Handling the Internet and Young Children

Internet Safety

Raising kids comes with lots of fears and that main fear is almost always in regard to their safety. We want nothing more than for our children to be safe in this big and sometimes scary world. We want to give them the reins to take the ride of life on their own but we first want to make sure they know just how to safely ride. 

In our home, social media (for me) is obviously a big thing. I run my businesses off of social media and like others, I love scrolling through Instagram and Pinterest to find inspiration for everything from messy hair buns to keto recipes. 

But what about my children and the Internet?

What about social media? Granted they are too young for social media now, but it doesn't help to think about what you "think" you'll do when the time comes and how you'll handle it. 

I know many, many young children have their own smart phones and iPads, but that is simply not the case here. My children play educational games on MY iPad and honestly they usually just scroll through our family photos and videos. Giving them each their own iPad is something that I have no intentions of doing - not even close. Maybe teenage years I'll consider it, but even then there will be some heavy monitoring. There's just simply no need for it for our own personal reasons. 

Internet safety for kids

What about social media for young teens? 

My daughter still has several years until she enters the world of the teens (thank gosh), but I can't help but think of all the young girls I know who already have access to social media. Do I think that chatting with their friends is a bad thing? Of course not. But just like the internet does, social media opens up a portal to things that children may not be ready to see and shouldn't see. Not to mention that social media has become the modern day hallways of school bullying, something that I want to steer my children clear from. 

But you can't protect them from everything? 

No you can't. I can't protect my children from everything. They may not have iPhones and social media and still may see images online from peers' phones. They may not have access to the internet at my house but can easily access it at a friend's home. I know these things, I was a kid once. But as a parent I feel it is my duty and obligation to protect my child as best as I can, and to me that is not just handing off electronics to allow free range. 

But one day they'll need a phone. And the internet for school. 

Absolutely! One day my children will need a phone and when that time comes, I will decide on if we go with a smart phone (probably not) or a regular phone just for calls and text. And of course my children will always have monitored access to the internet at home for school purposes or even if their curiosity strikes and they need to Google something. 

I recently came across the cutest book about internet safety for children that covers the basics: not giving out personal info, not falling for phishing scams, social media safety and more. This adorably illustrated book is easy and catchy to read and straight to the point. 

After speaking to the brains behind Internet Kids Road Trip, I realized that a lot of thought went into this project. From surveying mommy friends and discovering that they didn't totally know what their kids were doing on the internet, to designing and illustrating the book themselves, this book was a labor of love to help protect the innocence of our children out there. 

Internet Kids Road Trip
Internet Kids Road Trip

I hope you take a peek at this book and share it with those that need it. You can grab a free digital download here and pass it along to your young children. This book is excellent for children around the ages of 6-13 who are just beginning to understand the internet and social media. Or you can be like me, and try to shield as much as possible! 

Deciding what is right for your family's internet usage is truly a "to each their own." Do what works for you and decide where your priorities lie in keeping your children safe on the internet. And please give this adorable book a read! 

Also, can we remember to always respect and not judge others when it comes to their own personal rules. Don't think someone is being ridiculous because their young child doesn't have a phone and vice versa. Respect without ridicule is huge here. Coming from someone who had her identity used for disgusting purposes on Facebook, I have every right to shield what feels right for me. 

Mamas, do what works for you and what is right for your kids. And please, give this book a read to your children so they can understand the dangers of the internet a little more. 

This is a sponsored post. All reviews and opinions are my own. 

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Sasha Savoy

Sasha is the owner and founder of The Mushy Mommy, a natural mother and baby boutique and The Mushy Mommy Village. She is a SAHM who works hard at living as minimal and unprocessed as possible, but never claims perfection. Her mission is to inspire, encourage, enlighten and empower mothers all over to feel good about their choices, to make healthy choices and to enjoy motherhood and all of its beauty and chaos. 

Keeping Your Children Safe with KidGuard

 This is a sponsored post because I believe in keeping our children safe, monitoring them and doing our best to be present in their digital world. 

This is a sponsored post because I believe in keeping our children safe, monitoring them and doing our best to be present in their digital world. 

Nearly every day we read or see something on the news of a child missing or kidnapped. It's scary how often we now hear about these things and having social media in front of us at all times makes it even worse because those news headlines stare at us as we scroll through our newsfeeds. 

Being a parent is hard, scary and worrisome. I don't think any mother can say that they don't worry about their child and I'm sure it's true that we worry even more when our child isn't in our own care. Whether our children are going to the movies with grandparents, hitting the arcade with school friends or browsing down aisle 3 in the grocery store while you're on aisle 23  - not having your child near you puts a fear in us no matter what. No matter how old they are, I'm sure that fear is there; the hope of safe return is always there. 

I was shocked recently to learn that majority of kidnaps are committed by a family member. Yes, you read that right. Granted sometimes these may be messy custody issues, but still...a kidnapping is a kidnapping. Approximately 203,000 kidnaps are committed by family members, 58,000 kidnaps are committed by close acquaintances and 115 kidnaps a year are committed by a stranger. That last number shocked me honestly since I just assumed MORE kidnappings were committed by strangers than that!

My four year old recently went to the movies with her grandmother and I decided it was a good time to really have the stranger danger talk. I had done this some before, but not quite as in depth. I told her a few key things 1) NEVER walk away from the person you are with just because someone calls you or says they have something to show you 2) A person who asks you to come get candy, go pet a kitty, etc...is trying to trick us 3) Always hold the hand of the person you are with 4) If someone is trying to take you scream and fight as LOUD as you can 5) If you get lost, find a mommy with kids or find a worker 

Stranger Danger

I then drilled her and asked her what she'd do in different scenarios to which she answered correctly each time. I felt better having this discussion and still bring it up when she is going somewhere without me or when we are going somewhere with lots of people. It scares me to death to think about the "what could happens..." 

I believe that speaking to your children at an early age is key to making sure that they understand the dangers that can take place any time, any place. I can sit here all day and talk about how we need to be mindful and not distracted as parents, but I think the majority of us know this. So instead, I thought I'd share some statistics to help you more aware of what's out there, how it happens and how to prevent it.

  • Summer months, June-August, see the highest precent of kidnappings whether family or non family abductions
  • 53% of abductions happened between 3:30pm - 10pm 
  • 45% of abductions took place on a Friday or Saturday 
  • Seasonal holidays have a slight increase in abductions
  • Common lures for kidnapping include bribery, pretending to be in distress, pretending that the child's parent (YOU) are in trouble, name lures (stemming form monogramming bags and the like), animal lures, social media, gaming and authority figures (someone in a uniform)
Digital Age
Child Safety

It goes without saying that our time and era poses a whole new threat because of the digital age. For the longest we rarely posted photos of our children on our personal Facebook pages, but seriously, someone can find a photo anywhere I'm sure. However as a blogger and social media influencer, I do usually take off face photos of my kids that go on my public accounts or I watermark over their sweet, little faces. Please be mindful of your children and the Internet. Young and vulnerable minds are the perfect bait for the crazies out there!

Want to keep your kids safe? We all do. I think it is every parents main goal in life probably. I want to share this amazing site with you, KidGuard, where you can learn and read about SO many startling statistics, ways to prevent kidnappings and what to do should the unfortunate event arise. This site breaks it down to who to contact and how to work with authorities. I highly recommend bookmarking this page to use a reference should the event ever arise or even if you're traveling out of the country (there's some handy info on that as well!). 

What is KidGuard? Probably something that EVERY parent needs! KidGuard is the #1 call monitoring and cell phone/message/gps tracker. It's goal is to allow parents to keep an eye on what is going on in the virtual world of their children as well as providing a means to track a phone in the event that a child is missing. What I love about this is that cyber bullying scares the heck out of me. I have two young girls and I can only imagine who cruel kids may be by the time they are in school. Cyber bullying really scares me and I think a tool such as this is a great way to keep track of things on your young, adolescent teens that still need a parent's watchful eye over them. 

KidGuard

Thanks so much for reading, and tell me...how do you speak to your little ones about stranger danger? Share your tips and advice below!

 

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Sasha Savoy

Sasha is the owner and founder of The Mushy Mommy, a natural mother and baby boutique and The Mushy Mommy Village. She is a SAHM who works hard at living as minimal and unprocessed as possible, but never claims perfection. Her mission is to inspire, encourage, enlighten and empower mothers all over to feel good about their choices, to make healthy choices and to enjoy motherhood and all of its beauty and chaos. 

The Cutest Birth Announcements

Disclaimer: This post does contain affiliate links and this product was sent for a review and received my honest opinions. Names have been blurred out on photos for children's privacy. 

I'm birth announcement junkie through and through! I love making them for my babies and I love sending them. I also love having that memento in my baby's book as such a precious keepsake. I put a lot of time and love into designing what feels like the perfect card! But sometimes it can be overwhelming when you receive all of the coupons in the mail on which printing service to use. 

When it comes to designing stationary and cards, there are so many options out there. I have used several different printing services through the years and I have to say that the guys over at Minted really have a good thing going! 

The designs at Minted are so sleek, so modern and just beautiful! I love that it can take my photo and quickly fill it into many designs for me to actually see what I like before I start working on it and I love how there are SO many options. Whether you want gold foil, rounded corners or catchy backs, Minted makes the cutest birth announcements and stationary and the cards are SO thick. I love the quality! 

When my package arrived it was personalized to let me know it was carefully packed and inspected; and I even received a cute card about the designer who designed the layout I had chosen. I also received the cutest address wraps that had our return address with a wrap around sticker on the back of the envelope that catches the recipient's attention. 

Minted has so much to offer, not just cute stationary cards. Although if you're dying to see cute photos of sweet babies, I recommend heading that way to see the adorable ones on their site. But seriously, they have some amazing art work, beautiful framed photos, gift items and more. I would have loved to have worked with them for my wedding seven years ago since they also provide wedding invitations and save the dates. 

Birth Announcements

The website is easy to navigate and totally easy to design any card - seriously, anyone can do it! Head on over and design your perfect card there and thank me later when you receive the prettiest package in the mail! ;)

I highly recommend the foil stamped cards too. They are stunning in person! I have always wanted to do foil stamped and finally was able to. I am actually considering framing my son's announcement for his nursery -- which was actually a discount purchase I could have made after I checked out. I had like an hour to make a few discount purchases and totally forgot to go back do it. That's what procrastination does to you, folks! You miss good deals! With that said, head to Minted and I bet they have a great deal for you for whatever your print needs may be! 

 The design we chose (not my baby by the way) 

The design we chose (not my baby by the way) 

 How cute is this backer? It was so fun to put this together for my son (again, this is just a premade example from their website). 

How cute is this backer? It was so fun to put this together for my son (again, this is just a premade example from their website). 

Lastly, I'd love to hear when you send out your birth announcements. What's your timeline protocol? Mine can never seem to make it out before two months, but it's usually done by then!