The headlines and events of 2012 provide good reason for parents to revisit the value of transparency expectations for the use of mobile communications and Internet access.
- Teens drugged parents to break Internet curfew in Rocklin (this past week)
- Fire bombing of home by angry teen in Granite Bay (November)
- Local young entrepreneur invents combination locking cap for prescription pills to prevent teen drug abuse and addiction
- Roseville teen party Facebook event planner sponsors underage drinking (July)
- Granite Bay youth suicide (January)
- Connecticut school shooting: 20 children and six adults massacred by 20-year-old at Sandy Hook Elementary (December)
- The bully culture giving power to insecurity and attacking the individual (October)
Because you and your neighbors may not be directly involved in any of these stories, it does not mean that your children are not impacted by the network culture inspiring and reinforcing the wrong thoughts and actions.
Now more than ever our children need relationships at home that ground them in truth. And this cannot happen unless we have more open communication tied to house cyber user rules that express your family values (such as honesty, integrity, love, courtesy) and respect for the individual.
Placer County Sheriff Detective, Rich Gray, has observed that parents are relatively clueless about what is happening with their children, and it does not surprise him.
“Mobile phones are challenging,” Gray said. “The kids have access to sites that prey on their insecurities.” Gray described the problem with Craig’s list, for example, with the personal ads trolling for innocent and needy kids: “Father figure looking for daddy’s little girl.”
Helen Norris is the Associate Chief Information Officer, Information Resources & Technology at California State University, Sacramento. She expresses great concern for the security of children because the technology makes it difficult to monitor. “The relationship with your child is so important now, and our lifestyles are so hectic it is very difficult,” Norris said.
According to Norris, the best approach is strategic. “If you do not allow ‘closed doors’ with regard to the use of cyber tools, then it is possible to monitor the tone and tenor of friendships and information,” Norris said. “Keep an ‘open door policy’ with teens and mobile phones.”
An “open door policy” for your family can be expressed as a part of your family value of honesty. No secrets, no surprises.
- Parenting in the network
- Parental authority in the network culture (Joanna’s book available on Kindle $2.99)
- Helen Norris, CSUS
- Detective Rich Gray, Placer County Sheriff ‘s Department
- CyberParenting Topics on The Fish 103.9FM Tuesdays
- Follow Joanna @CyberParenting
- Like Banana Moments
- Like Three Moms and a Mike