Parents cannot be too careful today. With the rapid increase in technology comes an increased vulnerability of our information and the safety of children. There is no denying that child predators are out there and increasingly coming up with ways to lure. One of their newest and most dangerous tricks is to attract kids through cell phone text messages. To combat what kids are facing parents must take an active role. One way to do this is to monitor the calls and text messages. These days cell phonesÂ are literally little computers that a predator or thief can reach right through like an open door to grab children and teenagers alike.
1. Get over the idea that you are spying on your child if you decide to use this program and monitor cell text messages. Yes, there is a level of respect that you need to give your child because this will foster in them responsibility and trust, however, the ultimate responsibility for safety lies in parenting. Making the decision to monitor your child’s cell phone text messages might be a solution that saves them.
2. Sign up for RADAR. Copy and paste www.mymobilewatchdog.com into your browser. This program will monitor cell phone calls, text messages, instant messaging, picture messages, and email. This will enable you to be notified when your child receives any of the above, as well as have access to the content. You receive the same message as your child. Each day your child receives a message that tells them his or her content has been reported to the parent, so your child is aware of the cell phone monitoring.
3. Allow this cell phone monitoring program to help you become involved in your child’s life instead of using it as a power tool. You might be met with resistance, especially depending upon age, but this can be used for you to sit down with your child and create calendars, set appointments, or task lists.
4. Talk with your kids about the reasons you are choosing to monitor their cell phone, and computer usage. Use this as an opportunity to open up communication and dialogue with your family about safety. This can be used as an excellent way to bond with son or daughter. While you building acceptable contact lists have your child tell you a funny story or something interesting about the person you are talking about and adding to the list.
5. If you are unable to sign up for a program like this, set up other rules for your child around the use of their cell phone, email, and computer usage. It’s acceptable to have the passwords and check in on what your kids are doing. What they think is harmless information can be the perfect thing a predator needs. Make sure to have open dialogue with your family about these issues.
6. Remember who the parent is in the relationship. Along with MySpace, Facebook, and all the other social networking sites that are popping up, kids are putting up half naked pictures of themselves, sending text messages over their cell phones, and many other potentially dangerous acts that they think of as harmless. It’s not. You never know who is going to be the person that is just crazy enough to lure you kid through a simple cell phone text only to then meet them and assault or kill them. Pedophiles have started randomly text messaging numbers until they get a bite from a child. Keep your parent hat on. If you are going to allow your child a cell phone then make sure your child is safe enough to use it. Monitor their cell, text, and computer usage.