The Internet, cell phones all can be dangerous for our kids. Both have ways for our children to meet and talk to total strangers. The Internet has chat rooms, instant messengers like aim, yahoo, etc. Cell phones have the same things plus other forms of chat. All can cause our teens to get into trouble. Even make them convinced what they are doing is not wrong. Let's face it parents we can't watch our teens every move, but there are ways to help prevent our teens from getting in over their head. Remember hind sight is 20/20.
Strangers look for ways to get at kids. It can be a man or a woman. A teen boy or teen girl. Some looking for a true friendship others looking to hurt someone, or to even tare a family apart just for kicks.
We all know how a sex predator works, so I won't get into that one. Let's take a look at how our kids can be manipulated by other kids. Let's say you have a 19 year old that lives two states away from your home state. They have put their name, cell number and face on a teen chat line that can be accessed via the cell phone. Your son or daughter can gain access to that and comes across that person and decides to start talking with them without your consent and knowledge. It could be going on for months before you find out. Once you do find out it may be too late to stop the attraction or the connection your son or daughter have with them. When you try and stop the conversations it could cause major problems within your household.
If your teen is of legal age they may leave home and go to the state of the person they have been talking to. Trust me there is nothing you can do to stop it if this happens. The manipulation from the other person has already happened. Things your teen may have been told are you can live with me, I have a job already lined up for you, I love you please come here, your parents don't love you they just want us apart from each other, they just don't understand us and what we have. All these things and more can manipulate your child into thinking wow I should go this person really understands how I feel and they really do love me.
Once your teen gets to the state of their new found friend things are not what they seem. Your teen decides to stay anyway because they think they are in love with this person and think things will get better. But they don't they will get worse, a baby could get involved making it harder for your child to come home. They person may try and keep your child from talking to you by lying to him or intercepting your calls to them. Making it almost impossible to talk with them. This will instill in your child that you don't love them and therefore they will think everything they are being told is the truth by this person.
It will be hard for your child to get a job in a new state; he can go for months without finding a job, leaving him or her hungry and no money to do anything. Your child will still be manipulated into staying by being told you will find something soon, and then they never find a job.
Parents don't let this happen to you. Take the steps to prevent your child from going on these chat lines with total strangers. Here are two main steps that can be taken to try and prevent this from happening to you and your family.
1 - Monitor their computer use by leaving the computer in a room that everyone is in, so you will know what your child is doing and for how long they are on-line for.
2 - Cell phone use should be restricted by putting blocks on ways to use these chat lines. Don't let your child have Internet access through the cell phone. Monitor the cell phone bill for calls to long distant numbers.
If we as parents don't protect our kids who will? Surely not the person on the other end that they are talking to.