Tips for Parents

General Advice on how to react

Fear of a parent's reaction drives children away from a parent and into the arms of the predator.

 

Therefore:

Assure your child that you love them, no matter what they may have seen or done online.

The predator wants to convince your child that they are a loving friend or even romantic partner.  Your child must believe that you love them even more.

 

Assure your child that they can tell you anything about their online activity.

The predator wants to convince your child they are safe and can be trusted.  Your child must believe that you are even more safe and trustworthy.

 

Keep your cool, no matter what you see or hear.

The predator wants to convince your child they are kind and won't get angry at them.  Your child must believe you won't direct any anger at them personally, even if you're upset at the situation.

 

Taking away your child's online access as a punishment will make your child hide her online activity from you in the future.

The predator wants to keep their online relationship secret.  Fear of punishment will make your child want to keep secrets.

 

Avoid shaming or judging your child when they make an online mistake.

The predator won't judge your child; he will act understanding.  Your child needs to believe that you are even more understanding.

 

Make sure your child knows that you are on THEIR side.

The predator wants to drive a wedge between you and your child. Don't help him drive a wedge.

 

General Advice on how to talk to your child

If you lecture your child about "stranger danger" they will roll their eyes, stop listening, and tell you they already know how to be safe online.

 

Show an interest in what your child is looking at online.  Spend some time watching online with them.

Ask: "Who are your favorite internet stars?  Let's look at some of their posts."

 

Learn about their social media habits.

Ask: "What social media do you watch?  Can you show me?"

Ask: "What social media accounts do you have?  Can you show me?"

 

Learn about how their social media accounts work.

Ask: 'How do you comment on your friends' posts?  Can you show me how?"

Ask: "How do your friends contact you online?  Can you show me how?"

Ask: "Who can see your posts?  Do you keep any private?"

 

Learn about your child's sense of safety

Ask: "What do you do when someone you don't know contacts you online?  Has that ever happened?"

Ask: "How would you know if someone online wasn't who they say they are?  Has that ever happened?"

Ask "If you sensed something was wrong, what would you do?  Will you promise to tell me?"

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