Most kids break rules, and today’s kids are clueless when it comes to Kids Internet Safety. Although most are well aware of all the cyber bullying going on and the dangers that un-monitored online access exposes them to, they don’t seem to care. Kids internet safety is important. Social media sites are huge culprits in this problem. Kids want to do what they see their friends do. The fact of the matter is that a lot of kids are monitored by their parents being their social media friends, but of course they don’t want their peers to know this. Are kids breaking the rules on Kids Internet Safety?
When it comes to kids internet safety, there are standard rules to follow. More often than not, kids don’t follow them and it opens the door to problematic situations that could potentially become dangerous. Standard rules for internet safety:
- Don’t give out your personal specifics (this includes real name, address, phone number, info on your parents)
- Don’t send your picture to anyone you do not know.
- Don’t send risqué pictures or inappropriate content online.
- Don’t share your passwords
- Don’t go meeting “new” online friends
- Tell your parents when someone is bullying you online or causing problems
How many kids do you personally know who have broken these rules? Probably all of them. Kids have a false sense of security when it comes to the internet and kids internet safety. This generation doesn’t think that the rules apply to them – except when things get sticky. Unfortunately, when things get sticky, there’s a good chance that things are already out of hand. Why are rules of Kids Internet Safety broken? There are a lot of reasons:
- Their friends are doing it
- They want to look cool and fit in
- They are rebelling against their parents
- They want to exercise adult behavior
- They are bullies
- They are seeking attention
We live in a cruel world – a world where kids don’t really see how bad things can get until it happens. Initially, children, especially teenagers, don’t think kids internet safety is a factor in their well-being. Parents need to take the time to have a candid conversation with their child and educate them on the rules of internet safety, and the ramifications that could follow should they decide not to do the right thing. As with anything, it only takes one time to get caught up in a situation that becomes uncontrollable. When speaking to your child, let them take the initiative to do something that would be beneficial to themselves and their friends. When kids feel like they are in control, they tend to gravitate toward doing the right thing. Maybe you could suggest them starting a group where they discuss things happening in the online world and how they can contribute positively. Maybe they would want to have their friends take a pact to follow the rules.
As a parent, you should be inclusive. Gaining confidence with your child will give you access to what they are doing online – a privilege you need to have. Many kids try to hide their online personas and are a completely different person on the internet. After all – when you’re behind a screen, no one knows who you are, where you’re from, what you look like and whether or not you have self-esteem issues. No one really cares. At nobullying.com, we want to help you and give you solutions to being proactive with your child when it comes to the internet.
The most effective way to counteract rule breaking is to institute rules that don’t seem like rules. As long as you’re a part of the solution, the problem won’t seem as large. Cyber bullying is real. Take the time to educate your kids on internet safety. Give them some facts: The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children conducted a study that found parents have a false sense of security regarding Internet use because they see the computer as being safe and educational. Additionally, they found that half of the children were being monitored for their internet usage, and the other half did not need parental permission and stayed on the Internet as long as they wanted to.
Although it doesn’t seem like much, it really makes a difference when a child can make an informed decision for themselves. It shows you care as a parent, and it also shows that you have a certain amount of trust in them to do the right thing. Trust is an integral part of growing up.
When you put the responsibility on them, chances are they won’t want to break the rules.