How many dangers do our kids face each day? The world is constantly evolving and is pretty scary when you think about it.
For example, something as simple as a paring knife can be used as a weapon or a tool – it all depends. A knife is sharp and has the potential to harm. It depends on the intent on how it is used. It could be used for bad purposes - to deface something or to harm someone. But it also depends on training. As parents, we train our kids in knife skills so they don’t cut themselves.
The same can be said for the internet and social media. It is a powerful tool, but danger lurks everywhere online. Any online interaction with the wrong intent poses a threat to our kids. Training and parental supervision are of the utmost importance.
My kids are digital natives. They are comfortable in this electronic world. They’ve grown up in the midst of it, using computers is second-nature and their cell phones have almost become another appendage.
I, on the other hand, am not a native. I’ll admit it, electronic gadgets and gizmos can be frustrating, confusing and intimidating. But I’d like to think I have become a digital immigrant. Some people may choose not to actively participate in online communities, but I feel as a parent of teenage daughters, it isn’t a choice for me. I am active in various social media communities and keep a close eye on what my girls are up to.
There are some who would say to just not let your children have access to the internet, or limit it through filters. Sort of like not letting them use a paring knife because they might cut themselves. I think this is unreasonable and more of a disservice to the youngsters. It’s more important to teach them the right and wrong than to try to shield them from it completely.
We can’t protect our kids from the dangers they will encounter in the world, online or virtual. We can only try to give them the tools they’ll need to be successful and prepare them for what they might face to help them make good decisions and choices.