It's not what you might think it’s about. It's not even a single, now-you-get-it conversation. It's an ongoing, long-term conversation families need to have about safe, constructive use of the Net and communications devices because both kids and technology keep changing. Marian Merritt, Symantec's chief online-safety evangelist, recently wrote about it, and I agree with her: "Your goal," she suggests to parents, "is to understand how your child is using technology, recognize any potential risk factors that need addressing and ensure you are the person your child can go to if something weird should happen when they are on the Web." All of that's important, especially that last point, because research shows that kids don't talk to parents about bad stuff that happens online, and we need to do everything possible to encourage them to. Merritt offers talking points for "the talk(s)" in the form of some questions you can start off with, but don't forget another good bit of advice: "Have the conversation during a quiet time when there are no time pressures," have the online computer at hand in case you want to check things out together, and "keep the chat neutral, not confrontational" so your child will continue the conversation willingly the next time!
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NetFamilyNews – by Anne Collier
- What are we really seeing in the social media fishbowl?
- Spoiler alert: Kid loves teaching Twitter to Dad
- At the IGF: Youth participation = greater youth e-safety
- Enabling peer protection: Knowledge is empowerment
- Millennials’ changing social media use: Survey
- Heard of Twitch? Amazon has!
- Dealing with the nasties online
- Leadership in bullying prevention and so much more
Analysis & News – by Larry Magid
- High school kids show strong support for First Amendment
- UN bringing child rights into the digital age
- IGF attendees complain about censorship in Turkey while some advocate it for youth
- Internet Governance Forum topics include human rights, network neutrality and child protection
- Protecting children online needs to allow for their right to free speech
- It’s time for schools to upgrade both technology and pedagogy
- Why Google (and Facebook) should admit kids under 13
- As Ferguson struggles, Georgia teens create app to rate police departments