The Danger of Children ALONE on the Internet

A Long Dark Creepy Road:

Parents – think of this……a long dark and creepy road…your child walking alone on this dark creepy road and needing to fend for themselves… do you have that picture in your head? It’s a scary thought isn’t it? But think of this vision when you allow your child to navigate their way on the internet with no supervision…no boundaries….no education about what to be on the lookout for….how to steer through the long, dark and sometimes creepy internet.

We share this analogy for you to get a true understanding of the importance of giving your children skills to navigate through the internet.  Although the internet is a wonderful tool which we all depend on and will be an integral part of our children’s lives – there are pros and cons to what it has to offer.  We wouldn’t let our children drive a car without teaching them the rules, spending a year by their side practicing safe driving and modeling good choices before we let them out on their own. Why do we let our children go online where there are known dangers (child predators), adult content (pornography is rampant and accessible with just a click), illegal activity (gambling for example), without providing them with the tools to be safe while on line? It is a known fact (and common) that children as young as 7 will google the word ‘sex’ just because they can. We as parents need to help guide the many tough choices children will make on line. And we need to start when they are young.

Children NEED Boundaries:
Our children need supervision and they need boundaries.  So parents think about this: Do you want to have a child that comes to you if they are confused by something they see online? (1 in 4 children report seeing inappropriate content online) Do you want your child to make the safest and smartest choices while online? (only 5% of children tell their parents about something that makes them uncomfortable online) If you want your child to be safe online then YOU need to teach them the tools to be safe.  We know some of our children are surpassing us in their use/knowledge of technology….but we can’t bury our heads in the sand and just hope for the best. We need to be the first line of defense in our children’s safety. When we (the parents) feel we have taught our children how to navigate safely you can ease up a bit – but never lose the vigilance of watching and monitoring what your children are doing. We also  don’t recommend that you are secretive about monitoring and supervision – be open with your child that you will be monitoring what they do online…because once they use technology there is no privacy – anybody can see it..it is out there – so below are the top tools we believe can help keep children safe online:

  •   Tips For Parents:
    Computer should be in an open area of the house (get them out of the bedrooms – even a laptop) you need to be monitoring what they are doing and they need to be aware that you are –less trouble can be found when the computer sits in the family room or kitchen then behind closed doors of a bedroom
  •  Keep The Conversation Going…
    The best advice we can give you……strong communication with your children about their safety online, give them boundaries by writing a computer safety contract – let your children be involved in the process…the main reason children don’t come to their parents when confused, uncomfortable or scared by something they see online is because they think their parents will take away their computers.

    If you have any questions: email us at info@kidsafefoundation.org

  • Tell your children to never share Personal Information – (some children think personal information is just there name and address, tell your children that it is also the school you attend, your extra curricular activities, the camp you go to, your parents names and where they work. Teach your children to “CHECK FIRST” with you when asked to give any information about themselves.
  • Teach your children…What you post online stays online forever!!!! (This is a hard concept for kids to get and will need to be an ongoing discussion….)
  • Teach your children to use their inner safety voice before texting, IM, Email, Post or using technology of any kind – they need to ask themselves: what would my parents, principal, police or predator think about what I am going to do right now? This question might be enough for a child to rethink what they are going to post.
  • We strongly recommend that your children steer clear of chat rooms – even while playing online games…this is where predators are lurking looking for children……

Testimonials

"Thank you for giving us the opportunity to be included in the KidSafe program. I highly recommend this program to other schools. We hope that we will be given the same opportunity for our Kindergarten and 2nd grade students to be a part of this wonderful program during the 2016-2017 school year."

Mrs. Keelyn Meselsohn 2nd Grade Teacher/Team Leader Tradewinds Elementary School

"The Safe and Smart Series Book My Body Is Special and Belongs To Me is kept in my middle school clinic and has been a tool that has opened many conversations for me between students that have experienced a difficult situation and were unable to talk about it. Through the illustrations and nonjudgmental verbiage the author has allowed kids permission to share their feelings about invasion of their personal space. Thank you so much."

Nurse Connie, PBC School Nurse 6.8.2016

"I'm so grateful that KidSafe has partnered with my daughter's school.  I learned so much in the parent training--how to recognize potential sexual predator behavior; how to quiz my child about what they would do in different scenarios; and how to explain safe and unsafe touch.  In addition, knowing that my daughter is receiving weekly trainings on these topics gives me great peace of mind.  I have confidence that I can reinforce what she is learning in school in order to prevent her from ever being a victim of such a heinous crime.  Thank you KidSafe for your dedication to protecting our communities' most vulnerable citizens."

Christina Kranick

“It was a normal Saturday and I was at the rink with my 7 and 8 year old. My son asked me if he could use the Men’s Restroom by himself.  Without hesitation, my daughter said,  Absolutely not! I was in KidSafe today and you cannot go to the restroom alone.  It is very important that Mommy is with you.. with us.   I was so proud of my little girl!  We are so blessed to have Debbie Miller at our school teaching our children the importance of safety. Many thanks to you all!  Your program and instruction is absolutely amazing.  Keep up the great work!"  

Tara Henley Admissions Assistant, St. Mark’s Episcopal Church and School, Ft. Lauderdale

I am a parent of two Pine Crest children and I attended your program on Monday night. I just wanted to thank you so very much for the very informative seminar. As hard as it was to hear all of those things, it was very needed. We were thrilled that you were able to come and share that very important information with us and our children. So again...thank you.

Elisa Aronberg

Today’s training was awesome! It was very informative. Sally was a very good resource, she motivated us a lot! We want to pass on this information to parents, teachers and students! Thank you for offering workshops like this. These are tools we use to continue serving our children and families.

Participant from Children’s Services Council of Broward Seminar

To Top