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Online Photo Safety for Kids

Online Photo Safety for Kids

online safety for kids

Online photo safety for kids should be on every parent’s mind.  It’s not uncommon nowadays for photos of children to be posted online before they are even born, but is it safe?  Announcing your pregnancy by posting a baby scan is a ‘thing’ on Facebook and Twitter. It doesn’t stop once there, a recent survey found that an average parent will post almost 1,000 photos of their child online before he or she turns five.  We live in an age of “sharenting,’ so we have to learn how to navigate this new trend in a safe manner.

Our children learn most from watching us and copying what we do.  If you want your child to only post photos when they have the consent of the people in them, ask their permission before posting photos of them. Likewise, if they ask you to remove a photo that they find embarrassing, take it down. The chances are your child will do the same if they find themselves in a similar situation.

There are no hard and fast rules for this topic, however, there are some things to consider before you hit the share button:

online safety for kids
Edit your life:

Be selective about what you share online.  Don’t post photos of everything that happens in your life no matter how cute you think your child looks in them.  Think twice about sharing photos taken in bathroom and bedroom settings. You can’t control the context in which the photos will be seen.

Ask yourself will this photo cause my child embarrassment now or in the future?

Everything we post online creates a digital footprint and for young people maintaining a good online reputation is becoming increasingly important. Parents should consider any long-term risks of sharing photos of their children online. Some photographs have the potential to go viral.

Check Your Settings:

Social networks regularly update settings, so it is important to review your settings. If you are a regular user of Facebook, the social network allows users to do a Privacy Checkup which makes it very easy for users to understand who they are sharing content with.

 

Who will see my photos?

Ensure you are happy with your privacy settings and understand who may potentially see your images. It is a good idea to regularly review your friend/connections on social networks. Some networks, for example, Facebook allow users to limit/customize who they share posts with.  Some things will always be public. Parents should beware that some posts/photos are always public for example; Twitter profile photos, Facebook cover images and featured photos.

Is your location service disabled? 

Many social networks and apps allow you to share your location. Some people may not be aware that this function is automatically enabled on some apps and networks.  Consider reviewing this when sharing family photos.

I realize that we ultimately want that ‘connection’ with people- to share our lives, our families, our children, and a great way to do this is through posting photos on social media and online.  The virtual world has brought us an entirely new way of interacting and connecting with others, but we just want to ensure that we do so in the safest way possible. 

Let’s do it responsibly, and you will find that if they say, “a picture is worth a thousand words,” we will be sharing beautiful novels with our friends, families and loved ones every time we post our cherished photos!

For more information, check out these resources:

Help Your Kids Be Prepared for Accidents!

At the park or playing ball – your kids can be prepared for the sun AND accidents with a first aid kit designed exclusively with you and your kids in mind.  

Check out PreparaKit.com for kits and tools created for busy parents who want to be ready for the unexpected.

Child Safety in the ‘Online World’

Child Safety in the ‘Online World’

online safety for kids

How do we keep children safe in the ‘online world?  I know the ‘ordinary world’ we live in can be extremely difficult to navigate (especially with kids).  The ‘virtual world’ is no different.   Our responsibility can get even more complicated as parents.  It makes me wonder how can we protect our children effectively in this ‘brave new world?’  How are we supposed to keep them safe from something that is nearly impossible to control?

Online Safety Tips for Kids:

I didn’t have a guide for how to handle the internet with my children, but now I do.  Check out my top internet preparation tips to make sure going online is a positive experience for both you and your kids:

online safety for kids

1. Discover the Internet together

Be the one to introduce your child to the internet, because for both us as parents and children  it is an advantage to discover the internet together.  Try to find websites that are exciting and fun so that together you achieve a positive attitude when it comes to surfing the web.  This could make it easier to share both positive and negative experiences in the future so that your children will come to you for anything.

2. Set rules with your child for Internet use 

Try to reach an agreement with your child on the guidelines which apply to Internet use in your household. 

  • Discuss when and for how long it’s acceptable for your child to use the Internet.
  • Agree on how to treat personal information (name, address, telephone, e-mail).
  • Discuss how to behave towards others when gaming, chatting, e-mailing or messaging.
  • Agree on what type of sites and activities are OK or not OK in your family.
  • Follow the rules yourself! Or at least explain why the rules are different for adults.

3. Encourage your child to be careful when disclosing personal information

A simple rule for younger children should be that the child should not give out their name, phone number or photo without your approval.  Older children using social networking sites like Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, should be encouraged to be selective about what personal information and photos they post to online spaces.  Regardless of privacy settings, once material is online you can no longer control who sees it or how it’s used.

4. Talk about the risks associated with meeting online “friends” in person

Adults should understand that the internet can be a positive meeting place for children, where they can get to know other young people and make new friends.  However, for safety and to avoid unpleasant experiences, it is important that children do not meet strangers they have met online without being accompanied by an adult you trust.  In any case, the child should always have their parents’ approval first.  In addition, it’s also a good idea to have a fool-proof plan in place such as calling them shortly after the meeting begins so that they can bail out if they feel uncomfortable.

5. Teach your child about evaluating information and being critically aware of information found online. 

Most children use the internet to improve and develop their knowledge in relation to schoolwork and personal interests.  Children should be aware that not all information found online is correct, accurate or relevant.  Show your child how to check the information they find by comparing it to alternative sources on the same topic.  Show them trusted sites they can use to compare their information.

 

6. Don’t be too critical towards your child’s exploration of the Internet

Children may come across adult material by accident on the web.  Also, a child may intentionally search for such websites; remember that it is natural for children to be curious about off-limits material.  Try to use this as an opening to discuss the content with them, and perhaps make rules for this kind of activity.  We have to be careful but also realistic in our assessment of how your child uses the internet.

 

7. Let your children show you what they like to do online

To be able to guide your child with regard to Internet use, it’s important to understand how children use the Internet and know what they like to do online.  Let your child show you which websites they like visiting and what they do there.

 

8. Remember that the positive aspects of the Internet outweigh the negatives.

The Internet is an excellent educational and recreational resource for children, so encourage your child to make the most of it and explore the internet to its full potential.

As we know, the internet is now part of our culture and it is here to stay.  Since it is such a valuable resource for us as parents in many positive ways, it’s not something we should be fighting against, rather something that we need to embrace with our children in a healthy way.   If we help them to develop these good online habits at an early age, these practices will stay with them through their adult lives and will help them to form a positive relationship with the internet, making their virtual world a healthy and safe reality. 

As always, I’d love to hear which blogs resonate most with you!  Feel free to reach out and message me on Facebook & Instagram!

 

For more information, check out these resources:

Help Your Kids Be Prepared for Accidents!

At the park or playing ball – your kids can be prepared for the sun AND accidents with a first aid kit designed exclusively with you and your kids in mind.  

Check out PreparaKit.com for kits and tools created for busy parents who want to be ready for the unexpected.

Bully Proofing Kids

Bully Proofing Kids

When I was in elementary school, I was made fun of quite a bit because I looked and dressed differently. Thankfully it never went any further than name calling. 

But even with just that, those childhood memories are still ingrained in me. And I’m not the only one. It seems more and more that we’re hearing about people who were bullied in much the same way as children.

Kids can be so mean and hurtful and the bad part is, they may not even realize they are doing it. They either haven’t had someone to teach them that the behavior is unacceptable, or they haven’t learned exactly how to behave properly. 

One thing I knew for sure about having kids of my own was that I was going to make sure they knew how to stand up for themselves and even more important, that they aren’t the ones being the bully.

Some things I emphasize with my kids on an ongoing basis about bullying:

  1. Utilize teachable moments (i.e. tv/movie bullying scenes, real life examples). This is a great way to engage them in a conversation about what their thoughts are when watching these scenes and how it should have been handled.
  2. Ignore the kids that aren’t being nice. Most of the time, bullies will only continue to bother you if they know they can get a reaction from you. If you ignore them, they will move on and leave you alone.
  3. Engage your kids in activities that boosts their confidence and self-esteem. This can include sports and other extra-curriculars that help give them confidence. But it can also be from giving them tasks and jobs around the house, helping them get that boost of accomplishment.

On the other hand, what’s even more important is that my kids know it’s never ok to treat others badly. With that in mind, I ask them to remember that they should always:

  1. Be kind
  2. Be helpful
  3. Be considerate
  4. Stand up for others
  5. Not say anything if they don’t have any nice to say
  6. Put yourself in the shoes of others and ask yourself if you would want that to happen to you

Help Your Kids Be Prepared for Accidents!

At the park or playing ball – your kids can be prepared for the sun AND accidents with a first aid kit designed exclusively with you and your kids in mind.  

Check out PreparaKit.com for kits and tools created for busy parents who want to be ready for the unexpected.

The Importance of Teaching Kids to Be Independent

The Importance of Teaching Kids to Be Independent

Would you agree that kids tend to give up too easily?

 

My kids sure do.

Take my daughter and her homework for example. When she gets stuck on a problem, she gets really frustrated and whines about how she cannot figure it out.

She ends up sitting there, pouting…which leads to no homework being done.

So, what does mommy or daddy do? We come over and tell her how to do it. Which is all fine
and dandy because we do want her to know that we’re there for her when she needs help.

The problem was in how we, as her parents, were helping her.

Instead of guiding her into figuring out the solution to the problem herself, we were essentially giving her the answers.

Instead of having her attempt to talk out loud her thought process to figure out where she is
actually getting stuck and what exactly she doesn’t understand, we tend to jump in a little too early.

Anyone else guilty of jumping in too soon to help their kids?

She was not thinking for herself.  What kids these days are missing is that critical thinking component.  

Here are a few ways we take away from our kids’ independence:

  • Tell them the answer right away
  • Do it for them
  • Tell them how we think the task should be done

 

Ways we let kids think for themselevs and become more independent:

  • Ask your kids to explain what they’re stuck on
  • Give kids questions to think about as a way to guide them on what they need to ask themselves next to figure the problem out

 

One thing I’m working on with my kids is how to manage their time, especially in the morning.

Now this didn’t happen overnight, but we’ve gotten them on a morning routine that they are now used to.

They wake up, brush their teeth, get dressed, make their beds, come downstairs, get their backpacks ready to go, unload the dishwasher and eat breakfast.

My daughter does not like being tardy but she’s probably the one that drags her feet the most.

Most days she is good about getting her list done.  Some days, like today, we’re twenty minutes from needing to leave the house and she has barely walked down the stairs.  

Normally, I would jump in and remind them of the time and how they’ll be late if they don’t hurry up.

Nope!

This time, I just let them be.  

Eventually one of them noticed what time it was, and they got their act together.

We made it to school with 1 minute to spare but the entire time during the car ride there, they were quite nervous.  Especially when we had to stop at each red light.

But the lesson here is that if I don’t let them figure things out for themselves and learn things the hard way, then I am not doing them any favors.

The quicker I let them fail and learn from their mistakes, the better it is for them in the long run.

An excellent example I got from another mom that I’m starting to implement with my own kids now is what I call, the Power of 3.

If they have a problem, they need to figure out for themselves three different ways they can solve that problem before coming to an adult to get help.  

This could be anything.  The key is that when they come asking for help, they need to list out the three things they did to figure it out for themselves.

This promotes independence, self-reliance, critical thinking, problem solving skills, and confidence while preventing co-dependency, low self-esteem and lack of confidence. And who doesn’t want that for our kids?

Help Your Kids Be Prepared for Accidents!

At the park or playing ball – your kids can be prepared for the sun AND accidents with a first aid kit designed exclusively with you and your kids in mind.  

Check out PreparaKit.com for kits and tools created for busy parents who want to be ready for the unexpected.

Insights On the Helicopter Parent Movement

Insights On the Helicopter Parent Movement

Are you a helicopter parent to your kids?

A lot of moms nowadays identify as a helicopter parent because they want to keep their kids safe. You may sometimes restrict your kids’ movement to ensure their safety, but this doesn’t always equate to helicopter parenting. In my opinion, there’s a big difference between being a helicopter parent and making sure that your kids are safe.

Worrying for your child’s safety is what any responsible parent would do, but going to extreme measures is another story.

Being overprotective and overbearing like any other helicopter parent may be detrimental in the long run. You need to identify the difference between what is a helicopter parent from that of a responsible one.

By doing so, you are letting your child grow, but what is a helicopter parent, exactly?

 

What is a Helicopter Parent?

 

Learning the traits of what a helicopter parent is can be helpful in avoiding becoming/being one. Here is a list of what I think a helicopter parent does:

  1. Doing things for your kids even if they are capable of doing it on their own.
  2. Setting impossibly high standards on your kids.
  3. Not allowing your kids to do what they want even if they are in a perfectly safe environment.
  4. Stopping your kids from experiencing new things because of your irrational fear of the outcomes.
  5. Making decisions for your kids as much as you can.

Do any of the items in the list resonate to you?

I get it, a lot of us can relate to some items on the list, and it’s perfectly normal. We want to make sure our kids have everything they need since It’s our motherly instinct kicking in!

While these feelings are normal, acting on them by being overbearing and overprotective to your kids isn’t gonna help.

 

Effects of Helicopter Parents to their Kids

 

We have the tendency to overlook what the effects of helicopter parents to their kids are and become one, ourselves.

Now that we’ve clarified what is a helicopter parent, learning on the effects of helicopter parents to kids comes next.  

Commonly, the effects of helicopter parents to their kids include:

  1. Their kids become indecisive and helpless.
  2. Their kids have low self-esteem
  3. Their kids finding it difficult to cope
  4. Their kids become too dependent on others and,
  5. Their kids become entitled

These traits may be common in younger children, but these shouldn’t persist as they grow into their adult lives. Hence, it is important to identify early on if you are a helicopter parent or not to prevent these effects.

Are you a Helicopter Parent, or not?

 

There is no perfect parenting style in the world, so we shouldn’t be too hard on ourselves. More so, we shouldn’t be too hard on our kids as well.

I believe we should assess our parenting styles frequently to come up with an effective style that best fits our kids. By learning what a helicopter parent is and the effects of helicopter parents to their kids, you can adjust accordingly.

We want our kids to grow holistically and become successful, and these things can only be achieved through experience. As Julius Cesar once said, “experience is a great teacher..”  and we shouldn’t be afraid to let our kids learn.

If we let them learn, we are giving them the opportunity to grow into the best citizens that they can be.

Are you a helicopter parent, or not? What are your thoughts on it?

I’d love to hear them; just leave me a message or make a comment below.