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CyberSecrets What Your Child Doesn’t want you to Know

Image representing MySpace as depicted in Crun...
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What is a CyberSecret? Is your child keeping a CyberSecret from you?

Would you honestly know if they were keeping a CyberSecret from you?  A CyberSecret is, in the most plain of terms, an online secret.  What do you know about what your child does online?

Anyone can strike up a conversation with someone they meet on a social networking site. Kids can put restrictions on their profiles to only allow friends and people they know to view their profile.  The problem is that many don’t and, too often, they put way too much revealing information about themselves online. Even when a profile is restricted, a kid has the option of letting someone in who contacts them and asks to be included in their network of friends. An appealing picture, a friendly query, a similarity of interests or someone who just sounds “cool,” is often more than enough for kids to make exceptions and let someone into their site that they don’t know.   Why?  This could drive you crazy trying to understand why your child would allow someone in where personal information is there for the taking.Don’t Take Candy From Strangers

Parents who haven’t explored these social networking sites think they are the same as their own high school yearbooks. For the few kids who are very cautious about their profiles, that may be true. But for most adolescents who are seeking sexual experimentation, social networking sites are a stage.  This type of stage allows kids to play, and be watched by others.

Most parents have the same feeling, ‘Not my kid, my kid wouldn’t do that, they know how dangerous it is” or “They know we don’t approve of that kind of behavior”.  But, these same parents can go online into places such as MySpace and see their daughter posing in her bra or their underage son drunk and disorderly hanging with his friends. They can see the kids they trust and think are wonderful in places they never thought their children would be, abusing alcohol.

Even good kids do stupid things. What is shocking to parents?  Seeing their own children in provocative pictures or seeing their kids friends doing the same or worse on these social networking sites.  The media is saturated with images of scantily-clad and overtly sexualized celebrities.  Teen sexuality is flaunted in the media, and it typically is not in the way that most parents would like to see it.  In real life a girl who acts on the mixed messages can be labeled by her peers as a slut. But how does a young girl find the boundary between being a slut and a prude?

Girls, in particular, are given mixed messages about their sexuality.  In today’s world, with so many means of media being thrown at our children, how can we expect them to be able to decipher on their own what is appropriate and what is not appropriate without our help?  What are your children doing online?  What are they seeing online?  Who are they seeing online?  These are questions that you as a parent must find out, and be able to discuss with your child.

What CyberSecrets are your children keeping from you?

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  1. 1 Comment(s)

  2. By myspace pics on Apr 21, 2009 | Reply

    Great Myspace post thanks.

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