3 Easy Things Parents Must Do Today to Protect Their Kids

3 Easy Things Parents Must Do Today to Protect Their Kids (350)

(NewsUSA) - The explosions of technology, mobile and social media use among tweens and teens have left many parents increasingly in the dark about what their children see, say and do every day, and without a clue as to what to do about it.

The truth is, most children have a hard enough time navigating the potential threats and pitfalls that come with being a "tween" or teen in the physical world, and the digital component only compounds the situation. Many parents today have NO IDEA what kind of information their teens are accessing and sharing on a daily basis, while most kids have NO IDEA of the potentially far-reaching consequences of their online behaviors and activities.

So the question is: How can parents help teens and tweens navigate their physical and digital worlds in a way that will keep them safe and on the right track?

1. Start a dialogue with your teen/tween. Talk about sexting, cyberbullying, hazing and other threatening acts. Make your teen feel comfortable coming to you or other trusted adults if inappropriate content is shared with them.

2. Remember that you own the technology. Communicate upfront that you are the owner of the computer or phone and should have access to it, as well as any passwords used on the device.

3. Learn From Experts. Be sure to set controls on your teen's computer and smartphone to monitor usage and activity.

For parents looking for advice and to learn from first-hand experiences on how to better protect their teens around technology use and other areas of their life, log onto www.parentingtodayskids.com. The site brings together a roundtable of experts from legal, safety and parenting experts to real-world moms and teens who engage in and offer words of wisdom to address today's parenting challenges. What parents teach their kids now about safe and appropriate online and mobile behavior will help ensure a happy and healthy passage to adulthood.

Lisa Shaw is the senior director of online teen safety and protection at SpectorSoft and editor at ParentingTodaysKids.com.

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