In this day and era, every parent’s concern is and should be their child’s online safety. With the proliferation of affordable smartphones in the market and affordable mobile bundles, internet access is no longer a challenge for most, children included.
Today we will focus on the role parents play in making their children insecure on the online platform, subsequent blogs will focus on the role of children and how to create a balance.
Posting of nude or semi nude pre adolescent kids’ photos
Your child is enjoying a bath and you experience that aaaw moment and decide to take a picture. Since you are overwhelmed with emotions of love and mushiness, you decide to share the photo on social media. Other examples; you buy your daughter a new swim suit, she looks like America’s next top model, you feel awash with pride! You take a picture, post it online. While both photos are posted by proud well-meaning parents, the internet and social media platforms are crawling with pedophiles (people who are sexually attracted to pre adolescent children). The cases of child rape and molestation are on the rise as we hear and watch on the news almost daily. Putting up such images of your child/children may be exposing them to danger. As innocent as your intentions are, you cannot determine the intention of the viewer. Sad, but that’s the reality.
Putting too much information online about your kids.
Say you take your child every Saturday to a specific park/garden, you put up the details of the time you go, the clothes your child will be wearing and how long you will be there. This information can be used by kidnappers to abduct and ransom your child, or even for child trade! Alternatively, you put up your child’s full name, their favorite candy, their favorite toy and their favorite colors online. As much as one is a proud parent and would want the world to know how awesome their child is, too much intricate information is dangerous!
Posting embarrassing moments.
Most moms would throw stones at me for bringing this up, but what most don’t know is the use of such photos can be used to ruin your child’s future. Most common photos include; toddler in poop soiled clothes, or toddler attempting to brush their teeth using a toilet brush etc. These images to a parent tell a story of how far they have come from, however, to a bully, it is a perfect opportunity to demean your child. Bullying using such content can happen in primary or even secondary schools. Cyberbullies will go to whatever length to make others feel bad about themselves, and if it means digging up an old harmless picture and using it to embarrass your child, they will do so. Especially for parents who put the child’s actual picture and name during the narration of the embarrassing moment!
I can almost feel the discomfort by my readers; however, such is the online platform today. We are often told that not everyone rejoices or celebrates with you! Celebrate your child, niece, nephew or even neighbor’s child cautiously! You never know who is looking for an opportunity to exploit you or your child!
By: Miss Morgan