It's summer and school is out... where are your kids? My toddler is doing pretty much the same thing now as when school was in session, only more of it with Daddy now that HE is done with school for the summer. :)
But if your kids are spending more time online now that it's summer, here are some resources and tips to help keep them safe (and these suggestions are good reminders of things to do for ourselves, too!), courtesy of the Google Family Safety Center.
Keep the family computer in a public area of the home and set boundaries for when and where kids can use their own personal internet devices. And then allow yourself to think "back in the day..." about the fact that your child has his or her own personal internet device.
Set reasonable expectations and restrictions for your child's internet use, in particular social network use. Rather than completely pulling the plug, restricting access and setting expectations for internet use helps kids learn what is safe (and what it not) online, as well as keeping lines of communication open between you.
Talk to your kids about what they are doing online. Their answers will be much more accurate than the latest study, and talking with them allows you to have an open discussion about what behaviors are acceptable online -- and the fact that an online reputation can affect other areas of their lives, too, even when they don't think it will. :)
Support ethical and kind behaviors in all areas of life, virtual and not. Kids who are kind in real life are much less likely to be bullies online. Good choices are good choices, no matter what arena they are made in. Likewise for bad choices...
Help your child set appropriate privacy settings on social networks and help him or her understand what information is okay to share and what is not -- especially when it comes to information like family Social Security numbers, street addresses, financial information, and other personal information.
Use available resources to your advantage, such as Google's safe search, YouTube's safety mode, your browser's history, and internet filtering services.
So, there's your summer internet safety refresher course. Don't forget to also brush up on water safety, outdoor safety, bike safety, travel safety... sheesh, summer is a dangerous place... ;) Happy and safe summer!
Lu (or Lorene if you prefer) is the mom of one squirmy boy and the wife of a singing and dancing elementary teacher. She is the proud author of this weekly Wednesdays on the Web (WotW) segment here on Housewife Eclectic and spends the other days of the week blogging about crafts and whatever else comes up at just Lu.