WHAT PARENTS SHOULD DO

 

The Canadian Centre for Child Protection  advise that  all parents be aware of what their kids watch online. They also suggest having a regular talk with them about who they interact  with, even if it’s a friend.

Cybersafetycop website have some suggestions  for  parents and educators to  protect children:

  1.  Teach kids some safe practices online.
  2. Limit access to media that is not age appropriate for them
  3. Filter inappropriate videos using restricted mode. (It was recommended not letting children to  access Youtube under the age of 12-years-old)
  4. Delete mobile app  from their mobile devices and blocking  them  from being downloaded from the app store with a password that only the parent knows
  5. Parents themselves should understand  the language of  digital world.

 

WHAT WE DO IN OUR HOUSEHOLD

We are not perfect parents and we understand that  this  is digital age.   My husband and I  know  that  it is   impossible to  totally  stop our kids from  using the internet. But as we give them chance to chat with friends,  play games  and  watch video channels,  we also set some rules as follows:
1. No chatting with  strangers. Play  only with  friends they know.
2. Never share personal and private information like birthday or address.
3. Do not share or show picture or video of any private part of  body or of the house
4. Never do  something  they are asked to do.
5. Do not copy what they see. Not everything they see online are true and right.  If they see or hear bad words, too much  violence, naked people doing private acts, they have to stop watching.
6. Follow allowable length  and frequency of usage especially during school week.  Do a variety of other things.
7. Constant monitoring.  As a paranoid mother, I sometimes listen to chat and monitor who my daughter talk to on snapchat or check who my son plays with in Roblox.
 8. No gadget when going out of the house unless they need to take photos or during long road trip
9.  No celphone until they can afford to pay their monthly bill  or  until the age  we feel they are responsible enough to be mobile users.
 10. And  lastly,  we let them know we are dead serious in our rules. If they consistently break them, we give them punishment (At one time, my daughter was never allowed to touch her IPad for two weeks).
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One does not have to be an expert in  cyber and information technology to understand that Momo  is just the  tip of the iceberg.
Momo is  an eye-opener and reminder  to  parents  like us  that as we let our kids  access to wifi and  gadget, they are also exposed to a wide range of dangers.
Depending on their level of understanding,  they need to be aware that the world is not perfect– that  there are dangers lurking online.
 There are cyber bullies, identity thieves,  scammers,  pervert and sexual predators.   And they must be smart to protect themselves from all of these.
And just like what  Sesame Street tells the kids,  “if something scares  them or makes  them feel uncomfortable,   they have to talk to   parents, teacher or people they trust.”