When we became parents, we understood that we would need to protect our children. We read books on parenting, baby proofed the house, purchased bike helmets, and taught our children about stranger danger. These methods worked for our parents, so for a few years they gave us peace of mind.
Unfortunately, our parents didn’t have to prepare their children for the digital world of social media and Smartphones. As our children become digital citizens, keeping them safe becomes increasingly complicated. One area of concern for many parents in this day and age is online predators who are scouring the Internet and social media looking for their next victim.
Online Predators And Our Children
Realizing that our children can be victimized online is sobering, because our kids spend a lot of time chatting and surfing social media. It’s easy to convince ourselves that this won’t happen to our kids, but we need to consider that every day predators are actively seeking ways to make contact with our children online.
Predators embrace the anonymous and social nature of social media and online gaming that our kids’ favorite devices offer. This threat is only compounded when our children take measures to hide their online activity from us. It is believed that 70 percent of youth regularly take measures to keep their parents in the dark about their online activity.
This secrecy can make our job of keeping our kids safe increasingly difficult, because today’s technology makes it way too easy to hide online and text messaging interactions. This makes it essential for parents to be involved and aware of a child’s digital activity, while encouraging a healthy dialogue about social media etiquette. We have to remain diligent, because these new online threats have the potential to seriously inflict emotional and physical harm on our kids.
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