think that we’ve raising angels and our children know right from wrong. We’re shocked when we get a call to come into the school for inappropriate behavior from our child, when we receive a call from jail to bail them out or the cop knocks on the door to deliver bad news. We all think that these things couldn’t possibly happen to us, these situations happen in other people’s homes. So why should we concern ourselves. How many times have you heard, my child would never do that!
I can give you a few reasons. Did you hear about the Florida teens, 15 and 16, that were arrested for setting up a phony Facebook page that was X-rated several years ago. They were charged with pasting the face of a school mate, whom they didn’t like, on a nude body and filled the page with foul language. They thought it was a joke. They were charged with felony stalking.
How about the young lady that committed suicide last year because she was bullied. We must overcome our fears. A blogger recently experienced cyber bullying with her daughter. As a matter of fact her blog was down for most of a day because it was hacked. Bullying is real, and it wrecks havoc on families. A teen in my neighborhood committed suicide a few years ago. If we as a parents won’t face our fears, how do we encourage our children to face theirs?
Here are a few suggestions on how to overcome the fear of the computer and how you can get involved to help stop cyber bullying:
- If you don’t consider yourself to be technically savvy, take a class or better yet get your child to teach you. They love showing off their computer skills.
- Ask questions about your child’s friends and what’s happening in their life. Follow them on sites popular with teens and make sure you have access to their accounts.
- Ask other parents, aunts, uncles, sisters and brothers to stay involved with your children on-line. We can’t monitor our children 24/7, but you can recruit family and friends to assist. It takes a village to raise a child.
- Computer etiquette starts at home. Have conversations with your child or children on what’s appropriate or inappropriate to put on-line. If they’re minors, you’re in control and you need to let them know you’re ruling the roost. They must follow rules that you have set for on-line activities.
- Discuss the consequences of cyber stalking and the legalities of posting inappropriate posts. It’s illegal and the consequences are certainly worth a conversation with your child.
Do you see the importance of keeping up with your child? Better yet stay in front of them so you can lead. If you can’t stay in front of them stay beside them. Taking a class is cheaper than paying a lawyer to get your child out of a felony for on-line harassment or other effects from bullying. Would love to know your thoughts on this post and how you monitor your child’s on-line activities.
You may also like: 15 Tips to Detect If Your Child Is Being Bullied