I want to keep my son safe from social media

world

Social Media, the place we all meet and connect with one another. It’s great, right?  Of course it is. I’m online five days a week connecting with others.  But when it comes to my boys, especially my teenager. I want to keep my son safe from social media and protected from the dangers that are online.

This past week I have had to sit down with my son and once again remind him of the rules for engaging online, and my efforts I hope have been heard.  It’s scary poop out there and kids are unaware as to how very dangerous the Internet can be, and also how their posts and tweets can effect someone else.

My son posted pictures online that were not good.

So I get this call from my mom asking me if everything was okay at home. Of course I asked her why she was asking?  She tells me to go and look at my son’s FB page.  So off to FB I head where I suddenly see a pic of a boy’s body with hand marks (red) all over his back as though he’d taken a beating.  The post read: Now that’s a five star!

I was furious!

My son was at a friend’s house. It was ten o’clock and I didn’t care. I called and asked to speak to him. I tried keeping calm. I told him to immediately remove the picture or lose his account for 6 months, nothing else.  He did. I then said I’d talk to him about it when he got home as I was in no mood to give a lecture. I don’t like to lecture. I like to talk and talking turns to lectures — I find, when I’m mad.

Turns out the picture was not of my son (which I knew) because I know how his body looks, and it was of his friend. They had been playing a game called “five star” where they try to slap each other on the back to get an imprint of their hand to show up with all five fingers. >>> roll my eyes.  Why are boys so dumb sometimes?

Yesterday while on facebook, I see a message pop up on my son’s timeline that read:  How can my six year old brother watch Saw and Shaun of the Dead but be scared of Elmo in Grouchland?

Once again my temper rose, and this time it was time to lecture!  I immediately went into my son’s account and deleted the message and then called him down to talk to him, after banning his account until further notice.

Now I know you might think I’m a harda$$ and these are just minor things, but to me they are not. I explained to my son that nobody knew that the body of his friend wasn’t in fact (him) and that either his dad or I hadn’t done something to him. Facebook is open to interpretation, and that is not the message I want him to convey to family and friends on his account.  Same as the message about his brother. I have never let him watch those movies. His brother is in fact scared of Elmo, but the rest is false. People aren’t going to understand you are lying unless you say you are, not online. Even if you are trying to be funny, people can take what you post seriously.

“Everything you do when you leave this house, online, talk on the phone, go places. How you behave. How you react and respond is a direct reflection on not only what type of young man you are, but how you were raised by US your parents and where you come from.  That should mean something to you,” I told him.  I have rules that need to be followed.  I troll your facebook account not to butt in or be a pest but to make sure you are being safe, being honest, being respectful not just to yourself and your family but to others. I don’t care if it’s cool to swear and act like an idiot at thirteen. You aren’t going to do it online!

I know I can’t keep him safe forever. But I can teach my son to value himself. To value others and respect the outside world as it’s not a safe place to be always and that everything you do in this life has to mean something to you — or it should. And if that makes me a harda$$ then so be it!

How do you keep your kids safe from being online?

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