September 11, 2006

Family Values

As Haddock states in Online Danger Zone, "The Internet once was seen as a golden "information superhighway" transporting the next generation to the Promised Land. Now it may feel more like a minefield -- seductive on the surface, but seeded with subterranean hazards." By all means, i believe Haddock is right, the internet can be a dangerous thing. Key word being can. Yes, predators, bullies, and maybe even just people looking for a laugh, have a tendency to use whatever resources they can to draw in innocent victims. But think about it....before the internet, what did parents teach their children? Don't cross the street alone. Don't walk alone at night. Don't tread home on an unfamiliar path. Don't take candy from strangers. Don't get into a car with strangers. Parents struggled to keep their children safe from any and all maniacs roaming the streets. Parents instilled values in their children. Why does all that have to change now that predators are seeking their victims online? How hard is it for parents to sit down and say, "Listen sweetie, we want to trust you and we want you to know that we appreciate you as a person and therefore want to give you the freedom to determine things on your own. However, there are a few things we think you should know." Followed by hours of lectures. I think that would be a hell of a lot better than parents stumbling across their children's online sites and having no idea that they are there. Be aware. Be enough of a part to your child's life to know what they are doing. And instruct them on how they should go about it. Explain, explain, explain and then let your child determine what exactly they want to do, say, show, or post, on their website(s). I think the root of the problem is parents not spending enough time with their children or in their childrens lives. I cannot say it enough: Teach your kid some freaking values. Teach them what is right and wrong and then trust them to make decisions on their own. Ask them about their lives. Listen with an open ear. Don't immediately spout off on a tangent about what they are doing wrong. Perhaps media is taking a look at the wrong side of things. Asking the kids questions and what they did and how they do it is one thing. Has anyone talked to the parents? Were Joe's parents around to help him grown up to be the man they have always wanted him to be? Or was he left to amuse himself for countless hours while mommy and daddy had dinner parties and played golf?

Posted by Lori Rupert at September 11, 2006 10:37 AM
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