Kids these days have access to many online sites and features that we only dreamt of and saw in the movies. However, this is not always a good thing, as they are more vulnerable for predators, paedophiles, and bullies. Even when kids do not play out in the streets as often anymore, they are the most exposed to danger that children their age have ever been.
As parents, we surely teach them values and many useful tools that help them develop their character and personality among this society. Though, we don’t seem to teach them how to behave online, as we trust their innocence and exposure to certain sites and apps we consider “safe” but, what we ignore is the fact that many online predators and bullies hide on these apps, claiming to be kids their same age and selling themselves as friendly and sweet-innocent people.
We know this type of conversation may result uncomfortable for us and for our kids, but it doesn’t have to be like that. Here you’ll find some useful tips on how to draw online limits and underline what’s appropriate and what goes beyond those limits:
- Start the conversation casually, you could even start looking at apps together, and take it from there. Start discussing which sites you like and which ones you think are suitable for your child’s age. Then, listen to their point of view and decide together.
- Explain there are people who may not be who they seem to be, so explain that they must be very careful on how much they share on their social media.
- Talk to them about posting and sharing photos online. Ask them to tell you as soon as somebody starts asking for pictures they consider unusual and too private.
- Discuss how difficult it is to identify someone online, as there are many ways somebody can pretend to be somebody else. Tell them not to share private information, address, schools, etc. This sort of information should never be relevant for anybody apart from family members.
There’s nothing that could top the feeling of trust between a kid and its parents. So, embrace trust among your family members and talk to them about the danger they’re exposed to when they’re online. Trust is a card only a family must play in their favour.