For most parents in this digital age, tackling the pitfalls of their children’s current or future internet usage is of huge concern, to the point of overwhelm. Understanding cyber safety for kids is crucial for all parents who want to keep their children safe online, and the solution parents have been waiting for is finally here.
Without any doubt, when it comes to cyber safety for kids, parents are scared. Between internet addiction, social media usage, inappropriate content being found online, cyber-bullying, and online predators, there are many legitimate reasons for parents to fear for their children’s well-being in their online world.
The fact that so many children and teens in so many countries have lost their lives through their internet usage is beyond tragic. Parents need to take action now to stop more children from being seriously harmed in this way.
The incidences of cyber-bullying, online predators luring unsuspecting teens into life-threatening situations, over-sharing on social media, privacy theft or fraud, and internet addiction ruining children's lives are way too common.
While simple cyber safety tips can be easily found online, a more holistic solution is required for parents to really get on top of everything that falls under the topic of cyber safety for kids.
The good news is that finally there is a solution out there that is desperately needed by so many for parents who are overwhelmed and struggling to keep up with their tech-savvy kids in this digital age. Australian mother of two, Ruth Dearing, has created two valuable resources through her Peaceful Digital Parenting brand. Both are the result of her unique education through personal experiences and subsequent in-depth research into this minefield.
The first resource involves an online monthly membership to help parents avoid technology overwhelm, and it's available for approximately the cost of a coffee once a week. It helps parents keep up with the latest in technology, provides countless valuable cyber safety tips and information, as well as regular opportunities to interact with experts in this field. It also integrates parents into a community of other like-minded parents who all help each other in keeping their children safe online.
The second resource is an in-depth educational resource covering all aspects of technology usage, giving parents a much deeper understanding of how to tackle cyber safety for kids head-on. Specifically it goes through the key steps of enhancing communication with children, learning a heap of information, and then conquering the pitfalls of technology by working together towards a common goal.
Both resources are designed to replace fear of what children may see and do online with peace of mind that those same children can navigate themselves safely online.
In a recent interview Ms Dearing succinctly stated “I help parents guide their children safely through their digital world. This is achieved by sharing ideas and practical techniques with parents to provide them with the knowledge and confidence they need to help keep their children safe online.”
How did this all come about? Despite taking what seemed to be appropriate measures to keep her children safe and balanced online, one of Ms Dearing’s children suffered from internet addiction as a 6-7 year old. For a while there she found it very difficult to get through to her son. He wanted only to play his online games, and this was affecting many aspects of his life as well as their whole family. Getting him off his games proved extremely difficult. Sound familiar?
This is a very common scenario that so many parents can unfortunately relate to. Ms Dearing’s son is a healthy, happy, bright child who was quickly drawn into the online gaming world by a friend in school during school time. It took almost no time at all for his obsession to take hold, and it was not through “poor parenting” by any means.
Having successfully overcome the challenges faced at that time, it became clear to Ms Dearing that the most important step to mastering cyber safety for kids in all of its forms comes down to parents finding a way to communicate more effectively with their children.
Ms Dearing advises, "As a parent it’s very difficult to help your child when you don’t know what’s really going on. And 95% of children don’t tell their parents if they’re having any sort of issues online. This explains why things like cyber-bullying get out of control so easily."
Most parents in the 95% category would do anything for their children. They are wonderful, caring, hands-on parents who honestly believe their children are open and honest with them. These same parents are then shocked to find their children have opened secret social media accounts, have been chatting with strangers online, have posted inappropriate pictures or even videos online, etc.
The main message here is that technology issues are very real. Parents can only do the best they can with the knowledge they have, so learning as much as possible to keep their children safe online is the only viable way to tackle the challenges of cyber safety for kids.
Don’t wait until it’s too late to take action. And please, don’t underestimate how tech-savvy children are!
More information about either resource on cyber safety for kids can be found at www.childrenandtechnology.com
Children and Technology
Children and Technology has come into existence to help parents guide their children safely through their online world. Rather than over-protecting children from the internet and its inherent dangers, it's about teaching children to be resilient online. Children can enjoy the great benefits of technology and be responsible digital citizens with the right guidance.
Through her Peaceful Digital Parenting brand and solution, Ruth Dearing helps parents achieve 3 key goals:
- Replace fear of what their children are seeing and doing online, with peace of mind their children can navigate themselves safely through their digital world
- Replace overwhelm and ineptitude when it comes to the challenges of technology with confidence and knowledge to keep up and guide children safely; and
- Go from loss of connection with their children (ie through internet addiction) to gaining much stronger personal connections and enhancing their relationships with their children.