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Helping Children Be Safe On the Internet

Updated: Dec 12, 2020


I love technology. Especially since I can FaceTime my grandchildren, shop online and Google things that I don’t know about. There are many positives of having the internet. However, it scares me that children are on the internet so much during the day and even well into the night. There is so much stuff on there. Do we really know what our children are watching? Have you ever asked yourself that question? I realize that the internet is our way of communicating with our loved ones and friends. It is also needed for school and all. Especially now with the pandemic. Even I do my classes online. But the question remains “Do you know what your children are watching while they are on the IPad or computer?


Let me give you some things to think about. I recently came across a study done by Enough-Is-Enough (2019):


40% of children in grades 4-8 reported they connected or chatted online with a stranger. Of these 40%, 53% revealed their phone number to a stranger, 21% spoke by phone to a stranger, 15% tried to meet with a stranger, 11% met a stranger in their own home, the stranger’s home, a park, mall or restaurant, 30% texted a stranger from their phone and 6% revealed their home address. Here are some warning signs to look out for with your children. Too much time online during the day or late at night. Pictures taking up a lot of space on their computer. Unusual charges on your credit card. The computer screen quickly changes when you walk in the room. Your child becomes very secretive and defensive.


As a grandmother this is very troubling to me. I want my grandchildren to be safe. Our children our a gift from God and we are responsible for protecting them. In Ephesians 6:11-14 states “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day , and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness.” We all need to realize that parents are the First Line of Defense. The battle is for the hearts and minds of our children, to keep them safe.


Here are some safety rules for your children. Never let them give out personal information. Be careful about what online photos are posted. Keep the computer in a public area of your house. In the case of iPads make sure you are able to see what they are doing. There should be no face to face meetings with anyone they don’t know. Disallow chat rooms. Limit instant messaging and above all have online rules with your children. I know that we all have busy lives, but let’s take the time to monitor what our children are doing. Remember, it takes no effort to leave an imprint on the life of a child - good or bad. Once imprinted it is very difficult to change it. Our responsibility is to keep them safe!


Blessings,

Paula W. Thomas, BMHC



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