Friday, October 26, 2007

Do you know what your kids are posting?

Kids will be kids, right? Isn’t that what we say when kids do something kinda dumb? But kinda dumb and the internet do not go together.

Last month alone, 12 million children, give or take, between the ages of 12-17 used social networking sites. Many of these children have friends on those sites they have never even met. Those friends could be cops, other creepy adults (you know the ones I am talking about), or just other kids. Do you know who you child is hanging out with on the internet?I guess a better question is "Do you know what your child is posting and sharing on the internet?" Kids will be kids. Everyone knows that. But kids can say some very stupid and damaging things also. These things can involve the whole family. These things could get you fired from your job. These things could get one of your other kids in trouble in school or with other kids. Or worse yet, these things could get them hurt by an adult that does not have the best intentions.

We live in an age where kids turn to the internet for friendship. They think that what they post or say will never be found out by their parents. But these kids need to know that everything they say and post can end up back on their parent’s doorstep. They are not just talking to their friend down the street. They are airing your family's life for the whole world to see. Your child may be talking with the child of your boss from work and share some family secrets that are a big no-no at your work. Your child may be posting inappropiate pictures of themselves, not even thinking that there are adults out there that want to find your child and hurt your child.There are things, as a parent, you can do to keep track of what your son or daughter is doing online:

  • Simply talk to them about the internet and just how public it really is.
  • Check your child’s profiles on these networks from time to time to see what is really being shared or posted–they may get upset but an angry child is better than a missing child or a lost job.
  • Google all the names in your family just to see what is out there about you and your family.
  • Do alittle research on the social networks. There are a ton of them out there but the more you know, the better parent you can be.
  • You can block the sites on your computer at home. (Remember they can find those sites anywhere with an internet connection so it is very important that you talk to them about internet safty.)
  • Create a family social network. You can create your own network on You can post pictures, videos, invite family and friends, write comments to others you have invited to your network, and all sorts of stuff. This is alot more private than some of the other public networks.

I know kids will be kids. But you have to remember you are the parent and we all want the best for our kids. So teach your kids to be smart about the internet. This way the only dumb things they do is buy too many clothes at Amazon!

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