Keeping Kids Safe Online: How Parents Can Effectively Monitor and Positively Influence Their Child’s Internet Usage


In this video, Lauren Muriello, LPC of Well Being Therapy Center talks about how important it is for parents to be involved with what their teens are doing online. While it’s not easy to keep up with all the new technology, Lauren suggests that parents need to learn the technology and monitor what their teens are doing online.

“A great way to get involved and build a relationship with your teen at the same time is to ask them to teach you about social media. This can open up important conversation around online etiquette, bullying, etc.' -Lauren MurielloClick To Tweet

Influencing versus controlling

“Just like when parents talk to their kids about drugs and alcohol, the risk of them using these substances inappropriately goes down… You want your voice to be in your teenager’s head. The same goes for social media and their devices. You want them to know that you’re involved and that your looking.”

If knowledge is power, then certainly learning how technology works gives parents a better chance to control or, in the best-case scenario, positively influence what their children are doing online.

Being involved without being overbearing is a delicate balance, as every child is different. Some teenagers may need more oversight than others, and that’s just a fact.

Perhaps we may be able to strike a balance by letting our kids know that we are involved, BUT we’re also in control of the ship. To me, the key is to stay sincerely engaged so that we aren’t seen as completely controlling. It’s a fine line, for sure.

How much control is ok?

One thing Lauren said that took me a little by surprise is that parents have a right to know their kids’ passwords and to check what they are texting and posting and who they are communicating with. While it makes sense, when she said it, I wondered how many parents actually know their teen’s passwords?

When I was a kid, about 55 years ago, people kept diaries (mostly girls). Those diaries were private, and we did not expect parents to read them, although sometimes they did. Things like Instagram and Snapchat are pretty much the opposite of private and Lauren’s comments about the importance for parents to be involved in all facets of their teen’s lives, including social media, feels true and important.

My guess is that most parents don’t know their kids’ passwords, but we should and if we don’t, then that’s a problem. Our kids need to know that we are still in charge. If they show us that they are making responsible decisions, we can give them space, but they do need to understand that if they are not being forthright with us, then there are consequences.

“Parenting and Digital Technology” Video Series

I do hope you get a chance to watch the video above and opt in for the whole series. I think there are some good takeaways sprinkled throughout. If you missed the opt-in form at the end of the video, here it is again.

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Adam Simon, Odyssey Teen Camp Director

Adam Simon

I'm Adam Simon. I started teen camp eighteen years ago with the vision of creating a space where teenagers would know they are safe from bullying or negative judgments and would feel free to show who they really are and to become their best selves. Let's connect, discuss, and engage...
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