Theresa's Mixed Nuts: How to Have the Smart Talk with Your Child #TheSmartTalk #CG

Monday, September 12, 2016

How to Have the Smart Talk with Your Child #TheSmartTalk #CG




It's not a surprise that we are living in an ever increasing connected world. When I was a child, connecting to my friends meant hopping on my bike and hoping someone would answer the door when I got there, picking up the phone and getting frustrated by the busy tone, or mailing a letter and waiting a week for a response. Nowadays, we connect with others at the speed of light, with just a touch of a button. As useful and cool as that is, as a mom I know that there are also dangers lurking in the digital world, just waiting to pounce on my children.



When we got Allison a smartphone for her 12th birthday, the phone also came with a strict set of rules. Who she could call and text, what social media channels she could use, and I was not only going to be friended on or following her accounts, but I was to have the passwords as well. We sat down and had a lengthy online safety talk, and thankfully, we haven't had many issues yet. For parents of tweens and teens, setting digital boundaries is a great way to ensure their safety in the online world. LifeLock is helping parents get the conversation started with their easy to use The Smart Talk tool.


The Smart Talk is a free online tool designed by The National PTA and LifeLock to help families set ground rules for technology use and have open, ongoing conversations about online safety and responsibility. With how quickly the digital world is moving, a child's safety and well-being can be compromised by their online behavior, and today's kids need to learn the rules of the road when it comes to navigating life online. Many parents can become overwhelmed or confused by the technology talk because they aren't even sure what topics to cover. The Smart Talk tool guides parents and children in an interactive experience, helping them explore and engage in conversation about online safety and privacy, screen time, apps and downloads, texting and calling, and social media respect.

Even though I went over my expectations of digital use with her last year, I feel it's always a good idea to revisit and update our policies every so often. I just sat down with Allison and we went through The Smart Talk together, discussing how she could manage her online time better, how she could be a little safer, and also letting her know that she can always come to us if she sees something online that makes her feel uncomfortable or experiences cyber-bullying. As we navigated through The Smart Talk tool, we were able to check off boxes on issues most important to us, striking up compromises that were agreeable to both parties. When we were finished, The Smart Talk tool organized everything into a handy little contract that we were able to print off and sign, that way we both fully understand and agree to the rules of her digital use.




As kids age and technology evolves, The Smart Talk can be revisited to help keep conversation flowing and digital policies updated. Empower your children to be smart and responsible digital citizens by visiting The Smart Talk to create your own contract today.



What are some key rules you use to ensure that your child is being responsible in the digital world?




I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

29 comments:

  1. OMG, you have Allison's passwords! Holy smoke!

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    1. I have them and I know how to use them ;)

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  2. Sounds like a great tool indeed. Anything to help, as in seconds kids can do something or see something online that can be awful for sure.

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    1. They sure can. And online bullying is a big factor in our agreement too. We've already had a small instance that involved calling said bully's mom, but because of our initial agreement, Allison felt comfortable coming to me with the information.

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  3. This could have gone with my Common Sense Media Posts. I'll pin it to go on my Back to School board. My boys are pretty good about getting off when they are told. Mica doesn't know his limits as much as Isaak. Isaak will say, "Ok I've had too much media. Time to get off." What?! Mica will have to get some kind of phone for his 12th birthday too. That's when he'll start taking the bus.

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    1. 12 seems to be the magic number. I think when they start middle school, that's when most kids get them. Allison needed one when she started track so she could call me if she needed picked up early or was going to be late.

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  4. Girls certainly are more at-risk than boys when it comes to digital dangers. A lot of creepy men out there

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    1. Sadly, the internet exposes us to those creeps daily. Girls are pretty high risk, but boys can be victims too.

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  5. I love this! The internet is a great resource for both education and entertainment. BUT it can also be extremely dangerous.

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  6. I need to do this with my kids. I want them to enjoy everything GOOD that the internet has to offer. Part of that is teaching them to be safe.

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  7. This is such an important conversation to have before it becomes a problem.

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  8. I love this post! The internet can be a really dangerous place for your kids these days!

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  9. Yikes, I dont have rules but maybe I should! My kids are on it alot.

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  10. This is such an important conversation to have for parents with kids who are online. It can often be easy for them to get caught up in it without thinking.

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  11. This is so awesome! Having rules regarding use of gadgets and internet is very important for kids and teens. Love that The Smart Talk helps parents with that matter.

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  12. We aren't quite there yet, but my kids are almost ready for phones of their own. Being the first generation of parents dealing with this much technology, I appreciate all the guidance I can get.

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  13. I think this is a great idea. You'll never know what they can encounter online and having these set of ground rules will give you peace of mind. I'm sure this will help a lot of parents who have no clue on how to talk to their kids about online safety.

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  14. Wow this is amazing! I may need to try this one for my son. As much as I try to limit, I love the idea of setting "ground rules."

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  15. So smart and necessary. Our 6-year-old already wants a phone, but that's not happening. He has a Kindle and doesn't know the password to add new apps etc. Everything goes through me!

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  16. I have a few friends that could benefit from this post. I will have to share it with them. It is so important to have a talk with your kids about the dangers online.

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  17. I try to talk to my daughter about it on a monthly basis. Just to ensure she has not forgotten the importance of digital safety.

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  18. We are constantly having to readjust our rules for our kids and their social media use. Some things, we don't initially think of!

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  19. It is important to know what our kids are doing. My 11 year old is on her phone a lot. So we make sure to know whats going on.

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  20. Having connect with your teens are important, this is such a great way to encourage those families to talk their child.

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  21. We have our kids passwords too. I don't trust them to make smart choices all of the time.

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  22. I'm not there yet.. I have a feeling I'll be there soon enough though. I like this concept.

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  23. This is so important and I love that they sign a contract! It's great to have this for parents who have children getting online. I think I know some adults who can learn from this too

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  24. Many kids need this like right now! Too many dangerous moments could happen online!

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Thanks for your comments! I appreciate every one of them :)

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