Nearly 40 parents attended the Everest fall “Parenting on Purpose” presentation last month. The subject was Internet Safety, a talk offered by the Attorney General’s office. The talk covered a broad spectrum of serious issues affecting young people today regarding the Internet and use of technology. Parents were encouraged to be pro-active and talk to their children about their online experiences. Suggestions included asking the following questions:
- Have you been contacted by a stranger on the Internet?
- How did you respond?
- Do you think communicating with people you don’t know off-line is safe?
- How private is information you post on the Internet? Who might see it?
Parents were given several handouts with helpful tips and information on the theme, which can be found here (outdated link).
In addition to the information provided to us by the Michigan Attorney General’s office, below are some links regarding Internet filtering programs which you might find useful:
Here are reactions from some of the parents in attendance:
“All parents understand the admittedly useful, but dominating hold technology can have on each of our lives. While we can find so much good and usefulness in the Internet and tech devices, there are always individuals seeking to exploit others using this very same technology. While our youth are undoubtedly savvy when it comes to the technological devices at their fingertips, the simple fact is they are on the same virtual highway as predators, which is unfortunately an open ended line of communication with very little or no barriers in between. My takeaway from the presentation was not to run away from technology and the Internet, but to understand the real implications of our youth using, misusing, or potentially abusing these technologies. In addition, every parent needs to take the time to understand the real legal ramifications and permanent effects a single mistake on the Internet can have on our children.” –Eric Dale
“It was eye-opening to learn the real threats our children face and a reminder for us parents on what we can do now.” -Wil Gonzalvo
Formation Director Jill Swallow offers a final thought: “One of the most important things to keep in mind as we accompany our children through situations like this (learning how to use technology responsibly) is that God accompanies us with His grace. Let us stay ‘plugged in’ through humble prayer (‘Lord, I need you…’) and frequenting the sacraments, and let us encourage our children to do the same, knowing God’s grace will strengthen us in our fight against temptation and in our pursuit of goodness, purity, and truth.”