Navigating the Internet is just like driving a car. It requires good judgment. This is why your guidance as a parent is extremely crucial.
Chances are that you have read news reports giving you the impression that the Internet is a haven for cyberbullies, sexual predators, and identity thieves. It’s no wonder you’d be concerned about your teens engaging with strangers on the internet!
Teach your teens about online safety, but first, become knowledgeable about how the online world behaves.
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW
Did you know that teens can access the Internet on almost any mobile device? If you implement the rule that the computer should be placed in a common area of the house, it may not be enough. With a tablet or smartphone connected to the Internet, your teenager may have more access to the online world than ever—and without your supervision.
Teens spend excessive time online. Some teens turn on the computer to check something really quick, but end up watching videos for hours!
Teens are likely to reveal more than they should. Lurkers can piece together a teenager’s online comments and photos to find out personal information. They can figure out where your child goes to school and at what times no one in the family will be at home.
Some teens do not think things through when posting. Your teens don’t know that whatever they share with the online world, STAYS in the online world. There have been many instances in where some embarrassing comments or photos are later revealed.
This Is What You Can Do
Make sure your teens have their priorities straight and help them sharpen their time management skills. If the amount of time your teen spends online is a concern, start setting limits- Bible principle: Philippians 1:10.
Teach your teen to think before posting. HQuestions that you can help your teenager ask themselves: Will the comment I am about to post hurt someone? Will this photo affect my reputation? What if my parents or other adults saw this photo or comment? —Bible principle: Proverbs 10:23.
Teach your teen to live by values. Its an impossibility to look over your teenager’s shoulder every moment of the day. Remember that your goal as a parent is not to control your children!! Your goal is to “have their powers of discernment trained to distinguish both right and wrong.” (Hebrews 5:14)
Try to appeal to your teenager’s moral sense. Consider the type of reputation does they want to have, and for what type of character traits do they want to be known?—Bible principle: Proverbs 3:21.
Remember that the Internet is not your enemy. Rather, what leads to trouble is unwise use of the Internet.