WebSafety is a FREE app for parents to monitor social media and web browsing on mobile devices.
Your kids have the potential to make the world a better place, and your parenting can help them. On the other hand, if you're not there to guide them when they make wrong turns, their paths may lead to darker places. Show them the light by teaching your children these 10 ways to be better people.
Welcome scary things (sometimes)
An unusual idea shouldn't be pushed away simply because it is new. Teach your children that rejecting something they don't understand could mean they are losing something great. Perhaps they'll even come across ideas that are new to you. Take the opportunity to learn about them together and decide if it's something your children need in their lives.
Stop spreading lies
Technology can spread ideas and positivity as well as lies and hatred. Teach your children how to pick out the best from the rest. Show them examples of how misleading information can be shared, even by people with good intentions - you can, no doubt, find countless examples on your Facebook timeline. Demonstrate that the truth is more important than "winning" in conversations about other people and ideas.
Don't be a bully
Bullying is a common discussion because, unfortunately, it happens so much. The problem worsens if you defend your children for bullying others instead of teaching them to be better people. Help them understand that starting mean rumors can be just as bad as punching in the school hallways. Coach your kids to stand up for anyone who is being bullied, especially if the bully is a friend.
Learn to read the TV
Teaching children media literacy simply means teaching them to understand the messages from media. For example, a commercial they watch may use a famous song to imply a product is popular, when it has nothing to do with the product. If children understand that, they will do better in our media-saturated culture. Resources, such as Media Literacy Now, have ideas parents can use to raise media literate children.
Some friends aren't forever
You want your children surrounded by happy influences, while also being loyal friends during hard times. If a friend needs help, they should do what they can as long as it isn't hurting anyone, including themselves. Otherwise, it may be time to let go of that friend. That doesn't mean your child should be unkind; rather, they need to do what is right for themselves and the people they love.
You display the habits you want to see in your children, so let one of those habits focus on how to deal with mistakes. Being a good person does not happen by being flawless; it comes from admitting to and correcting errors. Instead of insisting your children (or you) be perfect, show them how amazing people admit they're wrong sometimes, and then they keep trying.
Tell me what you find online
You can both track your children's online activity and keep an open dialogue, so they come to you if they stumble across questionable material. If you keep calm, your kids will know they can tell you anything. When they do, you can explain why they should avoid certain websites or talk about something that may be new and innocent. Either way, you can feel safe knowing you've created a home with honest communication.
Say 'no' when your friends say 'yes'
Pressure can be subtle, and it's not always a case of right or wrong (although, sometime it is). Occasionally, it's just about your children choosing what they want to do, as opposed to what others want to do. Advise your children when to say "no," such as when offered a cigarette, and when to listen to different viewpoints and choose what they want, even if not everyone feels the same way.
The Internet is not your life
This will need to be emphasized with reminders and your example. While the Web should be used and enjoyed, you can tell your children that society is made up of people, not pixels. Ask them to look up from their screens (or, preferably, to put down their phones) and focus on the world around them.
I'm always here for you
On their best days, worst days and in between days, children should be able to rely on you for comfort and advice. Show them with actions, not just words, that they can depend on you.
Your kids need your guidance and direction. WebSafety is an app dedicated to helping parents start conversations with kids about what they are doing online and where he or she is physically.
One important tool is their www feature, which allows you to track all the URLs your child visits. When inappropriate websites are detected, you'll receive alerts. Visit WebSafety to see all the features available.
Jenna Koford is on the content team at FamilyShare. She graduated with a degree in Communications—Journalism and a minor in editing. Jenna enjoys painting and calligraphy, planning a wedding, and Pinterest and Netflix.