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Teens who share sexy pictures or lots of personal information online are more at risk to be approached by online predators.
: It's hard (and great) for your kid to practice setting boundaries.
Tweens and teens are at a sensitive age when they want to be more independent from their parents but also crave positive attention. Make sure your kid has positive connections outside the family and people to talk to -- and get support from -- during these years when they sometimes push you away.
We send kids confusing messages about talking and meeting online: We share personal information on the internet all the time and use dating apps, sites, and chat rooms to eventually meet strangers.
" Also, it can be complicated: Teens want to be liked and belong, so positive attention from someone can be really compelling.To get the ball rolling, find five or 10 minutes when your kid is receptive (in other words, don't interrupt their favorite show and demand to talk), and tell them you want to teach them skills that are similar to being able to change a tire: They can get you out of a sticky situation.You can also frame it as something like a driving test: To use social media, they need to be able to operate it safely.Also, tweens and teens who are in emotional distress are especially vulnerable because they crave positive attention and connection, so if you notice your kid withdrawing, being secretive, and hiding online interactions, it's time to ask some questions.While it's fairly rare for predators to solicit contact offline, it does happen, so it's important to be aware of your kid's connections and activities.
Anything you share with them keeps the conversation going; it doesn't help end it.