Google your child, take back control, join Facebook!

A recent study by Consumer Reports in June found that there are over seven million children under the age of 13 on Facebook.

Is one of these yours?

One of the first things you can do is to Google your child’s name on the first day of every month.

If your child is on Facebook you will also need to be a member to go any further.

How to make sure you are up to speed in the Social Media Life of your child:

Common Sense Media at www.commonsense.org , has identified 6 steps that will give you a solid understanding of your child’s main media activities so that you can develop a strategy to manage them. By getting involved, you can help them use these tools responsibly, respectfully, and safely.

Visit an online social networking site. If you have young kids, check out Club Penguin to see how children use this virtual world. Embrace your kids’ enthusiasm, but educate yourself about what goes on. Get a Facebook page, or sign up for Twitter. Ask your kids to show you their pages.

Play a video game with your kid. Even if you’re not a gamer, you can have fun (and gain a lot of insight) by playing along with your kid. Try one of the Guitar Hero gamesor Beatles Rock Band. Play a sports game on the Wii, or pass a football with Madden. The best way to keep kids away from violent games is to enjoy other games together.

Download something your kids will like. Pick a song they’ve never heard. Then ask them to play something for you that you’ve never heard. Have a conversation about the music.

Check out YouTube. YouTube is pretty much mandatory viewing for kids of a certain age, so click around and watch some videos. Visit the comedy section and enjoy some laughs with your kids.

Take control of your TV. There are lots of ways to exert more control over what your kids watch. You can use a digital video recorder, on-demand programming, to watch what you want when you want it. This allows you to be choosier about what your kids see. You can preview the shows, fast forward through the ads, use the mute button, and avoid the stuff you don’t want your kids to watch.

Learn how to manage your kids’ digital lives. When you give your kids digital devices — mobile phones, computers, and other personal electronics — set rules around responsible, respectful usage. Check in on where your kids are going online — look at browser histories, set appropriate age filters, and check out the parental controls. Teach your kids the basics of safe searching (Google has a safe-search setting), and give them a digital code of conduct. Don’t let them figure it all out by themselves.

About Renata Rowe

Deputy Head of Campus/Head of Secondary, Ivanhoe Grammar School, Plenty Campus This blog is the School's way of helping our parents and teachers understand and experience the cyber world that their children live in. We post stories about the latest cyber safety issues, and the latest social mediums that their children and teens might be using. We believe that teaching children and teens to be good Digital Citizen from a young age will protect them and their reputations. Our parents have been delighted and have subscribed so that they can receive our updates - we post about once or twice a week. So subscribe - its easy to do, just enter your email address in the box in the top righthand corner of the home page and posts will automatically be delivered to you.
This entry was posted in Club Penguin, Cyber Safety, cybersafety, cybersmart, Internet safety, Social Networking. Bookmark the permalink.

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