Online Safety in the Home

I read a disheartening statistic today. A recent study showed that children are only three clicks away from viewing adult content on youtube. Since we don’t have cable in our home, we often turn to youtube to watch some of my son’s favorite shows together. He knows how to navigate the site well enough to get to the shows he wants, but now I’m not so sure that’s a good thing. The study showed that while watching Dora children were only four clicks away from a music video featuring swearing and nudity. While watching Sesame Street they were a mere two clicks away from a violent car crash scene.

Children are becoming more and more tech savvy these days, but it is easy for them to accidentally come across things on the internet that are intended for a much older audience. This is why it is so important for you as a parent to be involved in your child’s computer time. This doesn’t mean you need to hover over them every second, however, you should be checking on them frequently. Monitor the amount of time spent on the internet. Know their passwords and logins in case something suspicious comes up, and keep an open line of communication with them. Talk to them about the dangers online. There are lots of good things out there, but there are also lots of bad things. Help nourish an environment of safety in your home. Let them know that you are trying to watch out for them.

This may mean taking the power cord with you when you are not home. Be familiar with what sites your children are visiting. If you are uncomfortable with a certain site, block it. There are times when boundaries are necessary, and this is one of them. In this day in age your kids are only a couple of clicks away from danger. Stay involved so that your child doesn’t come across it.