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Having conversations with kids about topics like internet porn and violent videos

In today’s digital world, it’s crucial parents monitor kids’ device use. However, the reality is even if you monitor that diligently, your kid...

In today’s digital world, it’s crucial parents monitor kids’ device use. However, the reality is even if you monitor that diligently, your kids may still be exposed to things that you don’t want them to see through their peers.

Pornography and violent videos and games are all over the internet, and that content can be accessed in a matter of seconds.

“Even when children are very young, and they have access to a device, they may be searching for things that you don’t want them to find,” said Pam Clasgens, Community Awareness & Prevention Director at the National Children’s Advocacy Center. That’s why she says it’s important to initiate conversations with your kids — discussing family values and what behavior is acceptable as well as what is not.

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“You can have general conversations with your kids about what they see about the fact that on the Internet, there are going to be things that aren’t necessarily things that your family believes in and agrees and things that aren’t right and that sometimes, there are things on the Internet that your family doesn’t want to do or be involved in and that if they see something that is upsetting or disturbs them, or that they’re curious about, to come and talk to you about that,” she said.”

Conversations about device use can be as frequent as everyday. The key, she says, is listening and being calm and neutral when a child tells you about what they’re seeing and doing online.

“The idea is that we want our kids to be telling us what they’re seeing online so that we can help them think that through and process what they’ve seen,” said Clasgens.

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