My daughter loves forming New Year resolutions! Every January 01, she diligently pens down her resolutions (always interesting ones!) on a pretty piece of paper, decorates it beautifully and then tacks it over her study with coloured tapes. It helps her to keep things in perspective for the year, she says.
Sonny Boy of course keeps miles away from publicly displaying his resolutions. I have this nagging feeling that if I forced him to make one, it would most probably turn out to be “I must increase my score in some MMOG”!
Well, this gave Cybermum a bright idea. Things needed to be kept in perspective where the computer, smartphones and gaming devices are concerned as well. Why not make the kids slog it out over the Internet habits they should adopt in 2013 and the ones they should try and change/discard? It would help them to think, really think hard, about their online habits and take independent decisions, sans parental orders arousing rebellion in their hearts.
I was charged up – this had to go into action immediately! So armed with a paper and a set of sketch pens, I approached the duo and explained what I wanted.
“What? Come on Mom, I am a teen!” wailed Sonny Boy.
“That should make it that much easier for you to decide what’s good and what’s unsafe on the net,” I replied placidly. Being placid is the only way, you see, to handle the angry teens when you want them to do something they don’t want to do. Arguing never gets you anywhere.
Daughter did the eye-rolling and grumbling but boy was I adamant! So finally they sat down to it, and after some time I could hear them seriously discussing and arguing over what’s safe and what’s not!
Here is their internet safety list for 2013:
Things not to do:
1. Never to participate in the surveys that promise gifts galore or click on the flashing message that declares them to be the winner of an Internet lottery.
2. Not accept friendship requests from little known friends of friend and ignore friend requests from strangers
3. Never tag anyone in pics they post without prior permission
4. Never to get involved in arguments, bullying and gossiping on a public forum
5. Not turn on Wi-Fi on their phones in public spots
Things to do:
1. Always run the computer/laptop with a trusted security software like McAfee
2. Cut down on the time spent on social networking and playing games online
3. Use Facebook more to interact with cousins and relatives
4. Download only verified apps on phones
5. Report spams and bullies
Interesting, isn’t it? There could have been many more but I didn’t press. I was happy they thought up these many, the effect of our numerous talks on this subject
Why don’t you try this at your home? See what safety tips the kids have picked up from you? It would be both satisfying and an engaging experience. You can join them too.
Happy surfing in 2013 folks – stay safe online!