If you’re a parent, you’ve most likely already dealt with an issue regarding your child online. So many mistakes can be made without even realizing it. Anything from enticement, personal information distribution, to suggestive material can turn into a real nightmare. So what’s a parent to do in these situations?
Step One: Discuss what happened
Don’t yell, but be firm. Your child probably won’t be comfortable or willing to speak on the matter, but whatever occurred has to be discussed in depth. Any situation involving enticement to images in sexual nature, shall be addressed and brought to the attention of the local authorities immediately. Unfortunately, so many parents fail to do this in a timely manner or at all. If your child has become a victim, make a police report immediately.
Step Two: Confiscate their phone
This one will most likely lead to arguing, fighting and hateful words. Kids are strongly attached to their phones, but as a parent, you must know exactly what your child is involved in and stop possible issues from occurring, especially after an incident. After you’ve made a police report, offer the phone as a form of evidence. You are the parent, do what you feel is right and best for the situation.
Step Three: Cooperate with police
When police become involved, it’s never a positive day. Question after question, searching through phones, accounts and possibly even the house make it seem like your privacy is gone. Let the police do their job and refrain from asking them to leave. Once they’re involved, they can’t just stop their investigation. They will be your best ally in the case.
Step Four: Learn from the experience
Once all problems have ended, police have ended their case and are no longer a hot topic, discussions with the family are the best. Discuss what happened, how to prevent it and hope they’ve learned from the hard lesson.
As a parent, you’re completely responsible for all of the activity your child participates in and observes online. There’s nothing wrong with asking your child what they’re doing and periodically going through their device. Furthermore, ensure the applications on their device are safe in nature and do not pose a security risk to anyone. If you spot questionable content, such as older friends not in their age group, don’t hesitate to block them. After all, we’re talking about your child’s safety here.