“Parents What Do Your Kids See Online – Do You See The Same Thing”
William Jackson, M.Ed.
Parents: students have been out for winter vacations and have had
idle time to explore web sites, use Apps and even chat more with
their friends. Have you checked your children’s browser safety ratings,
updated antivirus software, cleared your cache/history and cookies on
your computers? These are things that should be performed on a regular
A parent’s job is to be diligent against harm and danger to their children
physical, emotional, psychological and even digital lives. Just as the United
States military protects America from all enemies both foreign and domestic.
A parent’s job is to protect their homes from invasion and incursion even
from the online digital environments that their children visit. Protecting
children from online pornography, violence and potential stalkers/predators.
There was a time when parents could rest in the knowledge that their children
were safe: no longer because children, teens and even young adults have
been lured away from home, enticed to visit people they do not know to
come to malls, shopping centers and even playgrounds to meet people they
only think are their friends.
The growing number of children snatched and thrown into slave labor has
grown, the dangers of child pornography have grown, sexting has grown.
Much is because of the lack of teaching children how to behave online and
how to keep safe. Giving youth, teens and young adults Smartphones is like
giving a child the car keys and letting them go with no training, no license
and no common sense and expected to think and act like an adult.
Millions of students have been celebrating their winter break nationwide.
Students from public, private, charter and higher education have been invading online sites. Their activities will range from chatting, watching YouTube videos, playing online games through gaming systems and sharing digital content.
Children in elementary schools have Facebook, Instagram, Tic Tok accounts
and parents are ignorant to their online activities. Parents need to be concerned and cautious about all online activity and if they have suspicions always ask questions and check behind your children on their computers and phones.
How to Protect Your Child’s Phone:
The ease of accessing online pornography, sexual situations, vulgar language,
and the potential to expose the family to sexual predators is a huge risk. Many
parents openly acknowledge that they trust their children, what about their friends that can influence online activities? All parents are not responsible and will not accept the accountability that comes with being a parent. So caution is needed and communication with children about digital expectations for online safety should be reinforced.
Children have been taken, encouraged to sneak from homes and then raped
(boys and girls), sold into prostitution, and even murdered. The dangers of
online activities are real and relevant. These are life and death situations in a
digital world that is growing with Artificial Intelligence, Voice Recognition,
Facial Recognition and other new technologies that potentially
allow life to be more enjoyable and even safe.
Parents should not allow their children either elementary
school age to high school to have free unmonitored access
to the Internet. Cyber-bullying, Sexting, Voyeurism, chat rooms
hookups and video sex rooms are available
online; this is a reality not fantasy.
The title of this Blog:
“Parents What Do Your Kids See Online – Do You See The Same Thing”
The Internet has given way to an ease of sites that contain information
from pictures, video and multimedia that can influence children in either a
destructive or constructive manner both psychologically and emotionally.
Data from Inter@active Weekly and Newsweek shows that an estimated
10 million web sites have pornographic materials that kids have access too.
55% of all Internet porn activity occurs during 9am and 5pm and slightly
increases as children transition to home from school. 62% of young
Internet users admit to visiting sites containing sexual content, violence,
hate materials and offensive music.
Parents that earn over $75,000 to $100,000 a year have children that are
more than likely downloading porn at home because of the availability
of high speed Internet access. The dropping of Internet access prices has
allowed more lower income homes to have higher speed access. Disturbingly
a congressional study has found that 3 in 5 kids online have received an
invitation to engage in sexual encounters from chatting on Facebook and
other Social Media sites.
Parents need to stay informed and educated about the dangers, potential
of abductions from online activities. In Austin, Texas a family learned the
hard way when a young girl was taken from meeting someone online.
A comment made by a family member was, “I had no clue this was even
going on.” The abduction of children and selling into prostitution.
“I thought it was a third world country situation not in the United States.”
The United States is not a third world country, that does not matter anymore.
The danger is that those in higher income salaries think they are safer, but
in reality they are exposed more because they purchase higher speed devices,
unlimited data and their children have broader personal networks.
Technology has progressed at such a rapid rate parents should question their
children and friends on their online activities. If they don’t like the answers
take action before you get surprised and are exposed to the dangers of online
porn, violence and hatred.
I have been teaching for over 30 years and during those years have
spoken at conferences, workshops, seminars for youth, teens and young
adults. It is important to continue to educate children about their access to
sites and even their content they post because it can come back to either
help them or hurt them in educational and career choices.
Parents make sure you set high expectations for behaviors online and
not to give out personal and private information. Not to leave home to
visit strangers and even friends when dark or late. To be sure to text
you when they arrive at their destinations and when they are returning
Parents follow your instincts and never assume what your children
will not do. Remember the devastation of news that other parents
experienced when give news about things they always said their children
will not do. Remember how you were at your children’s ages. The world
has changed in many ways, too many ways it has been bad, even though
there is good in the world.
Actions taken now can reduce or stop incidents later of heartbreak and
worry. Be the parent your children need not to be their friends.