Cyber crimes and other malicious materials have made the Internet unsafe for most children. But there is no doubt that the Internet has become a fundamental tool in the overall development of children today. So before you decide to snap off the Internet cable or router antenna, you should talk about online safety with your kid. Here’s how.
1) Back Your Stories With Facts
When you talk to your kids about the dangers of being online, you need to back up your claims with actual facts or statistics. For instance, you could tell your child that twenty percent of kids, mostly teens, have received sexual solicitations from other people online.
2) Be Genuinely Concerned
Kids these days are smarter than two generations ago. They can easily detect if their parents are bluffing or just being over protective. When you talk about online safety, show your child that you are really concerned for them about the crimes committed in cyberspace. Your kid will more than appreciate it if you treat him or her more maturely.
3) Tell Your Kid About The Good Ol’ Days
Children today are more open to strangers. The mere fact that they have swapped pictures and email addresses with another person online can be easily interpreted as true friendship. Tell your kids that looking at profiles posted on online communities is not enough to be trustful about someone. In the good old days, friendship starts with meeting face-to-face and a handshake; that still applies today.
4) Be Calm When Argument Escalates
Remember, your rules may not always go with your child’s interests. And in this day and age, obedience and discipline do not always rank high among children. Hence, your talk with your child about online safety can easily escalate into a full blown conflict. When this happens remember to stay calm.
Unplugging the internet connection or returning the computer to the dealer after an altercation may only result to bitterness on the part of your child. To get back at you, your child can easily access the Internet in countless other places. Would you prefer your child being online at home or some other place without your supervision?
5) Empower Your Child
In this modern age of computers and Internet, you will be better off talking to your child on a more equal footing when it comes to online safety. Equip your child with the necessary knowledge about what can happen in cyberspace. Keeping your child blinded from the nasty and abusive side of the Internet will only work against him or her.
6) Learn The Ropes
Talking to your child about online safety is futile if you do not have any clue about it and the technology and accessories that run cyberspace. True, you do not need to be a computer scientist or a geek to know even the most basic, yet important, aspects of using the Internet. But the truth is, your child can use your guidance in cyberspace. An important aspect of Internet usage that a parent must have some ideas about is abbreviations used in chatting; this will enable you to know what your child is chatting about if you get a chance to glance on the computer screen.
7) Fish For Clues
One of the reasons why there are countless children being bullied or sexually groomed online is the fact that only twenty percent of parents and guardians have a clue about their child’s email addresses or choice of passwords. These details are important should you decide to investigate your suspicions that something wrong is going on with your kid online. When you talk with your child about the Internet, you can always ask about his or her email addresses or favorite websites and chat rooms.
8) Emphasize Privacy
When talking about online safety, emphasize the importance of privacy. Explain the importance of not divulging certain things about your family and your child’s personality online. Point out the dangers of revealing your credit card information or home address to a stranger online.
9) Teach Kids To Follow Instincts
The World Wide Web is full of strangers. Most often, your child does not know the person clicking the mouse on the other side of the screen; this is why you must talk to your child about trusting his or her instincts whenever she feels threatened or abused while chatting or meeting other people online. It is the best and only way to stop abusive and suspicious online behavior from actually happening in real world.
10) Never Put The Blame
When your child comes across something uncomfortable or unsettling online, never put the blame on him or her. This can only make matters worse. More often than not, unwanted materials just pop-up on the screen; so talking about this type of occurrences should be handled without putting the blame on your kid, otherwise, you risk breeding distrust and bitterness. Learn more here…