As parents, it’s no secret keeping our children safe is a number one priority. We often take every precaution to prevent children from experiencing any harm or danger. After all, it’s the loving thing to do. We baby proof our homes, buy organic food, limit television, encourage exercise, ban sodas, teach stranger danger, how to cross the street, and more. The list could go on and on, depending the age and development of our kids. Unfortunately, all of the safeguards we take might not be enough to keep our sons and daughters safe in a digital world.
Navigate Technology and Apps Safely
We are raising the first generation of digital natives which is posing some unique and surprising challenges for our parenting as kids learn to navigate technology safely. Today, teens spend an average of nine hours everyday scrolling social media or engaging online. This is mind boggling for us to consider, especially when we realize that in addition to hours of screen time our kids are being exposed to some very dangerous situations from the comfort of our living rooms.
Our boys and girls are dealing with cyberbullying, sexting, identity theft, catfishing, online dating, online addiction, and many other scenarios that were unheard of twenty years ago. While it’s easy to say our kids know better to fall into these common digital pitfalls, we need to realize these issues aren’t going away. For instance, even with the awareness and education, the incidents and rates of cyberbullying continue to rise. In fact, experts believe the rates of cyberbullying have tripled within the last few years. Now, 87 percent of our sons and daughters have encountered digital bullying! That is alarming on many levels, especially when we consider the correlation between bullying with depression, anxiety, and thoughts of suicide.
These statistics are frightening on many levels, especially when we factor in 70 percent of our kids take measures to hide their online and app activity from us. Many of our teens keep us in the dark about their online activity in variety of ways, but ultimately this secrecy can backfire and land them in some very hot water legally and socially. The danger is only compounded when we consider how our society continues to keep adding more and more apps to social media, making it increasingly difficult for parents to stay on top of our child’s online activity and ultimate safety.
For more details and information regarding potentially dangerous apps and our teens, please read the following safety guide from the creators at Teensafe: