Our society has become so permissive with parent/child boundaries that telling your child, “No,” is increasingly difficult. This is partly due to the parent’s lack of engagement with their kid’s life. They have no idea what their child is doing. That may not have been necessary years back, but now if the child has a computer in their room, their body may be in their room, but their mind and actions can be anywhere. If parents don’t talk to their kids and understand their virtual world, they are missing out on 50% of what is going on in their child’s life. For all of you parents who feel overwhelmed by your child’s virtual world, this is a quick way to begin: • You need to talk to your kids. You need to find out who their friends are and what websites they frequent. This is a good time to say yes or no to inappropriate sites. • Get the computer out of the bedroom and into a large family area. Have a large screen so you can glance at it quickly as you walk by. Computers in a child’s bedroom are a luxury (for the child and many time the parents). If your teen has a computer and food in their bedroom, why would they want to come out? • Prior to setting up a computer, talk about online acceptable behavior. Digital manners are important with all virtual media. • Limit all computer and cell phone use. If a child wants to post a picture, it must be parent approved. • Your child should never befriend an adult unless they are related to you. • Your child will have difficulty understanding the concept of permanence; this is due to their frontal cortex not being fully developed. As much as you can, underline the fact that nothing is ever truly gone on the internet. Being a child means making mistakes, but in the case of posting a mistake, it goes on and on. • If you are too busy to monitor your child’s activity on the Internet or their cell phones, hire a company to monitor it for you. I am an expert for www.truecare.com and can tell you of numerous lives it has saved, as well as accidents it has prevented. We cannot save our children from all of the dangers any more than our parents could save us. We can be proactive though, and we can assert our parental authority and say, “NO,” even if that isn’t the most popular response. Parents cannot be parents and be their kid’s buddy. Be your spouse’s buddy, be your kid’s mom and dad. –Mary Jo Rapini For more information and MONTHLY FREE RELATIONSHIP TIP go to: www.maryjorapini.com Talk to me on my fan page: http://www.facebook.com/maryjorapini Tweet me: @ Mary Jo Rapini Get your “MOJO MOMENT” each day on Fox 26 at 9a.m.CST. http://houston.cbslocal.com/2011/07/06/dos-and-donts-after-the-breakup/ http://houston.cbslocal.com/2011/07/13/how-to-cope-after-infidelity/?utm... http://khmx.radio.com/shows/mary-jo-rapini/ Join me every Monday and Thursday Morning for “Mind, Body, Soul with Mary Jo” on Fox 26 Houston at 9 a.m.
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