My Comment to “Online Safety Redefined, the 3 Key Elements”, by Stephen Balkam, CEO, Family Online Safety Institute
Yes, taking risks in life is necessary. As kids are learning and growing parents are the ones that guide them and teach them with regard to many potential risky behaviors. Novices at white water rafting have a guide in the raft to help navigate dangerous waters. Many powerful tools, including computer devices are dangerous in uneducated, unsupervised hands. Kids may love woodworking, but no parent is going to let their child use a table saw with out guidance. Many little fingers would be missing if that were the case. Parental awareness and supervision is key offline and must be key online too until children, tweens and teens learn to use these powerful tools appropriately and safely.
All kids are “at risk”. The part of the brain that controls impulsive behavior, reasoning, good judgment isn’t fully developed until an adult reaches the age of 24, so kids will make mistakes offline and online, some calculated and some with blissful ignorance of the consequences. This is why parents are so important and should be front and center in Online Safety 2015. There is no doubt that kids are savvier at technology than parents, but parents are savvier at life because of their wealth of knowledge about real life experiences and the problems that can ensue. Parents are their child’s first line of defense for online safety and educating them about life’s safety concerns on computer devices that connect to a largely unregulated online world where they can engage with anyone across the globe and be exposed to any content good and bad.
So lets get Online Safety 2015 started in the right way, with parents as an essential ingredient in their children’s online safety and behavior!