safety rules at home for kids
When we were kids, our parents told us not to talk to strangers in the park, to look out for safety rules at home for kids [safe] each other on the playground, and to steer clear of But in safety rules at home for kids [safe] today’s
the digital age, teaching home for kids is easier said than done. A Pew Research study found that almost 60 percent of teens have been bullied online, safety rules at home for kids [safe] and according to the Crimes Against Children Research Center, a little less than safety rules at home for kids [safe] 10
safety rules at home for kids [safe] percent of kids will receive an unwanted
solicitation while on the internet. For Megan Jarrett, a school secretary and therapeutic support staffer in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, these aren’t just statistics. safety rules at home for kids
Her 12-year-old daughter — who has autism but is very social and verbal — was targeted online by someone she considered to be a friend.
“The ‘friend’ would text my daughter and tell her that she was her best friend, and then in the very next text be telling her that she was awful, safety rules at home for kids
was a waste of space, that she should kill herself and just make the world happy,” Jarrett says.
“She convinced my rule-following daughter to skip math class one day and hide in the bathroom for no reason other than to see her get into trouble.
All of this was interspersed with messages like ‘LOL,
you know I was just kidding, right? But it was clear to everyone who read it that this girl was doing things intentionally.”
Almost 60% percent of teens have been bullied online, and a little less than 10 percent of kids will receive an unwanted sexual solicitation while on the internet.
And while cyberbullying is one of the most common threats to internet-connected kids, it’s not the only one.
Alarmingly, he would send her gifts including a cell phone, clothes, and even sexual items with the suggestion of using them for him.
“When my husband and I finally caught on to what was happening, we phoned the ‘boy’ and made him send a picture with the date and her name written
“He was very obviously a grown man so we immediately called the authorities in and they promptly charged him with child enticement.”
Of course, it seems unreasonable and unrealistic to keep kids off the internet forever.
That’s why it’s more important than ever to be able to separate the real risks of the internet from the hype and teach your family ways to keep everyone
from common pitfalls that arise in this ever-connected world.
The risks you actually need to watch out for might not be the same as the ones you fear the most.
“It’s really hard to quantify how common this really is,” says Julianna Miner, author of Raising a Screen-Smart Kid.
“In many cases, kids that have bad experiences online never report it to anyone.
Also, much of the data on inappropriate interactions with kids is derived from arrests and convictions, which grossly undercount the actual problem as in many cases — a police
the report never gets filed or if it does, an arrest or trial doesn’t happen.” However, in a recent survey of 2.6 million by Bark, an app that monitors media usage
and alerts parents of red flags, 62 percent of teens said they had experienced cyberbullying, and over half encountered the content of a sexual nature.
Miner says Jarrett’s daughter’s experience of being targeted by someone she knew is the most common scenario — just as in real life, abuse usually comes at the hands of
safety rules at home for kids [safe]
“And the more time a kid spends on their phone or device or whatever, the more likely they are to encounter something or someone unsavory.”
“Spending a lot of time online also increases the likelihood of what’s called the ‘disinhibition effect,’” Miner adds.
“Young people are already pretty impulsive; that’s how they’re wired.
The more time they spend online, the more comfortable they get and the less careful they may become — especially late at night when they’re tired.”
“To avoid detection, predators will engage with their victims on anonymous messaging apps, through text messaging, or on live-streaming sites/apps,” she says.
Talk to them about how to handle dangers — and keep an eye on what they’re doing.
“Most kids won’t be victimized by strangers online, but we still have a great need to prepare all kids for safe, responsible screen time,” says Lasser.
In order to prepare your children for who they might encounter, you need to know their apps.
“Familiarize yourself with each app your kid uses and learn who else uses it, how to use it, and even what functionality the app provides,” says Laura Higgins, Director
of Community Safety & Digital Civility at Roblox, a popular gaming app
“Be mindful of apps that allow online chat with others.
Have a meaningful conversation about how to stay safe online, including how to report harmful content or behavior and how to understand the difference between an online friend they safety rules at home for kids
just met and their real-life friends.” In addition to talking about how to stay safe, you should come to an agreement about the privacy they’re allowed to have online, and
There are devices, apps, and other software that can help you manage their online time.
“I also use a combination of Bark and the built-in, free controls that come with Android, like Google FamilyLink, and iOS devices, like Screen Time, to monitor activity
safety rules at home for kids [safe]
Catfishing is when people aren’t who they say they are, and there are signs to spot this predatory behavior.
“Reverse image search photos they are sent or profile pictures of people they talk to, be wary of people who won’t video chat or who have strange responses when
asked questions, and don’t trust things that sound too good to be true,” says Kathleen Boehle, Director of Student Safety Operations at Securely 24×7, a parental and school monitoring service.
Ask them to tell you when they make a mistake.
Boehle says to let kids know that they should tell you if they accidentally send someone an inappropriate image or something else happens online that shouldn’t have, so you
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Talk broadly about hoaxes and other things you don’t want them to see.
“It’s natural to wonder if your child has come across these viral hoaxes,” says Higgins.
A phenomenon like Blue Whale, Momo, or Slender Man is best left unmentioned until kids bring it up, lest you spark curiosity in them.
“I really believe there is not a one-size-fits-all way to parent around this,” says Miner, who has three kids (ages 16, 14 and 10).
safety rules at home for kids safe “The two older ones have phones,
All of the kids must check-in devices prior to bedtime — a rule they absolutely hate, especially the high schoolers.
We also have limits and carve-outs of times when tech and phones are not allowed: at the table, when guests are over, and so on.
The rules are also different during the school year and during breaks from school, vacations, and when they’re busy with sports.
It’s about helping them find balance and manage their time.”
The best way to make sure your kids are staying safe online is to keep tabs on who they’re speaking with — if they suddenly start to clam up, it
“If your child is interacting with people online that are unfamiliar to you, you should ask for more information,” says Jon Lasser, Ph.D., associate dean at Texas State University safety rules at home for kids
Still, we have to remember that teens also need some privacy, so parents need to balance safety with developmental needs.
Megan Jarrett’s daughter’s situation thankfully had a happy outcome when a real friend alerted a school counselor to the bullying.
“We had talked about internet safety with our daughter — not only about not talking to strangers but also what to do if a stranger sent her something that
“I never thought I would have to warn her about her classmates, and especially safety rules at home for kids someone that we thought was her friend.” Jarrett now uses a parental control app, and
she says her daughter’s online usage mostly consists of using her tablet in the main room of the house to play games and watch YouTube videos of dogs.
“I know I can’t keep her safe online forever, but I’m going to try,” Jarret says.
More red flags: Switching screens when you walk by, becoming more emotional, and using sexual language that isn’t age-appropriate.
“Although some of this may seem like typical tween and teen behavior, safety rules at home for kids these are the signs that are important to watch for,” Jordan says.
She adds that these behaviors can signal the child is being “groomed” or prepared for an inappropriate interaction.