Children & Internet Safety
The issue isn’t trust. The issue is curiosity, childhood curiosity. It is the kind of curiosity that can either lead to good things… or danger.The children were ages 11, 12 and 13. They came from respected families. They had never been in trouble before. They are good students. They were caught in sex acts between themselves uncharacteristic of children their ages. They learned their tricks from the Internet. They had seen thousands of perverse and sexually graphic images and their sheer numbers led the children to believe this was normal. They had to try it.
Our lives have changed. With the Internet we have invited the world into our homes: the good, the bad and the ugly. In less than seconds we can be transported around the world to see and hear things otherwise unavailable. There are remarkable advantages. We can communicate with friends and loved ones easily. We have access to information and education. The downside is that with any wrong turn we can be exposed to dangerous information, ideas, images, behaviour and can even be lured to our death.
These warning signs could signal a problem for your child and the Internet:
Think of the Internet as a big lake. There are shallow spots and deep spots. You would never throw your child into the lake without supervision, without learning to swim or without learning of the dangerous areas. You would never let your children swim in the dark. Like learning to swim, these strategies may protect your child from harm on the Internet:
Remember, safety on the Internet is not a matter of trusting your child. It is a matter of understanding childhood curiosity and the trouble that can cause. It is always up to the parents to protect children from harm and learn the strategies to do so. Our mission is to grow them up safely. This includes the Internet.