I thought I was knowledgeable about the dangers our children face in our crazy mixed up world. After all I raised five special needs children as a single parent after my wife passed away. It was not until I read some articles about the dangers facing our children on the internet that I realized I was only seeing the tip of the iceberg.
Safety education for kids and teens is critical and should be on the top of every parent to do list. Parents must take action immediately to assure the safety of our kids not only on the internet but in other life events as well.
Here are some really frightening statistics from law enforcement agencies:
*When your child enters a chat room and engages in conversation with someone there is a 50% probability that the stranger they are talking to is a pedophile pretending to be a child.
*At any time you are on the internet there are over 5 million pedophiles online with you.
*Your child can gain instant access to 1.8 billion pornographic websites.
*Even if your child has no interest in porn sites there is a 25% chance your child will still be exposed to pornographic images without warning while surfing the net.
*Around 75% of our kids will share personal information over the internet that could cause them or their family to be at risk.
*33% of our children will be subjected to cyber bullying, a serious danger on the internet.
*41% of cyber bullying victims will not tell friends, family, or teachers about the incidents and will keep the pain and depression they are experiencing to themselves, sometimes resulting in suicide (Bullycide is the new term).
*Online predators target kids 14 and older 77% of the time. 22% are between 10 and 13 years of age.
So we take a sigh of relief when they shut off the computer and go outside to socialize.
Then I see that according to statistics from another source violent crime statistics:
*47 murders as a daily average are committed!
*257 reported forced rapes as a daily average are committed!
*1142 reported robberies as a daily average are committed!
*2364 reported aggravated assaults as a daily average are committed!
Like most statistical data found in research the stats above are a few years old. Ask yourself if you think things have gotten better or worse over the past few years? I thought you would say that and I agree that things have gotten worse.
With all of this in mind we must figure out a way to provide safety education for kids and teens. It is not an easy task.
A parent must judge at what stage of development each child they have is in and tailor the education towards that level of understanding. There is a fine line as to how much information to give a child who is functioning on the level of an 8 year old and the information you would give a child operating at a level of a 15 year old.