What started as a fight between teenage girls in Philadelphia wound up a shooting that left two children, their grandmother and another man shot. Two-year old Aisha Owens was shot in the hip and stomach. Allegedly the fight stemmed from an unruly Facebook posting over the summer that spilled over to the school year.
There are so many things that went wrong here and we all could make judgments (I know I did.) The judgments and finger pointing won’t change the series of events, but we definitely can learn a few things from the shooting incident.
Bottom-line: Adults must monitor their children’s social media interactions. There are parents who will not monitor for a number of reasons, but this is not about them. I can’t make any adult stay connected to their child’s online activities, however I am accountable for what I do.
Things to consider:
- Do you know who your child’s friends are on Facebook? Have you met them face-to-face? Do you know their parents? If your child does not interact with them offline, they probably should not interact with them online.
- Speak with your child about the rules of “friending,” and peer pressure. For example: Just because someone attends the same school, does not automatically qualify them as an online friend.
- Most importantly have a conversation with your child about your expectations and guidelines as it relates to social media.
Let’s all work together to keep our children safe on the Internet!
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