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: Online predators will often feel out a situation before asking for more information.
If you shut it down early, they're likely to give up.
Although only 9 percent of kids get unwanted sexual solicitation online, and only 4 percent of predators try to make offline contact, it's important to take precautions.
We're not always going to be with our kids, and -- as painful as it sometimes is -- we can't control everything. We can start with safeguards such as avoiding apps that make contact with strangers easy (such as Kik and Tinder), keeping accounts private, and setting limits on where and when your teen can use a device (as in, not alone in their room at night).
As parents we know this takes a lot of repetition, usually until our kids roll their eyes and say, "I KNOW!
" Also, it can be complicated: Teens want to be liked and belong, so positive attention from someone can be really compelling.
It's better to block than to be nice and better to be safe than to be sweet.
Make sure to acknowledge that they might already have many of these skills, so this could be a chance to show them off.
Feel free to run through this script verbatim or riff -- whatever works for you!
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.