The goal of the evening was to show that social media, and the Internet in general, are not all bad. In fact, there are many benefits to allowing your children online as long as there is appropriate supervision and prior discussion.
Our panelists came from a wide variety of backgrounds and therefore provided a spectrum of parenting techniques that may or may not fit best into your family. Devon Adams, father to a five-year-old daughter, and Sheila Unwin, mother to an 18-year-old son, took a more open approach. Both Devon and Sheila allowed their children onto social media/online at an early age because they feel it promotes growth as good communicators.
However, each of them mentioned how the foundation of trust had been laid long before their children went online and that the discussion about safety online was really just an extension of previous safety conversations they had with their children.
Panelist Calie Waterhouse, mother of three, assured the audience there is no such thing as being overly protective when it comes to your child’s online activity. While trust is important, your child still may not know how to react when presented with a new threat. If that should happen, it is important to take all precautions and not worry that you are being “too protective” or “overreacting”.
Please view the slideshow presentation for other valuable tips that came out of the evening. Additionally, the slideshow will walk you through the privacy settings on Facebook, MySpace and Twitter.