When I read the article, I was horrified. Even though my kids are grown up, I have to think about grandkids. If you’re a parent of young children, tweens, teens, or even adults (who might give you grandkids), smartphone safety is something you need to know about. Any adult who works with kids needs to know about it, too.
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Yes, It’s Scary!
Did you see the article I’m talking about, the Yahoo article by Molly Shea about how Kim Kardashian’s nude selfie is hurting girls? I don’t keep up with the Kardashians, so I was only minimally aware of the nude selfie (just what I briefly saw in the trending “news” on Facebook).
Then I read about how there’s a movement of support for Kim Kardashian’s viewpoint. In Kim Kardashian’s words:
“I am empowered by my body. I am empowered by my sexuality. I am empowered by feeling comfortable in my skin. I am empowered by showing the world my flaws and not being afraid of what anyone is going to say about me. And I hope that through this platform I have been given, I can encourage the same empowerment for girls and women all over the world.”
What Kim Kardashian and other celebrities who support her viewpoint forget is that, whether they like it or not, they are role models. Do they really want girls to feel they should share nude photos? What about “sextortion,” cyberbullying, and revenge porn?
How You Can Help
What can you do?
- First, read Molly Shea’s article.
- Then you should probably read it again. Reading Nancy Jo Sales’ book would be helpful, too. It’s important to fully realize what kids are faced with today.
- Then, if you don’t already, start communicating with your child. Learn to really listen so that your child will feel comfortable talking with you about anything and everything. (This is wonderful with grandchildren, too.) I still recommend the Parent Effectiveness Training book as a great way to learn to listen to your children. It works with toddlers, teens, and adults.
- Fathers can play a big role in giving girls self-confidence to avoid being pressured to do something they’re not comfortable with.
- And we can all help both girls and boys realize that once images and messages are sent, they can’t be taken back. I love the WWGT rule: “What would grandma think? … If grandma shouldn’t see it, they shouldn’t send it.”
- For smartphone safety in general, be sure smartphone photo location information is turned off on all your family’s smartphones.
- Read about other smartphone safety tips, too.
Is There Hope for Children Today?
I do believe kids can learn to navigate the dangers and difficulties of being online in today’s world. It won’t be easy, and it’ll take a lot of love and open communication from the adults closest to them. Yes, we need to be aware. And we need to all care … a lot. In the wise words of Dr. Seuss and The Lorax: “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, Nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”
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