Archive for September, 2009

So, the time has come!  The nights are getting darker a touch faster, WalMart is facing their second busiest season of the year and at home we are making lists and checking them twice…  The List being what we need to do before the kids go Back to School!

It is a bittersweet time of year, especially for those with young ones… they are growing up!  On one hand you like having them home and watching them grow, but, on the other hand you will not miss the whining and arguing between siblings, yet it is very exciting when you think about all the things they will learn and experience in their future.

For those families that have kids online, one of two things will happen next Tuesday when school starts… they will come home plop their bags on the ground, grab a snack and either turn on the T.V. or start surfing and chatting online…  As parents we can envision this oh so well!

Over the next week, as you are preparing for school, we suggest that you also prepare your household for school. On top of making behavior charts and dinner menus, also prepare your household for online safety.  Start by talking to your kids about your expectations.  Perhaps they can have a snack and talk to their brothers and sisters about their day before watching T.V and going online.  They could also help with any after school chores they may have and get started on homework.  The longer it takes them to get online after school, the higher the chances are that a parent can try to be home by the time they are  are online.  We know that the peak time for online use from students is before parents come home from work, but it is safer when parents are home.  Of course, if you tell them this, they will not listen, so better to try the distraction routine.

Also, sit down with your kids and go over security settings on their social networking sites.  Go over friends lists, limit their viewing, block or delete them as need be.  You can also take this time to clear out message boxes and pictures that should not be online.  It is also a good time of year to change passwords.  We suggest an alpha-numeric password.  Check the history in their IM’s.  Remember if they are hesitant in sharing this information with you, they may have things online that shouldn’t be.  If they can not share it with you, they should not be sharing it online for the world to see!

Talk to kids about bullying on school grounds as well as Cyber bullying.  Sometimes over the freedom of the summer, kids can forget  simple etiquette.  Cyber Bullying is one of the largest social problems that schools are dealing with today.

If your kids are old enough to have a cell phone or other electronic devices go over the rules of usage while at school and remind them of the consequences of the rules not being followed.

Have someone make sure that software, hardware and anti-virus programs are running efficiently.  Install parental control and Internet filtering systems – or sign up for filtered Internet;)

The key is to keep everything age appropriate and not restrict too much or too little.  You want your children to be able to learn and play safe online.  If you restrict them too much they will go to a friends house or to the library, you want them to feel and be safe  in the World Wide Web at home.   Also, if you teach them right from wrong, they will also teach their peers and pay it forward!

The Purepages Team wishes everyone a Happy and Safe 2009/2010 School year!

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