Lessons from 2015: 5 don’ts of digital parenting

digital parenting

Last year was more like a technological breakthrough for new apps. For parents who are always busy with their usual stuff i.e. work and only work, it was just another year of hardships to keep up with the technological trends. But parents who are worried about their kids never take a break from keeping their kids safe.

There have also been many stories of parenting failures too that we got to hear about, that lead to kids being threatened, harassed, bullied, and even stalked and contacted by strangers online.

From all of these things, we have amalgamated 5 parenting don’ts that every parent should be focusing on not doing this year.

1.      Don’t take online friendships easy

Have you not heard of a case where a 20-year-old guy from Ohio kidnapped a 14-year-old girl,  took her in abduction while sexually abusing her. What the 14-year-old girl wasn’t aware of while meeting Cody Lee Jackson was that the boyish-looking 20-year-old was already under trial and house arrest for kidnapping of two other women, of which, one was a minor, and the other one, an adult.

Don’t forget to pull off some investigation into who your kids’ online friends are, that would also require you to look into their friends who your kids also know in real life. Predators usually resort to networks like Facebook and then after building trust, they tell their prey to switch to more discrete and shadowy apps like Kik.

2.      Don’t ignore your kids gaming obsession

One big mistake that parents have been making in the past was to actually believe that kids are safe with playing online games on their consoles, computers or tablets. But with multiplayer games like Minecraft, Warcraft etc., there are new dangers soaring up. These online games are equipped with chat rooms where strangers can even chat without revealing their real personal identities.

So was the case of a 10-year-old girl who was catfished by a sex predator, posing as a 12-year-old boy. The man befriended the girl on Minecraft and lured her into sharing her nude photos. Though the girl never shared anything with him, still, her mother knew nothing of it, until she saw the requests for nudes on her daughter’s phone.

So if you are monitoring your teens’ social media, phone logs and GPS activity, DON’T ignore their video games.

3.      Don’t assume that your kids can understand the repercussions

To help you understand this, take the NYE of 2015, when the news hit our TV channels about a minor teen girl from Michigan being caught selling her nude photos to strangers. All-in-all, she had made around $1100 by doing so. These photos were sold to strangers online who knew that she was underage, but they still bought them.

This incident tells us many things like kids don’t really look into long-term consequences of their actions. The other important aspect of this story is about how kids are being pressured to get their hands onto latest stuff, for which they want money, a lot of it.

4.      Don’t’ forget that your kids are scared to talk to you

Whenever teens make a mistake, it’s extremely hard for them to talk about it to their parents. And if you think your child has grown into an adult and will surely take the responsibility of what they do and will come to you and talk about it, then you are quite wrong. Kids are always scared of telling their parents about the blunders they make. So if your kid ever comes across anyone, like a sex offender, it’s very rare that they would come to you. Make sure you tell your kids in a clear tone that they should never keep anything from you that’s bugging them.

5.      Don’t’ trust too badly

And lastly, make sure that your don’t let your guard down even for people who you trust a lot. Many kids are abused by people who they trust a lot. And when a child is abused by someone who they trust, it’s very less likely that they will tell their parents about it.

With every coming year, parenting is going to get more difficult, as technology will get more diverse and complicated.

So communicate, monitor and be honest with your child if you want to have a healthy digital parenting.

Have something to share with us? Let us know in the comments.


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