Due to being a work from home mother since 2006, starting with direct sales, moving to blogging then adding social media marketing, I have been able to be more aware of the dangers of being online. My daughter is a tween now and she has wanted to have her own blog for years, I finally allowed her to have a private blog; this will allow her to practice her blogging skills while keeping her out of the lime light that blogging brings. Allowing my tween to have a private blog at such a young age has been a wonderful tool for assisting in online safety. My daughter has learned so much about being safe online because I feel it’s just as important as the sex education and do no do drugs conversation.
My daughter knows what is acceptable and not acceptable to do online, she knows what she is allowed to put out there on her blog and what sites she is not allowed on. I am thankful that for the most part, my daughter does not test those boundaries I have given her. I firmly believe if you give a kid a bit of trust and lead way, making them feel as if they do have some choices and some privacy and trust, in turn they will learn to respect the rules set forth for them. My daughter is an example of my thought process on give a little, trust a little and get a respectful child. Facebook and Twitter as well as YouTube are not places my daughter is allowed to be on, maybe when she is 13 but before then I feel she is still too young to completely understand the consequences of being on such social media sites. There is no need for her to be on social media until she decides to be a teen blogger, in my opinion.
I have taught my daughter about an IP address, what is okay to put out there on the Internet and what is safe to do online. Playing online games is something all of my kids love, my daughter has less supervision when she plays her games, but she uses my email address for most of her game sites so I can easily monitor what she is doing and who is friend requesting her on these game sites. There have been times where I saw a friend request with a sexual, oddball or rude name that I felt was not okay, and when asked, my daughter promptly removed that friendship from her game site. No questions asked.
Due to my job, the kids have been educated along my path of success on how to be safe online, and because of that I am so thankful. I am also lucky that I do not have a child who questions my authority, I always choose the right words and tone to use when approaching online safety with my kids, that way they realize I am not being a drill sergeant who doesn’t understand the fun behind online games or having a private blog, but at the same time I am their Mom and want to ensure they are educated to stay safe when online.