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Posts Tagged ‘Cell phones’

Parenting In Social Media Age- Keep Kids Safe Online (Guest Expert)

Friday, December 6th, 2019

technologysonParenting has changed drastically in the past decade. Instead of dinner bells ringing children home, they now have cell phones. Social media has become an obsession and a favorite past time. With the changes in technology, changes in parenting become necessary.

You can keep your child safe in the social media age with a few tips to help you stay up to speed with today’s technology and your child’s plugged-in world.

Learn the Technology

First and foremost, for parents to be able to help, it is important that they understand how technology works and accept that technology is a big part of young people’s lives, says Silje Vallestad, CEO and founder of Bipper, a mobile safety app company. As cyber bullying situations continue to increase, parents must know how to operate and monitor apps, social media networks and various technology to ensure that their children are acting appropriately and that they are treated respectfully in what is a 24/7 public environment.

“For kids today, being stripped of their access to the social communities and technology in general is considered so bad that they won’t ask for help or tell parents about negative experiences,” says Vallestad. “Parents need to understand that there is a difference between the digital childhood of kids today and their own upbringing, and that access to technology is as important as access to paper and pens.”

Although social media is extremely important to your child, it doesn’t mean they should have full reign of the technology. “Parents should never grant kids access to technology without guiding them in the world of technology and to be able to guide their kids, they need to understand technology and online services,” says Vallestad. “I believe in parents spending time educating themselves, combined with frequent conversations between parent and child about the use of technology in general and use of specific services in particular.”

Use Technology to Bond with Your Child

Monitoring your child’s social media use does not have to be a negative experience, wherein you are acting the part of a spy. Use technology as an opportunity to learn something new from your children and brush up on your own skills. Vallestad, the mother of three kids all using technology, says she uses mobile app alerts that provide information on which social media applications her children are downloading.

“When I see that they have installed apps I either don’t know much about or that I’m worried about (such as SnapChat or Instagram), I make a point of having a good conversation about these services,” she says. “They teach me a lot about technology and the services while we talk about how things can be used for good or bad.”

These conversations can help to create trust between a parent and a child and allow opportunities to talk about how technology can be used to harm others and how to react in those situations. “With our frequent talks on tech, where I show that I’m both interested and involved in their digital lives and also allow them to use technology, I believe we have fostered an atmosphere where they will feel safe to tell me if something bad is happening,” says Vallestad.

Have a Plan of Action

As you are learning the technology, it’s important to remember the top three actions to take when your child is engaged in social media, according to Vallestad.

  • Technology is Important to Your Child: Understand that your kids need to use technology and be part of the online communities where their peers are. It’s part of their lives and if you remove it, you will probably create a growing gap between you and your child instead of fostering an atmosphere of dialogue.
  • Open Conversations are Necessary: Engage in open and trusting conversations with your kids about technology. Let them tell you, show you and teach you. Reacting with anger or shock to things you might see could result in your kids closing down conversations. Try to stay calm and ask questions. Together, you can agree on rules. Sometimes you both may come to the conclusion that a particular service is not ok. Other times, it is ok but you may require that you will be a friend or follower.
  • Research is Key: Do your own research on services and use that research to ask your kids the right questions. However, don’t automatically assume that your kids are using a questionable service in a wrong way simply because there is a lot of information online about that service being used negatively. Do keep an open eye and make sure you are neither naïve nor ignorant about social media.

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Keep Kids Safe on Internet- Protect Them From Cyberbullies

Friday, March 22nd, 2019

As the two dimensional world envelopes more and more of our lives, the ability to use the Internet wisely can hold the key to our, and our children’s success in life. There are over 2.4 billion people that use the Internet today-an increase of over 500 percent according to, and that number is going to continue to grow as the Internet becomes an increasingly central force in our lives, interactions, and commerce.

Like any life-changing technology, the information super highway can be used for as much good as it can bad, it’s up to the user to dictate how they spend their time, and teach and inspire others. The future might just depend on our ability to discern how we teach our children to spend their time online.

Make Sure There’s a Return on What You Learn

Unlike other major technological advancements, surfing the Internet doesn’t direct us towards progress on an individual level (the plow helps us cultivate food, factory machines directly produce products, etc…). Unlike the invention of the wheel, sitting in a chair and browsing Facebook for four hours doesn’t get us anywhere. It’s up to us to seek out useful information online and apply it to our lives instead of letting ourselves and our children waste time getting sucked into a vapid hole.

Instead of wasting time lusting after cars you can’t afford, or lamenting how thick your favorite celebrity’s hair is, the Internet can also be used just as easily to teach yourself a new language, or become an expert in bug collecting. Using this general rule of thumb – browsing is for improving skills to apply to life – is integral to teaching your little ones how to inspire themselves, build their abilities, and succeed in life.

The Dangers of Strangers

Unfortunately, the Internet is also a mecca for creative thieves and swindlers, and teaching your children about keeping themselves safe online is as important as teaching them not to get into a strangers car. Identity thieves know the best ways to target and extrapolate personal information from adults, but they’re becoming more and more focused on children. A child’s social security number is much less likely to have a history of bankruptcy and bad credit, and most of us never even think to check our toddler’s credit score- it’s the perfect storm.

As your children reach the age of Internet exploration, teaching them to keep their personal information secret, and showing them how to spot predators is an absolute must. In the mean time, checking out ID theft protection services doesn’t hurt either.

Don’t Be a Click-ler Stickler

Altruism is one of the distinct aspects that separates people from animals, and makes us awesome. The Internet has the ability to inflate our sense of altruism without actually accomplishing anything. How many times have you “clicked” on a petition or felt good about “liking” a page that wants to end world hunger? Unfortunately, clicking and liking doesn’t apply to much of anything in the real world. If we want our children to grow up to be the type of people that can change the world, then it’s imperative we drill them with the difference between action and sentiment, and make it clear that all the clicks and likes in the world won’t clean up an oil spill or fix the ozone.

Parents, it is up to us to set the stage for the future of the world, and teaching our kids how to use the Internet and protect themselves from its dangers is, perhaps, the best way to prepare them to move mountains, save rain-forests, and keep themselves and their future families safe.

Protect your children from being bullied online. Information on how text bullying works.

Protect your children from being bullied online. Information on how text bullying works.

Who Is Cyberbullying You Or Your Child

Monday, August 23rd, 2010

Who Is Cyberbullying You Or Your Child

“My child is being bullied on FaceBook.” “Girls who used to be friends are now spreading rumors by texting.”  “Someone posted lies about my son on a social media account. How do I find out who did it?” “My boss texted others in the workplace something I shared in private. What do I do.”

Questions From Parents About Cyberbullying

How to stop someone who is cyberbullying you or your child is a question most parents dread having to ever ask. Quite frankly, the internet and cyberspace changes so rapidly that it is hard for parents to keep up.

The definition of cyberbullying is important to understand before attempting to resolve it. Cyber bullying is the malicious act of a person(s) who harasses, stalks or spreads lies about someone else via electronic methods.

Cyberbullying, or online bullying is when someone, either on purpose or as a joke posts intimidating messages. These messages might be embarrassing photos of someone in the school bathroom or a photo of your child taken without permission. This could be through a cell phone or over the Internet.

Cyberbullies use Text Messaging, e-mail, blogs, web sites, and chat rooms as venues to post their intimidating messages.  Tracing them is very hard, but parents should keep records of dates and messages to give to authorities.

National Media Is Focused On The Crime

Cell phones and the internet are very useful tools. However, they can be used for harm as well as good.

Parade Magazine,8-22-2010 focused on the national attention that is surrounding the suicide of Phoebe Prince in Massachusetts.  After her suicide, the Massachusetts state legislature passed a law making cyberbullying a crime.

As more people are on the Internet now more than ever before, it is increasingly becoming a problem. Some methods of this bizarre behavior include gaining trust of someone and then abusing it, impersonating another person, posting derogatory information about a person or posting their information on the Internet.

New Hampshire has expanded its bullying laws to include digital harassment.  Nevada lawmakers have set up criminal penalties for those convicted of bullying others electronically.

How To Be Internet Savvy

Parents and caring adults need to learn all they can about this expanding problem.  Not only to help the children or themselves from cyberbullies, but to make sure their messages are not being misinterpreted. You will find excellent information on this subject at

The more you know about the Internet and online bullying, the more you can do to protect yourself and those who are looking to you for protection and guidance.

Girl Bullies – International Problem

Sunday, August 8th, 2010

What Is Girl Bullying And How Can You Help

Girls bullying is a huge problem in and out of our schools and society today. More and more we are seeing violence by girls as well as against girls. This problem of “mean girls who form cliques or gangs” is international in nature.

Bullying, teasing, taunting and threatening does not always have to be physical nor does it have to take place in school. Many shopping malls are gathering places for bullies and gangs. Cyber bullying is extremely prevalent today and can be accomplished by texting and posting on social media groups.

Definition of Bullying

Bullying off line or electronically is an imbalance of power. It includes the process of intimidating or mistreating somebody weaker

Online bullies have become an international problem. Girls are more likely to send embarrasing and humilating text messages than boys. If a boy breaks up with a girl, it is the girl who is blamed and taunted by other girls.

or in a more vulnerable situation.  It can include harassment, maltreatment, singling out or exclusion as well as other forms of discrimination.

What Can Parent Do

There are a few things that you can do to help your daughter if you suspect she is being bullied

The first thing that you can do as a parent is to make sure that your daughter knows that you are there for her. It does not hurt to state that fact occasionally even if you do not suspect bullying. Knowing that you will communicate and listen without judgment or rushing in to solve her problems creates an atmosphere where she will use you as a sounding board.

You should also be aware of the schools policy on bullying and cyber bullying. This can be as simple as reading the handbook that the school sends home with your child. Make sure your daughter is also aware of it. Encourage open conversation and ask her to read the policy. It helps to know that there are solutions to every problem. It just takes some creative thinking to problem-solve..

Violence Does Not Solve Violence

Encourage her to ignore the bullying if possible. Many times a victim will get fed up and retaliate after a prolong period of being bullied, and then will be the one accused of fighting or being a bully.

You may want to gently ask the lunch aide or teacher what they have observed.  Make sure you are not making a mountain out of a molehill.  It may be age appropriate teasing and joking around.  If not, then do take steps to confront the issue.

If you suspect your daughter is being cyber bullied check. Ask to look at her email or text messages. This is an extreme step but catching cyber bullying early may be a key step. Try to do this in a way that is non-threatening to your daughter.

Internet Safety

If you suspect your child is being bullied keep the evidence you will need it if it goes to court. Make sure that your child is not in any physical or emotional danger by bringing it to the authority’s attention as soon as possible. Make sure that you daughter knows what to do if she is being bullied and make sure she knows where to go for safety if the bullying turns physical.

Make sure you are informed about cyber bullying, girl bullying and the laws regarding it. In order to stop this new trend parents and students need to know the consequences and that there is help out there. Bullying in any form is not a laughing matter.

To be completely informed about safety on the internet and how to safeguard your family, please claim your report at You will be glad you have gathered this information.

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Keeping Children Safe by Being Internet Savvy

Tuesday, July 20th, 2010

Keeping Children Safe by being Internet Savvy

The face of the way we communicate has changed rapidly over the past 20 years. Bullying used to take place in schools and parks, but with the advent of new technologies bullying can happen anywhere.

Children used to take refuge from playground bullies at home, but with the internet readily available to many children, and more and more young people carrying cell phones instances of cyber-bullying are increasing at an alarming rate.

Chat rooms, Blogs, Facebook, My Space and other social media sites, e-mail, instant messengers,

Teens use cell phones and the internet to connect with each other. It is easy to use electronics to bully others.

and online gaming and text messaging are just a few ways children are being bullied. Often, as parents, we don’t even know when our children are being abused by others online.

Although it may be difficult to tell when a child is being subjected to the abusive behaviour of others unless they come to an adult for advice. One thing we can watch for is our children being upset after being on the internet or receiving text messages.


  • encourage your children to share offensive or abusive e-mails, posts, and texts with a trusted adult
  • encourage them to use only moderated chat rooms that help curtail abusive behaviour
  • teach them to no respond to abusive posts or e-mails
  • help them learn to keep their passwords safe and be cautious about who they give their e-mail address or cell phone number to
  • be sure to turn on child safety features installed on your computer
  • teach them to think about how their actions may affect others, and to think twice before hitting send on any post or e-mail

Keep your child safe by teaching them not to give out personal information when online.

Make sure you children understand they should never arrange to meet someone you have only been in touch with online. This can be extremely dangerous. Online friends are still strangers.

One simple way to keep them safe is to encourage them to only accept e-mails, instant messages, or texts from people they know and trust.

Teach children that all information online may not always be reliable! There are many people out there who create fake “profiles” with only the intention of meeting and abusing others. In almost all cases its best to only chat online with real world friends and family.

Make sure your children know that if they are uncomfortable, or are being bullied they can come to you or another trusted adult for help. Keeping our children safe online and teaching them how to use a technology as a tool for healthy entertainment, information and communication will help them become a prudent, happy, healthy productive members of society.

Information for this article comes from Childnet International and