How many times a day do you remind your kids to say “Please” or “Thank you”? How often do you teach them how to address one another and other adults in conversation? Do they know the "stranger" rule? We always hold hands when crossing the street. These rules and guidelines take an entire childhood to teach and learn. Internet safety guidelines and online etiquette rules should have the same place in everyday conversation.
Make sure your children know and understand your house rules for using the internet. They should know that house rules apply wherever they are using a computer. Start simple and address more complicated issues as your children get older. Here are some simple guidelines you can use to teach your kids to be safe online:
- I will not give out personal information
- I will tell my parents right away if I come across any information that makes me uncomfortable.
- I will never agree to get together with someone I "meet" online
- I will never send a person my picture or anything else without first checking with my parents.
- I will not respond to any messages that are mean or in any way makes me feel uncomfortable. It is not my fault if I get a message like that. If I do, I will tell my parents right away so that they can contact the online service.
- I will talk with my parents so that we can set up rules for going online.
- I will be polite online and expect others to be polite to me.
Go to Safekids.com or netsmartz.org for more information about talking to your kids about internet safety.