The Internet age has obviously impacted the corporate world dramatically. However, the increasing availability of Internet and media resources within the common household has had consequences that are not always apparent. Parental concern regarding child safety online has increased tenfold as phones, IPods, and computers all come equipped with ways to constantly remain connected. Not only personal devices, but computers at local libraries and schools are being utilized for social networking and Web surfing. Under these circumstances, it becomes extremely important and rather difficult to educate and maintain Internet safety and security.
What parents can do however, is teach to their kids instead of preach to their kids. While parents are aware of the dangers that lurk online, children are often blissfully ignorant. There are ways to impart knowledge about Internet safety that are creative and interactive. I recently came upon a website showcasing the teachings of Professor Garfield. Most of us are familiar with the chubby orange cat of Sunday comics, but his professor avatar is one that parents of younger children will find particularly useful. This website uses interactive games and videos to define common Internet dangers. For example, it encourages children to explore cyberbullying-what it is and how to stop it. Through the use of comedic videos starring Garfield, children can learn to combat Internet predators.
As someone who was a teenager not so long ago, I can attest to frustrations that arise from listening to parental lectures and advice. Although I now understand that my parents always had my best interest in mind, it was not so clear during my moody teenage days. Instead of preaching to children about the rights and wrongs of Internet safety, one can use resources such as the ever-charming Garfield to entertain and educate. Oh and mom, these videos are enjoyable for adults also.