The CyberHood Watch partners, Dave & Bill, have interviewed several guests whose passion stems from making sure their child or a loved one’s child is protected. The inspiration for Jacob Anderson for creating KidsEmail.org, was knowing what almost happened to his brother’s daughter. Jacob’s brother discovered someone, unknown to him, had been communicating with his niece, although nothing had happened, it was a realization of what could have occurred.
Parents need to understand that all it takes is a “hello” to start the process. Thanks to people like Jacob, it ignited a passion to make sure it would never happen to his child. Fortunately, every parent there after benefits from Jacobs efforts.
I found this comment on Jacob Anderson’s Blog, which provides an interesting perspective and importance of being able to document your child’s email activities.
“When a child goes missing, one of the first things parents and the police do is go through the child’s emails and social networking accounts.”
Why would any parent not want a trail to follow? Why would a parent wait until their child is missing to know about his or her child’s online activity? It is more common than you think for parents not to know what their kids are doing online.
Jacob also noted that it does not need to be a concern just about predators communicating with your child. There is the very real and current problem with cyberbullying and your knowing early will better serve your child.
At a lecture I recently attended, Dr. Adam Schwebach spoke about, “How to talk to your teen about cell phone safety”. A point highlighted by Dr. Schwebach was the number one tip kids have to say about what parents can do… Don’t Freak Out! Several of our guests have echoed the same… Freaking out and kids thinking they are going to lose computer privileges is one, if not, the top reason for not telling their parents when there is a problem.
As Dr. Adam suggests, there are four things to remember as the parent:
- Talk rationally
- Be matter of fact
- Don’t judge
- Talk openly about the potential dangers of cyber space/cell phone use
There are moments when I can say, I am out of touch with raising young children. I have five and the youngest is twenty-three, but that is not to say they did not experience the early years of the Internet, emailing, and the flood of pornography. I think the advantage I had was teaching them as I was learning myself. There was actually a time when I did know more than my kids about the beginnings of the digital age. It was easier… I knew how to check their history; they didn’t think I knew; that lasted a short while.
KidsEmail.org offers a fully developed system, which allows parents a platform to secure their child’s email activities. Now is the time, when your child is young, for parents to grow accustom with the service while their child learns. By the time, your child reaches fourteen he or she will want to move on to the current browsers allowing unrestricted access to the Internet. However, that should not discard having monitoring software in place. Again, your child at fourteen needs parenting; they are not bullet proof from the harms of the Internet, nor its deceptions.
There are great features available with KidsEmail.org for parents to keep their children safe as they begin to participate in the digital age. Technophobic parents have nothing to worry about; KidsEmail.org will help you out along with a MyKidsBrowser to provide you with the parental tools necessary for the digital age parent.
Following are some recommendations Jacob offers to parents (27:33):
- Parents fear of technology – Do nothing – Hope their child is okay
- Children should learn about the Internet is a safe environment like the home
- Place the computer is a public space – more effective when they are young
- Contact your Internet Service Provider (ISP) or Google Internet filters and install an Internet filter
- Set time limits and install kids browsers on your computer
- The #1 recommendation is communication with your child!
The latter recommendations are not perfect, but they are a good solid defense for keeping children safe while they become responsible cybercitizens.
We continued our interview talking about more key issues facing kids and parents, along with some more great tips. Be sure to listen to the entire interview with Jacob Anderson here:
david c ballard
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