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Posts Tagged ‘parenting’

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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How To Protect Your Child From Cyber Bullying Using Mobile Monitoring Applications?

Monday, August 20th, 2012

How To Protect Your Child From Cyber Bullying Using Mobile Monitoring Applications?

Mobile usage is increasing day by day and it has become an indispensable device. The additional uses of a mobile phone as a camera, a music player, a laptop to access mails and internet has resulted in its widespread usage. Children too have not been spared from being bitten by the mobile phone bug. The benefits are far surpassed by the crimes associated with children using mobile phones.

Cyber bullying is rampant in the cyber world.

Children unknowingly fall victims to such abuse through visiting prohibited sites and social networking sites. There have been many instances where children were lured through answering missed calls from unknown numbers and subjected to sexual harassment.

Hence, it is important for parents to protect their children from becoming victims of cyber abuse. This can be achieved by installing mobile monitoring applications like Mobile Spy on your child’s phone.

Software easy to install to protect your child

It is very easy to install such software on your child’s phone. Once installed, the data from the mobile phone is uploaded to your user account, which is created at the time of purchasing the monitoring application. All activities of the phone can then be viewed remotely through the user account. Some of the monitoring application features that help to protect your child from cyber abuse are:

Text bullying is a concern for many kids and their parents. Learn to monitor electronic devices your kids use and facts about internet safety.

  • Monitoring the call history: The monitoring application records details of all incoming and outgoing calls. The time and duration along with the numbers are also recorded. By reviewing the call log, the parent can know the child’s contacts, whether they are good or bad.
  • Call recording: most of the monitoring applications have the call recording facility whereby you can actually listen to the conversation. Even if the child is scared to report the abuse, it is easy to track the caller and nail him with proof of the conversation.
  • Internet History: A record of all the websites visited by the child can be known. The entire web history is recorded even if the child erases the history on the mobile. It is thus possible to know if the child has viewed any inappropriate material.
  • Record of chats and IM messages: With the help of the monitoring spyware, you can view the full contents of the chat windows and SMS messages. By keeping a tab on chats, it is easy to monitor contacts with strangers who may turn out to be pedophiles.
  • E mail log: A detail of every email that has been sent or received through the target mobile phone is recorded, despite the child deleting the messages. You can monitor the child and his contact by reviewing the mail contents.
  • GPS tracking: With this device, it is easy to locate your child. In the unfortunate event of kidnapping or the child getting lost, the GPS device will come to the rescue.
  • Video and Picture log: A parent can view all the photos and videos on the child’s phone. There may be instances when the child may be blackmailed through pornographic content like nude photos or bathroom videos. The abuser would demand undue favors from the child by threatening to expose them on the web. Any child would be scared to report such abuse and give in to the demands. Installation of the software protects the child by exposing such criminals.

This is a guest post from my friend and colleague Sharon Stouffer.  She shares my concerns about finding help for children who are being cyber-bullied.   Her contact information is below.  Please be sure to claim your free report on resources for parents and teachers.  You will find it at

Sharon Stouffer is passionate about Mobile Technology and Applications. Please visit her website about Cell Phone Spy software to follow her updates.

Rules for Respect-Boundaries of Behavior

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010

Rules for Respect-Boundaries of Behavior

© Judy H. Wright aka Auntie Artichoke, family and relationship coach

Do your kids think you have too many rules?  Do they push the limits and boundaries of respect? Do they think it is funny to pick on someone who is different than they are? Perhaps you have had similar conversations that started like these in order to teach respect for others.

“What’s the matter with that word, they say it all the time on television?”

“We were only teasing her, we didn’t mean it.”

Though children and young adults will get mixed or conflicting messages from the television, magazine and friends, they need you to set and enforce clear, respectful rules and limits. They need to know that you expect them to do and be their best.

By providing this guidance you will help them learn how to be responsible, contributing members of society.

Consistent boundaries within the family are pretty predictable;

Consistency in discipline is the number one factor in successful families: It is important that love, respect, cooperation and expectations are unconditional and not dependant on circumstances or behavior.

Here are some common boundaries your family may have;

  • The car will not start until the seat belt clicks.
  • Parents must always know the 4 Ws before they are allowed to leave with friends. WHO are the friends, WHERE are they going, WHAT are they doing, and WHEN will they be home.
  • We do not speak in derogatory ways about anyone.
  • A child can count on dinner being at six o’clock or there about.
  • Bedtime is 8:30 on school nights and homework is done before playtime.

Consistent boundaries and standards give a child and the whole family a feeling of security and safety. It is within this safe environment that self-discipline and life skills begin to flourish and develop.

Be Partners with Schools and Community Organizations

As a community, as well as a family, we need to give consistent messages to our children concerning dangerous, unacceptable and unkind behavior. When they understand hateful teasing or name calling is not acceptable it will be easier for them to forgo temptation to participate.

It is our responsibility as adults to help them learn and live by the basic rule that actions have consequences. By teaching and enforcing family, school and community rules, you teach respect and tolerance for all.

Thank you for doing a good job

You are doing the most important job in the world, raising self-disciplined, thoughtful and contributing children.  Thank you for your time and effort.  We will all be blessed by having members of society who work within a framework of acceptable behavior.

This article was written just for you by Judy H. Wright, author and international speaker on parenting and family issues. Feel free to share with friends and associates, but please include this resource and contact box.

Judy Helm Wright, of Missoula, Montana has become “The Bully Advocate.” As an author, keynote speaker and family educator, she has seen the damage done when bullying occurs. Her blog is filled with information and a free report for parents and teachers. The goal of the blog is to: 1. Empower the bully to gain empathy and gain new ways of communication 2. Empower the victim or target to gain assertiveness skills and how to set boundaries. 3. Empower the bystander or witness to speak up or find help. 4. Empower the group, school, family or community to adopt a no-bully, respect for all policy.

For a full listing of books, articles, tele-classes and workshops go to  http:// You may also sign up there for FREE articles and Newsletters having to do with “finding the heart of the story in the journey of life” by clicking on You will be glad you did and so will we.

Conflict in Families- Choose Your Battles

Monday, July 26th, 2010

Choosing Your Battles: Three Questions to Ask Before Arguing

Guest post by Alexis Bonari

The older your child gets, the more conflicts appear on the horizon.  When you’re parenting a toddler or elementary school aged child, arguments erupt over whether a certain toy will be purchased, bedtimes, and chores.  Later, these points of conflict expand to include curfews, dating, clothing choices, cell phone use, money, drugs/alcohol, etc.  In other words, things get more complicated; they don’t get simpler as you go.

Constant conflict can severely damage the parent-child relationship. Expecting immediate obedience only leads to silent

Family fights and arguments are never fun, especially at mealtime. Choose your battles and treat each other with respect.

rebellion on the part of the child. It also leaves the parent feeling like a  bully. On the other hand, allowing your child or teen to do whatever they want doesn’t teach proper life management strategies, and can even endanger their life.  So what’s a parent to do?

The simple answer: choose your battles. Recognize that there are things worth fighting for, and things that are best let slide.  Here are two questions to aid in determining the difference between the two.

1. Is this behavior dangerous/life threatening?

At the end of the day, physical safety trumps just about every other consideration.  If your child is putting their life at risk or risking the lives of others, the behavior must be stopped.  Drug use, drinking and texting whiledriving, unprotected sex, playing in a busy street, etc. all fall under this category.  While it’s always a good idea to tell a child or teen why you’re placing limits on their behavior, there’s no room for arguing on points that involve safety.

While making your stand, be sure to listen to their perspective on the behavior in question.   Help them to understand they can always come to you with problems and you will help them solve them. Give them the resources to stop the behavior— drug counseling, access to birth control, an alternative place to play outdoors, etc.

2.  Does this behavior represent a difference in opinion, or an underlying attitude problem?

Sometimes kids need to be allowed to express themselves in ways that their parents find annoying or just plain strange.  If your child suddenly decides that they want to be a vegan when they were practically carnivorous only a week ago, so be it. If at 16 they want to dye their hair purple and wear all black— and their school has no prohibition against doing so— let them.  The search for self-identification involves test-driving different beliefs and personas.  Arguing over every eccentricity increases hostile feelings and resistance to your advice on more serious matters.

Some behaviors, however, are indicators of destructive tendencies that need to be addressed.  If your child takes up stealing from stores or hangs around with those who do steal, allowing that to continue will potentially send the wrong message about personal responsibility and morality.  A sudden obsession with ultra-violent materials also might be a cause for concern.  In these sorts of cases, it’s best to address the root cause of the behavior change with the child.  Simply prohibiting stealing, etc. isn’t going to be enough to change their attitude.  Discussing their rational on the issue combined with a ban on the actual behavior is a much more effective strategy.

3. Does allowing this behavior foster a distorted image of how the world works?

As parents, we often want to shelter our children from some of life’s harsher realities.  We give in to nagging for the newest gaming systems, toys, or clothes because we don’t want our kids to feel left out.  If we positively reinforce negative behaviors like nagging, whining, or angry outbursts, we’re sending the message that these sorts of behaviors are well received by the rest of the world.  Our children are done no favors when we ignore negative social behaviors. Children aren’t born knowing how to act in public or how to ask for what they want in a mature, controlled manner.

Essentially, parents need to ask themselves whether they’re fostering a world-view that designates the child as the center of the universe. Any behaviors that result from such an entitlement state of mind should be addressed.

By picking your battles, you can foster a sense of independence and uniqueness in your child without compromising ethics or common sense.

Bio: Alexis Bonari is a freelance writer and blog junkie. She often can be found blogging about general education issues as well as information on college scholarships. In her spare time, she enjoys square-foot gardening, swimming, and avoiding her laptop.


Even the New York Times is talking about it!

Thursday, July 1st, 2010

A friend recently sent me a link to a New York Times Blog Post, “When Your Child Is the Cyberbully”, by Tara Parker-Pope.

The article takes a unique look at the opposite side of the parenting struggle, that of the parent of the bully. The reader wrote in to ask what to do, and how to handle their child. Parents have a natural ability to comfort the victim, but often find it hard to discipline their own. A very important point the article makes is that forcing the child to apologize right away is not in good form. For an apology to mean something, it needs to come from the heart and not just because a parent is forcing it. For information about using discipline to raise a child check out my other website:

Read the full Article Here.

Time To Talk To Teens – Or Not

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

Welcome to our community of kind, thoughtful people who want respect for all.

Time To Talk To Teens – Or Not

If you are a parent of a teen or tween you will recognize that this age group does not always practice delayed gratification.

Talking to teens about texting and online comments is an important part of teaching lifeskills

Many also have poor impulse control, especially when around their peer group.  They may not have life experience enough to recognize for every action there is a reaction.

In writing my latest book on bullies and specifically, cyberbullies, I have found there is a real missed connection on pushing send on the cell phone without thinking if that was the real message they wanted to convey. There may be serious consequences if they are accused of threatening, stalking or flaming someone online.

Parents need to have open talks about what can happen if they are cyberbullied or how to prevent being seen as a bully by others.  This is an important topic to discuss.

Hints To Make Communication Easier

Don’t… Talk to teen in the morning when she is focusing on the day ahead or is not fully awake.

Do… Talk to your teen when she is most open to conversing with you.  Adolescents tend to be more talkative at night, so take advantage of their “inner clock.”

Don’t …Make steady eye contact.

Do…Start a conversation in the car while driving home from an activity she enjoyed. Teens are most likely to open up when they don’t feel you are staring directly at them.

Don’t…Wait until you have their undivided attention before starting a serious conversation.  They will anticipate and classify the talk as a lecture.

Do….Talk to them when they are engaged in another activity or project that is not too distracting.  You will have much better luck getting them to share feelings, fears and frustrations while they are shooting hoops, eating pizza or riding in the car. We have had good luck discussing life with a teen while painting a fence or wall.

Don’t…Ask general questions such as “How was your day?”

Do…Be specific and be sure to word your question in a positive manner.  For example, you could say “What did your teacher think about your book report?”

Don’t…Share your thoughts immediately after your teen is finished speaking or even a worse choice is to interrupt their long monolog to change the subject.

Do…Allow extra time before responding.  Teens, especially boys, need extra time to sort through feelings and gather their thoughts and can’t always express them at once.

Don’t… Accuse them of being a cyberbully or of having sent mean or inappropriate messages on FaceBook, MySpace or online groups.

Do… Mention that you have often regretted saying something when you could see that it had hurt someone else. But when you could see their facial expression, you were sorry and apologized.  When you push the send button, you may be saying something hurtful and not realize it.

Don’t….Ignore this topic and hope it will go away. It is constantly growing larger and more dangerous as younger and younger children have access to electronic communication.

Do… Talk to your children and teens about “Pause before pushing send.”  Teach them to think before responding to messages or sending them on to others.  Help them to understand the power and permanence of online communication.

You can do it, I have confidence in you.