Families have a lot on their plates right now, and Lauren’s Kids wants to help. That’s why we’re running LIVE programming with experts from education, psychology, law enforcement, and more – to help parents and families cope with life during the pandemic. Tune by visiting the Lauren’s Kids Facebook page Mondays at 12:30 EDT through the end of May!
This week on Monday, April 27, Lauren’s Kids was joined by Detective Mike Joo from the Broward Sheriff’s Office Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. Detective Joo discussed digital safety and reminded families that 1 in 5 children who touches a digital device will be sexually solicited online at some point in time. With children spending more time than ever on digital devices – for both education and entertainment – this topic has never been more timely. Detective Joo cautioned against relying on an app or parental control settings to completely solve the problem of predation, and reminded families that communication, supervision, and promotion of positive self-esteem are key to keeping kids safe online. Detective Joo also offered four key take-aways for parents:
- Understand that there are predators whose main objective in life is to access your child. Know that they are on the same apps and sites your children are. This is a reality, not a possibility…act accordingly.
- Parents, be sure you know, understand, and research ALL apps and settings on your child’s devices. Do an audit of their technology to make sure you are up-to-date on everything that has been installed. You must become an expert on these apps, websites, games, and devices. Google is your best friend here.
- Remember that when it comes to digital safety you are a parent, not a friend. Make it a rule that children must ask permission before downloading a new app. Parents, being “friends” with your child on social media is not enough – you must have access to their accounts and passwords to every one of your child’s online activities and devices.
- Remember that you are a role model – you cannot limit your child’s use of social media if you are always on your own device. Offline time as a family is key! Children with higher self-esteem and stronger parental bonds are less likely to get caught up in online predation and more likely to seek help from a parent if in trouble.
Learn more tips and tools from Detective Joo by watching the live discussion and Q&A below: