Establishing tech rules with your teen - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports


Establishing tech rules with your teen

From "stranger danger" to vulgar and inappropriate content, the internet can be a frightening place for children.

"I feel like we're chasing our tails trying to keep up with what they can learn," said Tad Cooke.

Right away, Cooke cops to playing catch-up when it comes to technology his 13-year-old son has already mastered.

Cooke said, "He does have an iPad, but not a smart phone."

Even without a smart phone, the debate over his son starting a Facebook account isn't quite settled.

"So many of his friends have them and he wants to be able to chat with his friends, so we're having those conversations right now," Cooke explained.

Facebook or not, Tad says there is a set time limit for using the iPad.

"It's usually like 20 minutes to half an hour a day, if he hasn't gotten in trouble and if all of his homework is done and things like that," Cooke said.

That's key, experts say keeping strict tabs on your child's online activities.

But over in the Walsh household, things are decidedly low-tech.

"No smart phone," said Phyllis Walsh.

Not only that, 11-year-old Fiona said she isn't even interested.

"I'm a tomboy. I don't really care about stuff like that," she said. ‘That' even includes Facebook.

The tween, who is home-schooled and lives on a farm, already has a lot on her plate.

"I usually have six chores each day. Three in the morning and three in the evening," she explained.

But her mom Phyllis is quick to acknowledge just how quickly your child can be exposed to scary things online - something experts say parents shouldn't underestimate.

"She was doing research one day and something vulgar came up by accident just because of a search word she used," she warned.

Another thing experts recommend is show and tell. Make your child take you to their favorite hot spots around the web. Get to know where they're spending their time online. Experts say that's the key to realizing if there are any problems.

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