Archive for Cyberbullying

text, post, snap, chat, stream, share, game!!

Posted on Communication, Cyberbullying, General, Technology September 3, 2015 by Mary George

As our children return to school many have earned the responsibility of having a smartphone.
How can we make sure that they are being smart and 
using it in the way that we intended?

1. Communicate
Make sure that your child is truly mature enough to understand the
positives and negatives of having a smartphone. Many children are given
smartphones at such a young age that they (and their parents!) do not
understand the power of the tool that they have been given. When given
a smartphone, children have access to everything possible on the World
Wide Web. Talk to your children as to what your expectations are as to
their usage. Discuss with them about not giving out their address or
location and help them understand the power of posting pictures and
information on social media and the consequences of creating a digital

2. Create a Smartphone/ Media Use Contract
We love the Smartphone Family Use Contract that many families put in place as
guidelines for their children. Just as children need schedules, they
also need parameters. While there are many variations of contracts on the Internet,
Common Sense Media has one for multiple ages for you to go through with your child
or children and determine what best suits your family.

Common Sense Media Family Media Agreement

3. Educate Yourself
Take some time to educate yourself about what is
new in social media, check out your children’s Instagram/Facebook accounts as
well as who and what they are texting about. It is our responsibility
as parents to keep our children safe. We require them to wear bike
helmets, not take rides from strangers and look both ways before they
cross the street. The Internet is no different just because it is
cyberspace. It is not a place to let your child run free regardless of
what their friends are doing.

In our My Remarkable Self classes, we work with children through
various activities to explain how their actions, whether in the
classroom, on the playground or at home, will effect them and how these
actions and their choices, both positive and negative, lead to
consequences. It is no different in the digital world. The more we can
work with our children to try to help them understand consequences both
in the real world and the cyber world, hopefully they will begin to


Is your child on TINDER?!?

Posted on Communication, Cyberbullying, General, Technology May 15, 2015 by Mary George

We have all heard the adage, 40 is the new 20, but did you know that age 13 is now the new 18? Thanks to the cyberworld and the provisions that legislators have put into place to “safe guard” our children, 13 is the legal age that most social media sites have adopted which children are allowed to sign up and have an account. In 1998, the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) was passed which imposed certain requirements on websites and other online services in regards to collecting personal information from a child under 13. This Act was amended in 2013 to increase the scope as to definitions of online services.

13 is now the age that children are allowed to tweet, text, chat, snap, post, pin and much more on the social media sites using their own personal accounts. What also was developed from this is a market place for social media sites to focus on teenagers. Dating sites such as Tinder, My LOL and OkCupid and many more have now created areas to put teens in touch with each other in the same manner that they created the sites for adults. Many have chat rooms, allow for private conversations and some allow for geo tracking in a certain radius.

Whether you agree or disagree with online teen dating, it is still territory for online predators and risky behavior. It is imperative to know what your children are doing online whether they are 8 or 18. Talk to them about what apps they have on their phones, ask them to show you what games they are playing, be friends with them on Facebook and Instagram, KNOW who they are talking to. Stay on top of your children’s online activity. If you do not understand what they are doing, learn it. Just because every other teenager has the app does not necessarily make it okay. When you have a conversation with them about their online use and work with them, it does not invade their privacy. Most importantly, talk to them about making good decisions, what that means and their consequences. Is it safe for your 13 year old to make a date online with someone they have never met face to face? Would you want that person to know where you live or where your child goes to school? It is a very new, frightening world out there and our children need to be aware of it.

#IsyourchildonTinder #myreamrkableself #stopcyberbullying