This week’s Lifetime Moms Clean Start Challenge assignment centered upon an important statistic that I’ve learned about kids and self esteem. As my kids begin to navigate the web and converse via text messages, what I was shocked to find out was how many kids are cyberbullied. According to StompOutBullying.org, 97% of middle schoolers are cyberbullied when they are online. That number is staggering considering that parents who are not cyber savvy have no idea how to protect their kids and a child might not want to confide in their parent because they may feel embarrassed or ashamed by what is being done to them via Facebook, Skype and mobile phone.
Over at Lifetime Moms, check out my video which offers important tips to parents on how to monitor your child while they are online. I am not saying you should be a helicopter parent, but you should definitely be made aware of the ways you can protect your child before they are even ready to open a Facebook account. Some important facts you should know:
* A child is not allowed to join Facebook until they are 13 years of age.
* If your child is on Skype and you do not have parental controls in place, your child can be contacted by anyone both domestically and internationally as well as receive objectionable spam while they are online.
* If a child sends a suggestive photo of themselves to another minor via a mobile phone, in certain states (such as Pennsylvania) “sext-ing” is considered an illegal offense.
* Do not allow your child to keep a computer in their room. It is best to have a computer in a common area so that you can monitor what they are doing or who they are conversing with in plain site.
* Always have access to your child’s passwords on email, Facebook, Skype, etc. Your child should be made aware that while you’re not snooping, you do want to monitor that they are safe.
For more tips and information about protecting your child online, please visit StompOutBullying.org.
Plus, Shaina, my amazing coach for the Clean Start Challenge, offers valuable advice about the importance of family dinner playing a role in boosting your kids’ self esteem. Make sure when you visit us at Lifetime Moms, you cast your vote for Team Beth as we help raise funds and awareness for Love Our Children USA and Stomp Out Bullying. And you can even enter to win prizes up to $5000 too! So what are you waiting for? Visit Lifetime Moms today and if you’re a parent of tween or teen, make sure that you are Cyber Savvy!!!