When you prevent children from socially interacting online, you hinder their ability to progress emotionally; to intellectual keep up with the progressive rhythm of this digital age. Anne Collier of Net Family News refers to this as Internal Safeguards. The steps that parents and caretakers take to instill traits that improve with age wherever the child may go, digitally and physically. External safeguards, like chat filters help to create a healthy and engaging online environments, but are merely tools.
You may feel uneasy with an online presence or interacting with social networks. It takes time to understand and maneuver, while always remembering what is placed online, stays online. It is up to you as the parent / caretaker to walk this path with the young ones. Not only for your knowledge, but the peace of mind that comes with knowing you're creating the framework for the child to safely and productively engage with others online and off.
Something to get your feet wet or simply provide some safety tips for you and yours.
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Infograph compliments of British Council (ThinkUknow) - A Parenting Resource for the Digital Age.