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Be An Informed Parent: We Need More Informers In Our Homes

Apr 25, 2008
I recently discovered that the Internal Revenue Service is a Proud Partner with the National Center For Missing & Exploited Children. On the back of one of their publications was a picture of two enhanced composite images of a brother and sister who would be young adults aged 22 and 20 today. In the corner of the scientifically enhanced images were their respective photos as small children. They have been missing for twenty years as of November, 2007.

I do not know any of the circumstances about the case of these missing children. I can only imagine the heartache of their parents over these past 20 years. And it challenged me to do a reality check, and visit The National Center For Missing & Exploited Children?

How do parents keep their children safe? Are parents aware of the danger signs to watch for? Most parents talk to their children about "not talking to strangers". How do parents define "a stranger"? As parents we certainly would not let a stranger into our home where we believe our children are SAFE. We inform our children not to open the door to strangers!

What about people who call on the phone. Your child may not know the person speaking as a stranger. As a matter of fact, the person may say "I am a friend of your mommy or daddy". Most children have no way of knowing who all of mommy and daddy's friends are. Usually children are given some instructions to limit any information they give to a caller over the phone. What instructions have you given your children?

The lingering question for parents is "are you doing everything possible to keep your children safe, especially in your own home? Are they safely protected from strangers while at home? After thinking about this question parents convince themselves that they are, and get a good night's sleep.

The internet has changed our lives, the way we communicate, the way we do business, the way we gather information, and the way we learn. Children today learn to use the internet as a part of the modern learning curriculum. Children learn to communicate with each other on cell phones and computers using text messages and emails.

Many of their parents grew up without the internet. Computers were not a part of their education, and seemed too complicated to learn, or were too expensive for the family budget. Basically parents may have left the computer and its use to the modern generation.

As concerned parents for your children's safety, you wouldn't knowingly invite a stranger into your home, and jeopardize the safety of your children. But did you know that by having a computer connected to the internet in your home, you have left the door wide open for hundreds of strangers to come into your home.

On my visit to the "National Center For Missing & Exploited Children's" website I learned from their "Child Pornography Fact Sheet" that "individuals looking for potential child victims online have no difficulty finding them". The Fact Sheet continues to state: "It is quite common for these individuals to frequent "kids only" chatrooms and communicate with children who unwittingly divulge personal information about themselves and their family. A more recent phenomenon is the solicitation of sex over the Internet.

Do you know who your kids are talking to on the internet? Do they know who they are talking to on the internet? There are too many stories and pictures of missing children in this country not to take the time to find a program that will give you, the parent, the information you need to protect your child from predators on the internet.

When growing up, a tattletale was someone who told adults, usually one's parents or one's teacher, that someone did "something wrong"; and the kid, would get in trouble, and be punished for whatever he/she did wrong. The definition for 'tattletale' is 'informer'. Parents appreciated a tattletale, especially if the information prevented their child from getting into serious trouble or being harmed in any way. Kids saw a tattletale as a "snitch". They both mean the same thing.

As a parent you may be looking for a "snitch" if you have a computer in your home. Someone who can tell you where your child has been on the internet, and who they have "chatted with". Your child's safety is Number One Priority.

The internet is a wonderful place to access information, and it's all there at one's finger tips. No matter how good your children are; remember children are always curious. Curiosity and wonderment got Adam and Eve in trouble, and it still can get people in trouble today. Predators or adult sexual-oriented sites have been known to use children's interest names such as "disney" or "dolls" for their websites. Children in their simplicity can be easily manipulated by predators with promises of different things like gifts or money.

Parents, use this as a wake-up call. Keep your children safe. They are your precious gift. You may have thought you were doing all the right things to protect your children. Yet you may want to find a good "Parental Control Snitch" to keep a watchful eye over your children's use of the computer when you are not able to be there. Talk to your children as well about the information they give to strangers on the internet.
About the Author
Robert A. Walsh is the owner and webmaster of www.robertwalshkidsclothing.com and an Ezine Articles expert author. He writes articles on many different subjects including family issues that relate to his website. He offers practical advice how to save money on shopping, saving up to half off.
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