Smart Mom Teaches 7-Year-Old A Serious Lesson In Online Safety

May 3, 2017
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Sue Samad’s 7-year-old girl had a serious confession to make. After using the iPad and tucked into bed, she came downstairs crying that she needed to tell the truth: she broke the rules and was chatting with gaming people online.

The girl knew she broke the family’s “no chat” policy and actually begged her mom to punish her because she deserved to be grounded for her actions. Instead, her Mother came up with an even better plan to ensure that she learned the magnitude of her mistake.

It got me thinking, OK . . . I ground her, confiscate the iPad, but really no lesson is learned,” she wrote on Facebook. “My absolute manic mind came up with this faux letter with letter head and all. I put it in our mailbox this afternoon addressed to Mr. and Mrs. Taher. The letter is just reminder, deterrence, and will possibly freak the crap out of her for a few years (I hope).”

The “letter” was signed from Security Intelligence for Children Cyber Safety and informed Sue that her daughter had breached the cyber internet safety contract for kids. It went on to say that her daughter’s Wi-Fi had been disconnected and can only be reinstated when the child proves to her parents that she is “responsible and understands the immediate dangers she has put herself and her sibling in.”

Sue says that the response she got when she showed her kids the letter was exactly what she was hoping for. It was a tool to help them discuss the importance of online safety. “The letter doesn’t replace continuous education about cyber danger, stranger danger, and keeping the open dialogue and honesty with your children,” she wrote. “If they make a mistake, pull them up, watch what they are doing, let them make mistakes with you and be OK to discuss those awkward subjects that make your stomach squirm.”

Sue said that she doesn’t believe in denying her kids access to the internet as it’s such a big party of this generation’s daily life, but she does hope parents learn from both her daughter’s mistake and her reaction to it.

“A reminder to all of us to watch what our children do online, be the helicopter parent, observe their behavior, be open with discussion even if it’s so uncomfortable and beyond their years of understanding,” she wrote. “My hope is to raise resilient and socially-conscious children who God willing will grow up sensible children. And to add some humor to this very disturbing topic . . . it’ll be a great piece to present at her 18th birthday.”

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