Disclosure: I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Boys & Girls Clubs of America. I received a promotional item as a thank you for participating.
With my older daughter now officially a middle schooler (be still my heart), I’m facing more and more new parenting issues as her peers get their own smart phones and social media accounts. We’re a digital family, with me being a blogger and a social media strategist for a digital marketing agency, and my husband owning his own tech company. How do we help our daughters make wise choices when it comes to cyber safety?
My 11-year-old has friends with Facebook AND Instagram accounts and she and her younger sister share a smart phone. As much as we embrace technology at our house, we have thus far not allowed her to open her own accounts. I was surprised to learn that 5 million of Facebook’s users are 10 and younger. From cyber bullying to learning safe ways to share information online, there are so many new things kids are faced with daily. I want to make sure we’re teaching our daughters smart ways to use technology.
Being a responsible parent today means teaching your kids how to practice safe cyber useage. Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) has always focused on child safety and is committed to ensuring the safe futures of youth, including providing tips and tools to safely navigate an ever-expanding online world. They’ve partnered with Sprint to educate young people and parents on important media safety issues and arming parents and guardians with resources needed to have an open dialogue on tough safety topics. It’s the goal of Boys & Girls Clubs of America for every young person to have a cyber safe future.
Check out their great website, Cyber Safe Futures, where you can take an eye-opening quiz that will help you determine whether or not you’re a cyber safe parent and find fantastic cyber safety tips.
Need help talking to your kids about #cybersafety issues like bullying? Don’t know where to start? The new Cyber Safe Futures website features great videos (like the one above), as well as parenting tips and discussion points to help you and your kids navigate the new technology that’s literally at their fingertips.
I love these tips for cell phone use from the Cyber Safe Futures website, especially the technology free times and zones.
Four Tips for Parents on Cell Phone and Mobile Technology Use
- Talk with your child about proper cell phone etiquette. Talk about places where it is appropriate to use cell phones. If she has a smart phone or game device that has Internet access, remind her that the Internet safety rules in your family apply to her mobile device as well.
- Model good cell phone behaviors for your child. Your child watches you while you use the phone.
- Establish technology free times and zones. For example, set a rule that cell phones and mobile technology are not used at the family dining table or during homework time. And then make sure you follow the rules yourself!
- Establish with your child that you will periodically check his cell phone.
- Check the monthly statement for unusual charges or activity. Talk with your child if anything in the bill raises questions.
How do you talk to your kids about #cybersafety? What issues are facing them?