Protecting our Children on the Internet

Last Wednesday we had a special guest on-campus, Lillian Vega, Polk County Deputy from the Criminal Prevention Division. She shared important information and helpful resources to protect our children on the internet. 

Our children are experiencing a completely different world than we did as kids. They are exposed to so much and constantly trying to prove themselves in person and online. Every year our children join social media platforms at a younger age. There is so much peer pressure, comparison and bullying that happens online. 

According to the National Center For Health Research, "As many as 72% of teens say that they have been cyberbullied at some point. Cyberbullying is more strongly correlated with suicide attempts than is face-to-face bullying. Unlike bullying that takes place in person, victims of cyberbullying cannot get away from it, it stays online, and it happens out of sight of teachers and parents." For the full article, CLICK HERE  

It is scary and hard to work through these difficult situations with our kids. But, it is vital for the safety and the wellbeing of their future and their peers. Psalm 145:18 says, “The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.” Even in the darkest and scariest moments, God is near. We need to pray for our children and ask for guidance to help them navigate this fast-paced world. We also need to start these critical conversations with our kids sooner than later.

Lillian shared some great ways for us to start establishing healthy online practices with our kids; 

  • Establish expectations and boundaries with all technology 
  • Set consequences 
  • Talk about appropriate usernames 
  • Review comments and pictures on all social medias 
  • Talk about what their friends are posting 

It’s a lot to take in, so where do we start? We need to start the conversation with our children and lead by example. 1 PETER 5:2-3 says, “Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; 3 not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock.” We can make a difference. It could be as simple as putting our phones away and being present and intentional with our kids.

Here is a list of online resources provided at the meeting. These websites cover serious topics such as cyberbullying, gaming, online enticement, sexting, smartphones, social media sites & apps, live-streaming.

If you missed the first Morning Minute, CLICK HERE for Guiding Principles regarding Screen Time from Stephanie Terry, our LCS School Psychologist

Please join us for the next Morning Minute on Wednesday, December 15, at 8:00 AM in Howard Hall – Roger Evans Athletic Center (REAC) to learn about the new 1:1 device program with Chromebooks and educational apps. A Livestream Link will be emailed the morning of the meeting if you’re unable to attend in person.