I’ve made it my job over the last few years to research all the latest and best knowledge from experts around the world on how to help parents keep their children safe online. I see lots of survey results and lots of children and parents being interviewed, often with interesting and unexpected outcomes.
Sometimes I see a statistic that really surprises me and is just begging to be shared. This is just one of those statistics.
Did You Know…
I recently saw a statistic that genuinely took me by surprise. According to The Gospel Herald, they claim that:
46% of teens said they would change their behaviour (online) if they knew their parents were paying more attention
This is a very interesting statistic as it makes you wonder, if the parents of all these teens were in fact paying more attention, how would their behaviour differ?
Would they perhaps not share some of the inappropriate images they may otherwise share?
Would they stop saying things that they probably shouldn’t be saying online?
Could their parent’s attention be enough to prevent them from posting things that will detriment them in future?
The Effects Of Posting Inappropriate Content Online
One of the biggest problems facing children and teens online is that the actions they take can affect them in a negative way for years to come. And unfortunately, most young people are impulsive: they post before they think about the possible consequences of their actions.
Sharing inappropriate images – such as being drunk at parties and making some of the silly mistakes so many teenagers make – can make it difficult in future to get a job, a relationship, or even get into a university or TAFE for the opportunity of further education.
The concept that ‘what goes online stays online’ doesn’t quite sink through in the minds of young people. This is something that needs to change – and fast.
It’s All About Communication and Involvement
The good news is that, although I feel like a broken record repeating myself, keeping your children safe online really does come down to communication as well as involvement in their digital lives.
It’s not rocket science. Your children need to know that you know what they’re doing online, and that you care about what they’re doing. As a parent, you need to take part in their online life.
That doesn’t mean that you need to monitor every message they write or every image they share. That’s not viable and it’s not necessary.
Just having some idea of what your children are doing online is often enough to prevent them from making mistakes online that will haunt them in future.
At What Point Do You Need To Get Involved?
It’s important not to wait until your children are teenagers before you start getting involved in their online activities. If they’re online, then you need to be having regular conversations with them (a one-off conversation doesn’t cut it) about what they’re seeing and doing there. This starts well before your children become teenagers.
You’re probably aware that it’s also much easier to talk to younger children about these matters. A 6, 8 or 10-yr-old is generally far more receptive to valuable advice you can offer than a teenager who thinks they know it all.
It Takes Time To Keep Your Children Safe Online
We’re all busy parents these days, running around chasing our tails trying to get things done. It isn’t easy running a home and making ends meet, and most of us don’t spend nearly as much time with our children as we’d like.
When it comes to keeping children safe online, the fact is that there is a time requirement involved. You need to spend some time online with your children to see what they’re doing, and how you may be able to help them. They may be tech-savvy, but they still need your parental guidance to be safe online.
If you’d like to know what it takes to truly keep your children safe online, and you’d like to gain the best knowledge out there in the least possible time, then you’ve come to the right place.
Register for my next (free) webinar to find out what you need to know for your children to be safe and happy online, and to enjoy a healthy balance between being online and offline. I look forward to seeing you there.