Parents aren’t always on top, of what their children experience on line—and that could lead them surfing into dangerous waters.
Research shows nearly one-third of kids have been bullied online. Plus, multitudes have seen pornography. But studies show many parents aren’t aware, or assume it’s not happening to their child. In fact, parents with the highest confidence in their kids online behavior, were most prone to underestimate what was really happening.
The harmful effects of pornography are highly documented, and stories of cyber-bullying leading to failing grades, damaged emotions, and even suicide are common.
You can’t log off to your kids activity online. Having a web filter is a great step, as is not allowing computers in bedrooms. But I recommend talking to your children often about what they’re doing online—and how they’re doing. What they see with their eyes has a big impact on their mind, emotions, and heart.
Here are some Internet filters and accountability software for home computers that I highly recommend:
For helping to prevent sexting, Family Physician and Psychologist, Dr. Leonard Sax writes, in his helpful article, Blame Parents, Not Kids, for Sexting:
I go around the country talking about this issue, and I’m always surprised when parents express reluctance about deploying software to monitor all the devices their children use. There are widely available programs, such as My Mobile Watchdog, Mobile Spy, and Net Nanny Mobile that send any photo your child takes or receives on her phone immediately to your phone and laptop, even before your child has sent the photo anywhere.
Here are some more of my blogs on this topic:
- Think You Know What Your Child’s Up to Online? Think Again!
- Blame Parents, Not Kids, for Sexting
- Help Your Children Manage Media Use, Experts Urge
- The Truth about Bullying and How to Protect Your Child
- How to help your child cope with a bully
- Rules for Preventing Bullying
- Young teens underestimate bullying … wonder “Is it just me?”
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