Instead of enjoying the carefree innocence of childhood, many kids these days are fixated on how they look, comparing themselves to celebrities, models, and other unrealistic ideals. As parents, it's our responsibility to help our kids navigate the tricky landscape of body image with their self esteem and perspective intact.
Navigating safe online behaviour has become a huge concern for parents of kids today, as they try to find the balance between allowing their children to access online information for fun and for educational reasons, while protecting them from being taken advantage of by sexual predators and other online risks, from a very early age.
Growing up before the age of the internet and social networks has left many older users unaware and unprepared for risks looming in the virtual world. From that perspective, children today are lucky to have exposure to the best cybersecurity practices, such as keeping good password hygiene. For those not as familiar with the dos and don'ts, fear not -- here are the password essentials for both young and old.
It's a scary world out there. By out there I mean the cyber world we enter every time we tweet, post, like, google or pin. I would venture to say that as a parent, it is even scarier. With the number of hours our children spend on devices these days, every click potentially opens them up to dangers that as parents we need to ensure we are protecting them from.
With all the wild rumours circulating about Facebook, it's sometimes hard to know what to believe. Will we start to charge people money to use our service? No. Do you have to copy and paste that scary legal message your friends are sharing? No, that's just a good old fashioned Internet hoax. But there are a few steps you can take on Facebook to protect your personal information, and we're more than happy to share.
If you and your teen aren't comfortable talking about sexting, talk to them about online safety by reminding them not to share personal information online -- like their real name, age, or phone number, or any other identifying information such as where they live, or the name of their high school. This includes anything that might show up in the background of a photo. And make sure they understand that there can be a risk in talking to strangers online -- not everyone is who they might seem.
Amanda Todd took her life in 2012 at the age of 15 after being relentlessly blackmailed by a ruthless predator. She deserved a more informed and effective police response than what was offered. She deserved to feel protected. So do all the Canadian kids who are being blackmailed or lured into performing sexual acts on webcam right now.
There is absolutely no point in agreeing or disagreeing with the premier or the B.C. Teachers' Federation if we the parents don't speak up and have a voice in how our children are being taught in the 21st century. Our school has a large computer centre with its own teacher. I have NO clue what is taught there. The kids bring home printouts about "online safety," but I don't think these courses actually mention things like Facebook or Twitter.