I'm cleaning up my Tivo because my husbands "Tour de France" is now deleting my favorite programs. In doing so, I am reviewing old episodes I saved on teens, parenting, bullying, teen suicide resulting from bullying, etc. Wow! It has been a very busy year in Bullyland!! And the year ain't over folks!
Anyway, I came across an interview with a panel of 4 teens who spoke very candidly with "The Today Show's" Meredith Vieira. In response to a question regarding their privacy on the Internet, the teens responded, "The Internet is like our own personal world. It's the one place where parents aren't usually involved in. They don't really control exactly what you do."
While the teens acknowledge the dangers of chatting with strangers on the Internet, 3 of the 4 teens admitted to chatting with people they did not know on-line. However, these teens maintain that mom and dad need to trust them.
It's not a matter of trusting our kids. Teenagers brains are not fully developed to make safe decisions. This is a proven fact. It is also a proven fact that predators are contacting children every day. It is, however, a matter of PROTECTION. It is a parent's job to keep our children safe no matter what. I don't see any reason why a teen cannot share their cyber world with their parents. The parents pay for it and it is a privilege to use the services, not a right.
Parents, please teach your children to be responsible on the Internet. Children are giving out thier names, phone numbers, addresses, and other personal information to cyber predators every single day. This can be stop with good old-fashioned parenting.