Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Parent Pledge: Talk About Internet Safety


Parenting wired kids can be difficult, especially if you didn't grow up with the same technologies. These resources can help.

That is a statement from NetSmartz.org, a program developed by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and sponsored by Walmart, Microsoft and a host of other big names.

I learned about NetSmartz from my children's elementary school computer teacher. She taught Internet safety lessons in her classroom last fall using the program. My girls loved the lessons, and told me about the funny cartoon characters featured in the safety videos when they got home from school. I hope through these lessons some seeds of Internet safety and responsibility were planted, and I hope the lessons will continue at school.

The program is not just for teachers, however. A parent can use the resources on the NetSmartz site and even request a kit to be mailed to your home.

So here is another parent pledge. Let's commit to talking to our kids about Internet safety and digital citizenship. We can teach through the NetSmartz lessons or from our own experiences. As parents, we've been encouraged to talk to our kids about the dangers of alcohol, drugs and cigarettes while our children are young; teaching about online safety issues should be added to the list.

Parent Pledge #2: I will talk to my kids about Internet safety.

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