Parents, we can’t leave kids alone to figure it out or simply hope for the best. That isn’t good enough, not now. That’s why today’s show focuses on empowering parents to safeguard children online. I’ve invited Detective Richard Wistocki to join me and discuss who’s responsible, child privacy, and the Golden Ticket rule. There is something you can do to protect your children.
Do you know how strangers find your kids online? We are tackling this topic, and you will learn steps you can take to shield your kids from harm. Children are naive and trusting, which is good until someone takes advantage of them. Unfortunately, I’ve heard too many moms and teens come to me with stories that break my heart.
Most parents take their parenting responsibilities seriously. They want to protect their kids and keep them safe. But often, they don’t know what to do when it comes to online issues. They try to block sites, and they ask their kids if they are doing anything they shouldn’t be doing. While that’s a great start, that’s not enough these days. Why?
Did you know parents are responsible for their child’s devices? Your child doesn’t own the phone. You do!
Did you know your child can also be held accountable for what your child posts, even if a stranger screenshots something and uses it against them in a harmful way?
Did you know law enforcement can charge you and your child for what your child posts online?
What can we do to get our kids to understand that having a phone comes with certain responsibilities? We have to establish digital ground rules.
Establish Digital Ground Rules
As the parent who is responsible for your children, it is up to you to establish when, where, and for how long your child can be online. Because life is busy, we can forget to check on our kid’s online activity. So we need to remind ourselves that our kids need us to be diligent.
I’ve said many times that it’s not what you expect your child to do; it is what you inspect. That starts with having conversations and installing monitoring devices like Life360 or Family Link. It also means not allowing devices in the bedroom at night. I know kids want their phones with them at all times, but that is when they are the most vulnerable.
Remove Fear from Sharing with Parents
Kids have told me when they get into trouble, they are afraid to go to their parents. They are afraid their parents will take away their phones – and rightly so. But when parents tell their children if something happens, they will not immediately take away their phones, kids feel a sense of relief. They are more likely to come to you because they trust you. You said it, and they believe it.
(Now, if the child continues to ignore or disobey the ground rules you’ve established together, then parents have to take a different course of action.)
Safeguarding Kids is the Goal
Empowering parents to safeguard children online begins and ends with being a shield. A shield protects someone from incoming danger. You are that shield. I know it’s hard and time-consuming, but when your children are more mature and able to understand you did this for their good, they will appreciate your efforts.
Like every season of parenting, there are ups and downs. Sometimes your child lacks sound judgment. Your faithfulness, love, and willingness to listen go a long way in protecting your child.
About Richard Wistocki
Child crime expert Detective Richard Wistocki has dedicated his career to helping children by tirelessly pursuing, apprehending, and prosecuting child predators. As an active Cyber Crimes Detective, he educates Law Enforcement using cutting-edge investigative techniques and Parents and Students on responsible digital activity.
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