In my newfound role as a father of twin girls, and founder of a child safety organization, I find each day throws another set of questions and pitfalls regarding the safety of our children.
Remember how care free life was when we were kids growing up? Riding our bikes in the streets (helmets? ha!). Roaming the streets til the last possible minute before dinnertime. Just leaving a note telling our parents what we are doing. Having implicit trust in our civil servants. No cell phones, no computers, no need to worry about strangers. Times sure have changed!
Theres a million reasons parents have to be paranoid about their kids whereabouts these days. Danger really does lurk around every corner. Have you looked at the sex offender registry in your area? sickening. (http://www.fbi.gov/scams-safety/registry/) Have you seen the DatelineNBC episodes about child predators? nauseating! Have you heard the stories about sex offenders working in our schools? Trust me, they are there.
In todays world where every kid has a cell phone, email address, and their own laptop, it gives kids the feeling of independence, maturity and safety. Kids are texting, sexting, facebooking, friending with alot less parental supervision than you might think. For every rule you give your kids, they already have a loophole, and a texting language that parents will never be able to crack. http://www.netlingo.com/acronyms.php/
This new found digital independence also gives the nut jobs out there countless ways to scam their way into your childs lives. Not everyone is who they say they are out there on the internet. Us parents know that… but do our kids???
So whats the answer? Do you not allow them to go online in the privacy of their bedroom? An impossibility these days, considering they can access the internet from their phone, laptop, ipad, etc… Do we put spyware on our kids devices? Do you put a GPS tracker in their backpack? Do we just never allow them to leave the house ever again? Do we educate them and hope for the best?
I know the statistics and what the educational material says… but whats the real life solutions???
For some great safety tips to discuss with your kids, visit my website: www.kidformation.net