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Teaching Children Online Safety

by | Parenting

Technology is essential to our society. Safe and healthy practices are vital to the health of our community. But where does technology meet safety? And what can be done to empower children in their use of technology? Heather Cowan, director for White Ribbon Week, joins Anne on the BTR podcast to discuss this important topic.

What Can Be Done To Help With Internet Safety?

We need to not only teach our children but also our communities about the harms of pornography and how to use digital devices in healthy ways. As parents, we need to model what is right for our kids.

Anne Blythe, founder of Betrayal Trauma Recovery

It’s definitely a challenge to teach children how to effectively and safely use the internet. However, as parents take simple steps, they can meet the challenges head-on.

Parents can begin teaching online safety by:

  • Modeling appropriate internet-safety behaviors
  • Explaining to children why and how they use their own devices
  • Scheduling “screen-free” time at home
  • Inviting children to “practice” healthy internet usage by sending emails to family or friends with a parent present to help
  • For older children, speaking openly about limits and boundaries around social media accounts
  • Sharing their own empowering experiences using safe internet practices
  • Inviting children to ask questions any time about pornography and/or safe internet practices
  • Having casual and simple one-on-one conversations with children regarding the truth about pornography
  • Setting family goals around internet safety and usage
  • Consistently teaching the “Three Steps in Online Safety”

The Three Steps In Online Safety

Heather shares three steps that parents can teach children to act on right away if they are exposed to harmful content while using the internet.

  1. Immediately turn it off
  2. Tell a trusted adult
  3. Turn to something positive

It’s important to teach children these practices so that they can master technology in a healthy way.

These steps are empowering for children because they are proactive and simple. Kids can understand the immediate actions they need to take when they encounter pornography. This gives children courage, resilience, and confidence to use the internet in a healthy way.

Why Online Safety Is So Valuable

They know we talk about media. No parent is ever immune. All our children at one point or another will be confronted with weird material that we want them to know what to do with.

Heather Cowan, director for White Ribbon Week

Unfortunately, our culture accepts pornography on a wide scale. Children who use the internet will be exposed at some point. It’s an absolute necessity for parents to teach online safety in today’s world.

It’s never too early or too late to start teaching children about online safety.

Betrayal Trauma Recovery Supports Victims of Betrayal and Emotional Abuse

At BTR, we understand that it can be triggering to discuss internet safety. If your partner uses pornography or has sexually betrayed you, then teaching internet safety may feel overwhelming. However, it’s important for every mother to find the inner courage and strength to arm children against pornography and its insidious effects.

The Betrayal Trauma Recovery Group supports victims on the painful journey to healing. Join today and find other women who understand what you’ve gone through and how you feel. The Betrayal Trauma Recovery Group meets daily in every time zone.

Remember, you are not alone.

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