Monitoring Your Child’s Online Behavior in 2012

By Mary Jo Rapini, MEd, LPC

“Facebooking” and “YouTubing” are no longer just a “cute” thing kids do for fun to pass the time. Not understanding the risks associated with the many social media outlets poses a huge potential problem to the safety and well-being of our children.

To keep them safe, online activity is something that needs to be monitored closely. To fully understand the potential dangers, we, as parents/teachers/child advocates need to educate ourselves and then stay aware of what our children are doing online.

I read the headlines daily, and see sad story after sad story about a child who was not supervised by engaged parents or children whose parents were not aware of their child’s virtual world. If you lose a child due to cyber bullying or depression due to feeling isolated and friendless, it is too late to become involved and ask the questions you need to ask now.

Telling yourself that your child would never be involved in dangerous activities online is denial on a parent’s part. Anyone who has parented a teen understands being proactive is wiser than trying to scramble when bad things happen.

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