Sue Scheff: Parenting in the Digital Age


I created my organization, Parents Universal Resource Experts in 2001. Many parents contact us for assistance when they are at their wit’s end with their teenager. Parenting has so many more challenges since 2001, with the ever expanding technology that seems almost impossbile to keep up with.


Now bullying has escalated to cyberbullying. Texting has created sexting. For parents, teachers and most adults, we are struggling to keep up. Today I speak a lot about protecting your teens online – what they post today, can haunt them tomorrow. More and more colleges are using Search Engines to research their candidates, do you know what Google is saying about your potential college applicant?

ReputationDefender is the original online reputation management services, and since 2006 they have been helping people learn about their virtual presence. I personally have retained them, and find them to be priceless. Their service to protect your children is also priceless – take a moment to read their recent Blog post. They are always 10 steps ahead of us! As a parent, we need to be there too!


Parenting in the Digital Age

By Rob Frappier

It’s 2009. That means that there are children using the internet everyday who were born after the Y2K scare. Am I the only one that finds that fact somewhat mind boggling?
In the last decade, the internet has grown exponentially. With the creation of social networking websites like MySpace and Facebook, the internet has become more than a place to seek out information, but to connect with friends. For kids, the development of social networking expanded the school day from 7 hours to 24 hours, replacing the phone as the place where students shared gossip after the last bell rang.

Along with the increased internet usage, came a new problem, cyberbullying. Kids and teens, many no doubt struggling with their own emotional development and maturation issues, used the internet as a tool to reach out and anonymously torment their peers. In the most simplistic cases, cyberbullying leads to depression and anxiety. In severe cases, where abuse is especially virulent and prolonged, it has led teens to commit suicide. Apart from cyberbullying, there’s the danger of your child meeting a cyberpredator online, or, posting inappropriate and reputation damaging information about themselves or your family.

The list goes on and on.

When you have a child, you’re expected to carry the weight of the world on your shoulders for them. In the digital age, that means carrying the weight of the World Wide Web as well. As scary as it can be to think about the dangers lurking online (in addition to the countless everyday worries), it doesn’t do any good to ignore these issues. If your kids have more experience using the internet than you do, that doesn’t automatically mean that they understand the proper way to use it. As in any other aspect of life, your kids need you to help guide them, and with the internet that means setting expectations and abiding by them.

There are a number of ways you can help protect your kids from getting into trouble online. Here at ReputationDefender, we offer MyChild. With MyChild, you can see where and in what context your child’s name appears on the web. Through personalized monthly reports, parents can keep an eye on how their kids are using the web and help head off any potential problems before they spin out of control. Later in the week, I will be offering some practical advice for parents on securing their children’s safety online and protecting their family’s reputation.
Being a parent isn’t easy under the best circumstances. That’s why, from our earliest days as a company, we have been committed to making the internet a safer and better place for kids. We show this in our products, and in our work with other leaders in the field, such as the Internet Keep Safe Coalition.

Check back to the ReputationDefender Blog later in the week for more help and advice on raising your children in the digital age.

Follow ReputationDefender on Twitter @RepDef

(I believe in ReputationDefender. I do not receive any referral fees and have never been paid by them. I am simply a satisfied client and Parent Advocate that wants to share information to help other parents.)

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