We are aware that our kids have more opportunities than ever to find trouble. The numerous options available for them to connect with the wrong people can send many of us into a virtual tizzy. Rather than be overwhelmed, just put a few things in place and take control of your children’s digital lives.
1) Be the example by balancing your own personal and digital lives. At times, you need to unplug. Put up the phone, turn off the computer and and just hang out as a family.
2) If your children are on Facebook, they should be your friend. If they are on Twitter, you should follow them. Monitor their sites and see what and who they talking to and about.
3) Have a talk with them about what you expect. Remind them that what they say on line says more about them than about the person they are talking to. Also, remind them that the person on the other end of their comments is a flesh and blood human with real feelings. On line manners are just as important as off line manners.
4) One day they will be an adult and they need to consider their “digital tattoo.” What they write may have a long shelf life; they should choose their online words and actions carefully.
5) Make sure you are aware of who they are connecting with – look through their friend list and ask them about these people. Do not be surprised if they have never met many of their connections, but ask if they have a sense about them. Have an open conversation and find out if any of those connections act strangely or make them feel uncomfortable, then un-connect them.
These may seem almost too easy and simple, but they can go a long way. What do you do to keep your children digitally healthy?