When it comes to technology, students are more connected than ever. But there also seems to be a serious disconnect between what kids and parents think about teens online activity.
A recent survey of online teens conducted for the Cybersecurity Alliance found that 6 of 10 students had created social media accounts without their parents knowledge. But only 28 percent of parents suspected their offspring had secret accounts.
This suggests a lot of parents are just plain oblivious of their kids’ online sneakiness. And other findings are equally troubling.
While two-thirds of parents expected their kids would report any online incident that made them uncomfortable, only one-third of students said they would report such incidents. And just under half of the teens said they’d seek their parents help for problems online compared to the 65 percent of moms and dads who expected their teens to share their online problems with them “most” or “all the time.”
This confusion between what teens and parents think about online conduct suggests that parents need to be more proactive in preparing their kids for the challenges of having access to the world through devices that fit in our pockets.
One strategy is to establish a history of discussing technology with you by racking as many positive interactions related to online life before your kids are faced with a crisis. The better they feel about talking to you about tech, the better chances they’ll reach out to you when they’re facing a real crisis.
What’s a better excuse to talk technology than when you’re send your kid back to school?
Here are few topics of discussion to consider before the first class begins.
An open and honest conversation reduces chances that a uncomfortable situation online will become a crisis.
So before your kids go back to school, start talking about how important it is to you that they connect safely, especially when you’re not watching them.
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