Training and protecting your children online

Rapid changes in technology have brought many advantages, but also various dangers. For Christian parents bringing our children up ‘in the training and instruction of the Lord’  (Ephesians 6:4) will include training them to use technology wisely. Below are some resources to help you:

1. Information sites
Be web aware (introductory information for parents)
Thinkuknow.co.uk (information for parents and children)
Facebook’s Family Safety Centre (minimum age for a Facebook profile is 13)
Net-cetera-heads-up (a guide for teens and parents about online issues)
 
2. Legal Risks
This article highlights some of the legal risks of using social media.  A recent study found most teenagers are unaware of these risks.
 
3. Training Program
Below is a promo  clip for God’s Technology a 35 minute presentation which costs the US$5 to download (free study guide ). It expands on the following 7 point training program which is then applied to Facebook:
1. Educate (teach both yourself and your children about online issues)
2. Fence (set appropriate boundaries)
3. Mentor (actively train your children in their use of technology)
4. Supervise (use appropriate physical and technological supervision)
5. Review (sit down with your children regularly and review their use of digital media)
6. Trust (gradually reduce the level of supervision as they grow in wisdom and earn your trust)
7. Model (show your children by example what wise and godly use of technology involves)
 
4. Interactive activities that children or young people could do with parents to assist in discussions about online issues
Cyber Cafe Quiz (quiz for 8+ on internet safety)
Cyber Pigs (game for 8+ about online safety)
A Thin Line (questions for 13+ from a largely secular perspective about where to draw the line in terms of texting etc. Though Christians may draw the line in different places, these questions could lead to helpful discussions.)

5. Filtering and accountability software. The clip below from Covenant Eyes   gives an introduction to some online issues :

This posted adapted from Steve Kryger’s list: Online Safety Resources and  his earlier post  Resources: How to protect our children online .

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