What do you do as a parent? Do you deny all access to the internet? Is that even possible these days? Do you deny all involvement in and on social media? What about email? What about things like games, Pinterest, Musically?
Do you monitor ALL interactions on ALL devices? Is THAT even possible? Do you manage hours per day on devices? On the internet? On PC’s, gaming systems, even smart TVs now? Do you constantly monitor your children? Is THAT even possible?
We all want to protect our children. Let me share something with you that is very important. Something I know from experience. Something that will shock you but I hope you will take it to heart. Especially if your initial thought is “well I know I can” or “not my child”.
Parents – there is NO WAY, no possible way, absolutely no way you can monitor every single bit of your child’s interactions.
Unless you live in a cave, or completely off the grid and the fact that you are reading this tells me your family is not completely off the grid. Even if you did live in a cave or “completely” off the grid I would still have my doubts in this day and age. You get the point.
I am begging you please do not take it for granted that “you know” about all your child’s interactions in the form of text messages, emails, direct messages, social media interactions etc. etc…
So what are we to do? How do we keep our children safe? How do we protect them? How do we HELP them?
Sadly, there is no 100% guarantee, but honestly was there ever? Even for parents in decades before this new internet age tweens and teens have always been able to be daring outside of their parent’s protective care. Sure, it’s easier now, right from within your own four walls but think about it. Parents for generations have faced this question. We just have to take a new approach. We can do this!
Another tidbit from experience. I tried the deny access approach and guess what? It doesn’t work.
If denying access is your plan please read rules vs. reason and then come back here for some ideas about helping and preparing your tweens and teens for the big world sitting right inside their pocket and/or constantly in their hands.
Just reading a few statistics from Guard Child will show you, statistically, parents do not know everything that is happening online, even with our own children:
I used to be that parent who thought "not my child" I was scared, I tried to "protect" them from everything and everyone instead of equipping them to make wise choices, instead of letting them (with boundaries) start to make choices and learn to interact and connect in safe ways online.
This is why I am writing this today. This is my #sos to you, some tips from this old mom who now has a new approach.
4 Tips for Internet Guiding your Tweens & Teens:
What do you do if you discover a real danger through these discussions with your children?
Love wins, every time. LOVE – not fear.
Don’t lose heart dear parents. Be confident in your decisions, loving in your approach, listening in your conversations. You’ve got his! You love and know your child best. Go with that.