Monday, June 23, 2008

Internet Safety

Yup, serious topic today.

I was at the library the other day when a book on keeping kids safe online caught my eye. Having read through it, I realized it was probably time to have a little chat with my children about online safety again. I was also glad to note that I have been doing a lot of the things the book suggested already and I also had an idea or two that weren’t even touched on in the book that I view as being very important.

It’s entirely possible that you don’t know everything your child is looking at, listening to and participating in on the net. In fact, it would probably be true say that it is impossible to know all those things. It is also impossible to know all the sites out there that could cause trouble for a child.

Even though there are a lot of variables and you may not be completely web savvy, there’s ammunition that you can use to help protect your child from harm. Or better yet, you can help your child to learn to fortify himself or herself from harm.

Today, being a Monday, we have Family Home Evening. Hmm. Better stop there and explain. If you already know what FHE is, skip the next paragraph. ;)

What is Family Home Evening (FHE)? In our church, Monday nights are set aside for “building and maintaining family relationships. Activities can include games, songs, discussions, treats, short lessons, family stories, and so forth.”

For FHE, I am going to do a short lesson to the family about the topic of internet safety. You can find my outline here if you care to use it to talk to your own kids.

I’m not going to chronicle my entire outline here, you can go look at it if interested. (If you have actually already looked at my internet safety freebie, it has been upgraded quite a bit.) Anyway, let me just share a few things, like my top three most important topics. They are (in no particular order):

#1- Never give out any personal info.

#2 - Always follow promptings.

#3 – Only chat, email, IM, etc. with people you have already met in person or have parental approval for.

If you can get your kids abiding by those three rules, they’ll do pretty well. I know that my lesson outline isn’t all encompassing. Please leave a comment if there’s something you think should also be included. It will benefit all of us that read it. Thanks!

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