"Please tell me someone knows of a manual on how to raise children in this Tech World!? <—- sarcasm
All of us know someone who has been sexually assaulted. We all, of course, would never allow our children to go play in a park where a bunch of adults were hanging out and masturbating, grooming kids, and plotting their kidnaps (or worse!!) Unfortunately now with the Internet, the potential and reality is that those predators now have closer access to our innocent children than ever before. This absolutely horrifies me…
After being a lurker in this group for the past couple months, I am now petrified of my kiddos (10, 8, 6 and 3.5yo) doing the following:
(1) Becoming a victim of social media predators
(2) Viewing things online (inadvertently or otherwise) that will instantly take away their innocence, or affect their well being/personality
(3) Becoming addicted to their phone/iPad/device
(4) I’m probably forgetting something - I’m sure there’s more.
My husband and I are trying to figure out WHAT WE CAN DO TO BETTER THE CHANCES THAT OUR CHILDREN CAN BE PROTECTED from the above.
Here is what we have been thinking about so far:
LONG TERM THOUGHTS/DECISIONS
(1) We only have an old Wi game system and those little remakes of Nintendo and Super Nintendo with the thirty or so games on each - and no plans to get any other game systems anytime soon. Each kiddo has an amazon fire for airplane rides and emergencies only.
(2) No smart phones until at least high school… hopefully by then they come out with something in the middle of flip phone and smart phones (which I have now learned can be manipulated to avoid monitoring by mom and dad)
(3) If they need a laptop for school, it’s a chrome book - no laptops or desktops. Our ten year old already has one for when he is required to do extra math work during the school year.
(4) NO SLEEPOVERS - this one is tough!! And not a for sure yet… but I can’t get over the fact that I CANNOT keep tabs on what my kids are doing electronics-wise, while at friends houses. The kids who have zero restrictions on their devices, the naive parents, the parents who are just unaware of the dangers, the older siblings who want to show their little brother and his friend this crazy new website , etc etc. (It’s crazy to me how I am now more afraid of negative online behaviors at sleepovers than I am of them getting molested. ) Explaining to parents why we don’t want our kids sleeping over is another awkward obstacle…
WHAT ELSE DO WE NEED TO DO???
We want to be PROACTIVE - take heed of the moms in here who are dealing with the aftermath of a situation that has/is currently affecting their child and family.
I know TALKING to your kiddos about internet safety is super important but we’re struggling because we are afraid we don’t know all the right things to say. Our kiddos all have different personalities… and I’m sure will all react differently when in certain situations.
ALSO - I want to spread the word to others moms in my town, at my kids school, etc. I have SO many friends who don’t really know how to fully work their own phone, how to edit a photo, or how to set up their icloud so their photos and data aren’t being backed up, etc. If they can’t figure out these easy smartphone tasks, how in the world are they going to be able to keep the lock down on their kids devices?!?
Thankfully - about 95% of our circle, even slightly outer circle - all the kiddos are 10/11 years old and younger. (I say thankfully because I feel like now I can potentially “save” us all from having horrible things happen by educating mom and dad)
After having said all this - thank you if you’re still reading! I need HELP, advice, suggestions, links etc - I know if I started telling my friends and especially my kids grandparents some of the stories I have read about in here… they wouldn’t really believe me, would downplay it, say (to my face or maybe behind my back) that those things don’t happen in small towns like this, that they know everything their kid is doing online (!!!), think the stories are far fetched, or worst of all - feel overwhelmed and not knowing what to do, end up doing nothing.
Thanks again for reading - sorry this was so long… "
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