In this new age of technology, our means of communication has become enormous. Email, texting, and social networking sites can be wonderful media to connect with friends and family, however, parents need to be aware of their kids' online and texting habits, and teach them to to use these social outlets properly and safely.
New Jersey resident and mom, Jill Brown, of GenerationTextOnline is on a mission to end cyberbullying. She offers these 10 tips for parents to be aware of when teaching their kids about the consequences of online activity.
- Know what your kids are doing online and who they are talking to.
- Social network and text with your kids. Communicate with them in the medium they like to communicate in.
- When you see something your children have done online, don't punish or take away their online/texting privileges. Instead, make it a teachable moment.
- Don't ban your children from social networking. If you do, they will find a way to do it behind your back.
- When you see things in the news about cyberbulllying, sexting, and suicide, talk to your kids about it. Walk them through the consequences of particular online actions may have.
- Know your children's passwords and check their online activity.
- Check your children's text messages and pictures on their cell phones. If you don't know what they are doing or seeing, you can't parent them.
- Don't assume your children need privacy, you must protect your child by knowing and looking at what they are being exposed to.
- Talk to your children about the devastating effects cyberbullying has on people. Talk with them on how they could be a bystander that protects others.
- Talk to your children about the fact that anything they put online or in a text message can be forwarded. Teach them to think about how they would feel if the message was seen by a college admissions counselor or their boss at their job.
Here's a preview of Jill Brown speaking at a New Jersey school. For more information, visit the GenerationTextOnline website.