Thursday, January 21, 2016
Are Your Kids Really Safe On-Line?
Golden, CO. Like many parents in today's digital society, Rene' was shocked when she discovered that her fifteen year-old was sharing nude photos of himself with classmates at his school.
Lori and Sean are struggling to help their seventeen year-old stay alive. She's been the target of over three years of intense bullying on-line, and she spends most of her time ruminating about suicide.
Becky's eleven year old yelled, "I'll kill you if you take away my games!" His gaming addiction is so severe that she believes he might.
Dr. Charles Fay of the Love and Logic Institute comments, "When parents are unprepared to handle issues over technology things often get very ugly. In every community across America families are being torn apart and lives are being destroyed."
According to Dr. Fay, parents don't have to be perfect to handle these issues effectively. They simply need a plan for doing four things very consistently:
Invade their privacy
While parents can't realistically be aware of their kids' every digital step, they can communicate that they care enough to do their best. Fay says, "When we don't make an effort to be involved, our kids feel anxious and unloved."
Remember that parental controls can't parent
Electronic safeguards are no substitute for good old fashioned love, affection, time and loving discipline. Fay reminds, "Kids who feel emotionally connected to their families are less likely to make poor digital decisions."
Set and enforce one inclusive limit
Parents are more effective when they have only one general limit that's completely enforceable: "I allow the use of these devices when they don't cause any problems." Fay notes, "We can't control what our kids do, but we can control whether or not we provide devices and access to the internet."
Be prepared to talk with them about sexting, cyber-predators, texting while driving, etc.
Rather than flying off the handle, parents are wise to help their kids see how these behaviors will impact their lives. Fay encourages, "Parents can be successful talking with their kids about these difficult issues. The key is having a plan before they come up."
Dr. Charles Fay is a parent, public speaker and internationally recognized authority on parenting, education and leadership. His new audio Real Talk on Technology: Guiding Your Kids to Make Good Digital Decisions is available at www.loveandlogic.com.
Love and Logic Institute, Inc.