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Internet Safety: My Kid Won't Follow the Rules!

Sep 10, 2008
Internet Safety? Is you child on the Internet? If they are, I hope you have internet safety rules already in place. If you do, how well is your child following them?

Your child following the rules you set up for them when they are online is as important as knowing basic Internet safety practices.

Not following your internet safety rules should be treated as seriously as wearing a seat belt any time they get into a car. Its about being as safe and preventative as they can be.

Kids will break the rules for any number of reason. First, you need to find out what the reason was for the breach of the rules. If they simply forgot, reinforce them, one-by-one, again.

Two, clear up any mis-communication and expectations. Be sure that they are clear on your rules. Make sure they understand, in their language, what it is you are setting in place for them to follow. Be clear, give examples, and have them mirror back or repeat back to you what they hear and interpret the rules to be. Be gentle but firm. Then, restate that you want them to start following the rules right away.

If your child still isn't following your internet safety rules all of the way, one final warning is in order. Let them know that there are serious consequences to their actions. However, if you suspect that your child is communicating with strangers online, like those who may be sexual predators, bypass the final warnings, as your child may already be in over their head.

A valid response for repeated rules violations is banning your child from using the Internet. This is the strictest form of punishment and likely the one that will send the clearest message. If your child must use the internet for school, like for a school research project, only let them do so when you are sitting right next to them.

You can also block the websites that you want to keep your child away from. Blocking websites intentionally because you child won't follow your rules however, does not teach them to take a serious subject like Internet Safety seriously. It puts you in the role of being a cop and watchdog. They may then lack the skills and attention and responsibility for their own safety when they get back online.

You might consider a "middle ground" where they use the computer for a period of time when you are home or in the room. If they have their own computer, make them relocate it into a well traveled area, such as your living room. They could have these restrictions until they demonstrate they can and will follow your rules you put in place as their parent, for solid internet safety.
About the Author
Joyce Jackson is a #1 Interneational Bestselling author and child safety expert. For her great esafety tips for busy parents go to eChild Safety .
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