Who Are Your Kids Online With Really

We all want to give our kids the benefit of the doubt. We`ve imparted good values, set boundaries, and done our best to raise them. However, sometimes they might choose friends that we wouldn`t approve of, friends that cause trouble either in school, at home, or with other kids.

Worse yet, they might influence your child to lean in that direction as well. So you set boundaries and tell your son or daughter that you don`t want them to socialize with that person. You can`t watch over them while they are in school, so you sure do hope that they obey your words which are in their best interest.

Now we know that technology has made some things better for us, but it`s made some things worse too. It has made it easier for kids to stay in touch with anyone they want, even those kids you would rather they stay away from. They can text, email, or instant message anyone while you are just a few feet away, completely unaware. In that regard, technology can undermine your requests for your child to avoid socializing with the not so wholesome kid or group of kids. You have a right to know what is going on in your kid`s life. The risks of not knowing are just too high.

They probably aren`t going to tell you everything, but there could be things you need to be aware of to keep them on the right track. Not to be an alarmist, but there some realities to be dealt with. Kids seem to spend more time online more than ever before. Facebook and YouTube present possibilities for rumors to get out of control wreaking havoc in a kid`s life. Some chat rooms and bulletin boards have a reputation for exploiting kids. Bottom line statistics are: 86% of children chat online without their parents` knowledge.

64% of teens do things they don`t want their parents to know about. 50% of teens communicate online with someone they have never met. 30% of teenage girls are sexually solicited inside a chat room. 58% of parents monitor what their child does in online chat rooms. Guess what? Technology is on our side as well.

There is software designed to record emails, reveal websites visited, and provide you with screen shots of their online activity. This might seem invasive, but if you have a hunch that your child is hanging out with a bad crowd behind your back, taking a passive approach can yield some unfortunate consequences. This software that I`m talking about runs undetected and can email you the results to another computer or the one you use while you`re at work.

You can at least have the peace of mind that you know what you need to know. This type of online reporting software is useful for younger teenagers as well because it will protect them from online predators. What if your child unknowingly has a conversation with an online predator and got convinced to meet face to face? It`s a nightmare you don`t want to consider.

There have been news stories about this very scenario, where kids have gone missing and police find the chat on the computer. But monitoring programs would send you an email of the whole chat immediately after it happens. You avoid the worst and simply block that site forever. The monitoring programs I am referring to are very user friendly and are compatible with just about all internet service providers, even AOL. In the end, you get to know for sure about what is going on in your child`s life even if they don`t want to tell you. It`s our job and commitment to keep them safe, loved, and protected from harmful situations that just don`t need to happen.

In the bio box there`s a link that explains the specifics about how this type of technology can keep you in the know.

Louise Greene is a freelance writer and researcher. One visit to her site and every parent of a teenager will find information that can guarantee online safety.

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