Nashville, there’s a knock at your door. Who’s there you reply? Hi, I’m the Big Bad Wolf. I’m the local pedophile and I’m here to see your children, may I come in. Almost positive in this circumstance not only would you say no but you’d be on the phone to your local police.
Yet we needing to stress the dilemma here, Wolf may possibly already be in your house. Nashville, the Big Bad Wolf no longer lurks from within the forest, behind walls or peeping from a closed second floor windows as your child plays in the park.
People Wolf has gone high tech. Wolf lurks from inside the window that sits on yours or your child’s desktop. He’s skulking within the gadgets that Santa left under the tree. The iPods, iPad, smart phones, and Netbook.
Is Wolf alone with your child at this very moment? If you are not monitoring your child’s online activities then this could be a frightening truth. Nashville, its 10am. Do you know where your children are online right now?
In a state with 6,296,254 people, Nashville (2009 Census)and 13,343of those are offenders. (www.areavibes.com) Some figures even as high as 14,284
According to www.pewinternet.org,
- Twenty one million teens are online.
- 87% are online and between the age of 12 & 17.
- 89% read e-mails.
- 84% search the Web for fun.
- 81% play online games.
- 75% use instant messaging.
- 43% purchase items online.
These figures are also from childrenspartership.organd a little frightening;
- 64% of parents say they have internet rules.
- 37% of teens say they have rules.
- 62% of parents report checking on what sites kids visit.
- 33% of teens say their parents on their activities online.
- 54% of parents say they use online filters.
- 62% of parents and 62% of teens say they believe most teens do things online they’d rather their parents not see.
If you deem these figures true there a discrepency in who’s telling the truth. Although they do agree on one thing, that teens are doing something online that they don’t want their parents to see. Futhermore with these figures there are millions of our youth unprotected on the internet right now even as you read this. And with more devices becoming internet ready today the time they spend online is getting higher each day.
Not only do we need to monitor what they do on the computer but also their iPod Touch, iPhone, Blackberry, and gaming devices.
It’s best to start working with your child as young as 8 years old. You’ll want to monitor and mentor while they’re online. Your aim here is to equip your child with knowledge and build toward their independence.
You’re going to want to coach your children about;
- Privacy and reputation
- Inappropriate content.
- Undesirable behaviors.
There are the golden rules for parents
- Keep the internet in public spot in your home.
- Spend “cybertime” with your child.
- Teach Internet rules & consequences-
Parent your values online.
- Talk to your child about what they are doing.
- Limit time-keep kids busy beyond the screen.
- Be a friend on your child’s social networks
- Stay Involved
The golden rules to teach;
- Rules from “real” life apply; courtesy, kindness, modesty, dignity, respect for the law and for others.
- Don’t talk to strangers. If something or someone makes your child feel uncomfortable encourage them to come and talk to you. Give them a pat on the back when they do so.
- Keep your private information private. Never give out passwords.
- Never agree to meet an online friend without a parent.
There are no guarantees that what you say or post on the Internet is private. Demonstrate to your children that if you write something on a piece of paper it can be torn up and thrown away. If you post something on the Internet for any length of time it’s forever. This includes pictures as well as private information. Never bully a peer on the Internet. Laws are being past daily to keep this under control and School Systems are getting involved to stop this type of torment.
This article is off subject somewhat but prepping for what follows. With all the cool new gadgets Santa’s dropped off and the kiddies home for the holidays a series of articles on how to set up parental controls on select devices. Websites designed just for children. Really fun and educational browsers for the kids. Operating systems intended for the children’s fun, learning and gaming experience. See you tomorrow with the first installment, setting up parental controls in Windows7
Let us know what you think.
Be Blessed and Merry Christmas.