Today we NEED to talk about what kids need to know about being safe online. I’ve always been a huge promoter of safe internet for children. I believe the internet is not going away anytime soon and that our children have to learn to work online and use social media safely. But because there is so much online garbage and social media traps! I hate to see the next generation growing up in a world of screens and not being properly trained.
I can’t say this enough . . . training our kids to use the internet safely is one of the major things we should be teaching our children.
Sometimes I think we try to shield them from it, which is fine. I totally get that (and I do it often too). However, I believe kids will figure out a way to use the internet and social media somehow–friends, school, etc. And it’s better if we as parents start teaching them early the skills they need to know, before they learn inappropriate use from someone else.
Kids need to know:
* How to search safely online
* How to avoid predators
* What pornography is and how to avoid it
* What to do if they see pornography
* How to be polite online and on social media (what NOT to say)
* What sexting is
* How to recognize online scams, viruses, and spam
* How to take decent selfies
* How to recognize cyber-bullying (and NOT to do it)
* How to limit screen time (how much is too much?)
Start by just simply checking with them at dinner, or having a family discussion one night about some of the things on this list. Be open with them. Communicate often. Keep the talking going.
Kids need rules, guidelines, and some practice (with the help of parents). Parents should be the first ones to teach this to their kids. When I first started blogging, I felt like I didn’t see enough chatter about internet safety going around. It seemed like the porn industry and the online scammers and predators were winning.
But lately, I’ve seen a lot more talk about keeping kids safe online. I’ve seen schools teaching it more. I’ve seen more articles, books, and more radio shows and television talking about it. I’ve seen companies trying to find solutions. One of my favorites is called Protect Young Minds. I’m not affiliated with them in any way. I just think they are doing a great job of getting the word out there, teaching parents how to teach kids about porn, and helping us fight it. I signed up for their email and I have the free printable near our computer. It has been so helpful. I HIGHLY recommend Protect Young Minds. Go check it out now. Your kids need this.