Do you children get on the internet a lot? What do they do online? I feel it is a lot easier to monitor kids’ online behavior when they are on computers. It is a bigger screen. If you put it in a family room that everyone is around, you can sort of still see what they are doing on the computer. Once kids moved onto tablets and cell phones, it becomes more challenging to know what they are doing on the internet. Cyber bully and cyber safety is becoming an increasing concern for parents and educators.
I recently reviewed BGCA’s Cyber Safe Future Initiative. I am compensated for my time, but I am reviewing it because I believe families with kids do need know all the information BGCA provides.
I felt I was up to date to the cyber safety and cyber bullying issues. When I was exploring on the cyber Safe Future Initiate website, I again found some shocking news about cyber bully. Do you know 1 in every 3 kids have been a victim of cyber bullying? This is over 30% of kids! With this rate, it is very likely you know some kids who have been victims of cyber bully.
What do you have to do as parent to prevent your child from being a victim? What can you teach your children to protect themselves? Here are some key points I learned from the website:
First, the education should start before anything bad happen, which means now. Parents should talk with kids about healthy online behavior. Basically, online behavior should follow the same principles as interacting face to face. If something is not appropriate to say in person, then it should not be said online.
Parents should also set an atmosphere at home so that kids are comfortable to tell parents about things happening in their online world. Kids need know that they are safe to tell parents whatever they are experiencing that they don’t feel comfortable or right.
Parents need know the child enough to tell something is wrong when the child is in trouble. If you don’t know you child is bullied, you can’t offer the help he/she needs. Do you notice change of attitude towards getting online or school? Do they show signs of depression? Or lower grades?
Parents need set a good role model for the kids. Share your own experience or stories in the news with kids. Kids will learn first hand from you how to handle various situations. There is no better learning than real life examples.
I encourage all parents visit the Cyber Safe Future Initiative website. There are many more helpful information and tips there. There is also a section where kids can ask questions and there are already many questions asked and answered. If you want to see what others have asked and what the answers are, you can go to the Cyber Tribe Answers page. If you submit questions now, you will have a chance to win an iPad mini and $500 gift towards BGCA clubs.
If you are looking for online safety books for younger kids, here is a free book designed for kids age 6 and younger – find iGameMom’s review and download link at Free App: Kids Stay Safe Online with the Little Bird.