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Parent s corner

3
dorotheabluemer
I hope it's appropriate to start a chat for parents here. I've seen, there are quite some around.
I'm mum to a teenaged daughter.
I'm very actively underway in cyber space. To me it's important to be well informed about what's going on in our world. And social media has become part of it. I feel I should know at least the basics about that, to be a reliable adviser for my daughter. But I know very few other people of my generation, who think similarly. Much more often I hear, that people of the parent generation are not part of the cyber world and can advise their children only to be careful.
How do you other parents here think about it! Do you feel as informed, as your children are?
2
Reflective_Joy
Welcome to the forum DOROTHEABLEUEMER!

Thank you for sharing and yes very appropriate to start a chat here for parents! We have a lot of parents, teachers and other adults that have come together on here for that very reason. I think that's a great question and a valid one.

Anyone else out there in Cybersmile land that can share with Dorotheabluermer their experiences Or perhaps a young person's perspective of what what they would like their parent's to better understand about the complexities of social media, cyberbullying, privacy and apps? Even if you've discussed this somewhere else on the forum, please feel free to share again!
1
heidilynnrussell
Hey there, what a great topic, and thank you for posting it. I think it's not only important, but it's an imperative. I am actively involved in my 12-year-old's interactions online. I have not allowed him to have a Facebook or Twitter account yet, but he has a LOT of interactions via our XBox Live account.
My rule is simple: No headphones. Period. No headphones. He plays the games in the living room, and as I'm working in the background or cooking in the kitchen, I hear every exchange. It's not that I'm spying or that I don't trust my child -- it's that I don't trust other people interacting with him. There have been times when I have deliberately started talking to him so that whoever is on the other end can hear that *I* hear what is being said. This doesn't happen frequently, but a handful of times, I have stopped an adult from talking with him -- once they realize I'm in the room and hear me, suddenly they disappear. In my view, this is not paranoia as a mom -- this is just hard cold reality -- many sites offer the perfect opportunity for predators to prey on your child. I look at it this way: Would you open your front door and allow anyone walking by on the street to walk into your house, sit in your home and say whatever they wanted to say to your child? Of course not. In my view, this is no different.
Now my child has been bothering me for Facebook and Twitter accounts. I have said no to Facebook, because frankly I see too much bullying on that site. But I feel now that Twitter has certain protections. I am planning on setting him up with a "protected" account, that I will administer and approve each follower and each person he is following. I also plan on using that account to help him link up with organizations that can help HIM, like Cybersmile and corporations that foster IT development and skills among youngsters.
I think all of this can be handled by a parent, but it takes a willingness to be as involved with your child on this matter as you would be involved in their local school, soccer team, cheerleading squad, etc. They are still children, even if they're teenagers. They still need guidance, and an involved parent equates to a loving parent.
1
dorotheabluemer
I agree with you HEIDILYNNRUSSEL. I think it's a good part of gaining skills on social media to ask, if that what you want to post there would be in real life something, you would announce at your house door publicly.
1
Jazz
I have a teenage son and he is a massive gamer. I have taken the time to chat with him about who is "friending" on these sites as they like to chat on Skype as well as chat on headphones in-game. I see this like any other social learning curve and make sure he is aware of the risks. I also check out the support that the sites offer to users so he knows how to deal with problems should they arise. It is so important to talk to your kids about the risks and to learn as much as you can about the communities they are connecting with. Not only will you feel more in the loop but you may even have something to talk about!!
1
heidilynnrussell

In reply to Jazz

Jazz, you may get a kick out of this ...
My kid figured out how to do one of those "split screens" on the XBox360. Then he taught a kid in Australia how to do it. They play together when it is 7 a.m. here and 7 p.m. in Australia -- while my kid is getting ready for school, this kid is winding down from his homework, etc. So one morning, I come into the living room, and lo and behold, there is my LIVING ROOM on half of the TV screen, with me standing in the background, and this kid's BEDROOM in Australia on the other half of the screen. And they're yacking away like they're great old pals.
I have to tell you, it was one of those "George Jetson moments" that freaked me out a little. But now I encourage him to do it, because I can see the people that are talking to him!
What a crazy world, huh? Technology has changed everything.