It is easy to lose track of what your kids are doing online without being overly snoopy about their growing independence. Independence is a good thing when the child has demonstrated that they can make responsible decisions and good choices. Part of your responsibility as a parent is to provide the tools which will help them along this pathway. A good way to open communications with your child is to discuss the MySpace internet area with them.
MySpace is a web site where teens and preteens can journal thoughts, add pictures, chat with others about their interest, and discuss events and problems which affect their daily lives. A great deal of controversy lately has surfaced around the site, because of the potential for unwelcome elements of discussion, pedophiles who may use the site as a springboard for meeting youngsters face to face or other unhealthy aspects.
By understanding the mechanics of how MySpace works, parents are enabled to sit down with a preteen child and dialogue about the positive aspects of the web site as well as opening discussion about the dangers which can be found. Obviously, no parent is going to be able to totally block off any areas of the internet which might be perceived as unhealthy for the child. Often such actions will either be resented as overly controlling, or will create an interest where none existed previously.
Some important tips to use with your youngster is how to set privacy and profile options for security online. You can also explain to your child the importance of not lying about your age, or giving out the real name of your school or other identifying information. The important part of this exercise is that it is done jointly with the child, so they learn not only how to use guidelines in making decisions, but that there are good reasons for the guidelines.