I remember when my son was almost a teen, and he was kind of bored after school. After all, there were no kids his age in our immediate area, and he was stuck at home with his ol’ mom. We began looking for a program for him to participate in and we discovered the Boys & Girls Clubs of America!
*I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Boys & Girls Clubs of America.
I received a promotional item as a thank you for participating.
Luckily there was a Boys & Girls Club about two miles from our house, so it was easy to drop him off and pick him up. We were both impressed by how inviting everyone was and how comfortable my son felt there. He enjoyed his time there until eventually he became busy with new friends in junior high school. The Boys & Girls Clubs of America offer kids a safe and place to go, and it really is a wonderful program!
The Boys & Girls Clubs of America are concerned about cyber safety for kids and teens (as all of us are), and since June is National Internet Safety Month, they want to bring awareness to very important issue. Many parents believe their teens know more about technology and the internet than they do (scary, I know!), so it is crucial for parents to set up limits and rules with their kids when using the internet. In our family, especially when our kids were pre-teens, we established rules and time limits, as well as talked to them about internet predators and other safety issues. Although our son is a young adult now, and our daughter is almost 17, that does not stop us from reminding them frequently about the dangers online.
Many adults think that predators are the biggest fear online for teens, but in fact cyber bullying is also a huge concern. Fortunately my children have not been bullied, but being a mom blogger, I have seen my share of horror stories with cyber bullying. It is a shame that adults can be bullies too, but it is the sad truth. I haven’t personally experienced it (thank goodness), but it is important for everyone to know what to look for and how to deal with bullying.
The BGCA created an interesting quiz – the Cyber Survivor Challenge Quiz, which allows you to test your cyber smarts. If you are one of those parents who think your teen is more tech-savvy than you, I hope you’ll take the quiz. You might be surprised by your results – I certainly was!
I have never even thought to Google my children’s names! During the quiz, I decided to do just that and luckily I didn’t find anything bad (although I did find out that my son has a Twitter account I didn’t know about!). I am going to start googling their names regularly, just to keep a close eye on things.
Another suggestion on the quick is to check your teens cell phone, as they send and receive thousands of texts per month. I honestly don’t do this, as I respect my daughter’s privacy, but when I think of the dangers out there, this is probably something I should start doing (and when I explain why, I hope she will understand).
I am happy to report that after answering all of the questions on the quiz, that I am CyberSmart! I think being a blogger definitely helps me become aware of new threats and other issues online. What about you? I encourage you to take the CyberSafe quiz for yourself – there are some interesting facts and loads of information to help you make the right choices for your child’s online safety. I learned a few new things, thanks to their helpful videos. Did you know that 1 in 3 kids have been victims of cyber bullying?
This is a great video about mobile safety – please watch!
I hope you will take the quiz and also take a look around on the Boys and Girls Clubs of America website to learn more about being #CyberSafe and also about their amazing programs. If you are not familiar with BGCA, they offer support, friendship and wonderful opportunities for kids and teens. They can learn about and participate in programs such as health and life, character and leadership, sports and recreation, arts, and they also have education and career programs to help kids reach their dreams and goals.
Please have that talk with your teens. Even if you have recently talked about Cyber Safety with them in the past few months, it is a good idea to remind them frequently how important it is to stay safe!