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Parents Get a Lesson in Cell Phone Safety - KOAM TV 7

Parents Get a Lesson in Cell Phone Safety

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JOPLIN, MISSOURI -

These days, most kids have electronic devices and many parents will admit to not knowing as much about them as their kids. Parents in and around Joplin attended a workshop to learn more about what those devices are capable of tonight at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church.

Aaron Brown has mixed feelings about his 16 year old daughter having a cell phone. He can easily get in contact with her but, she also has immediate access to the internet

“To be connected to the internet anytime anyplace and to not really have other than for my own kid, her own conscious guiding her, it’s all right there,” says Aaron Brown, lead pastor at the church.

Tonight there as a curious parent, he joins dozens of others to learn about what technology is out there for children to use and what safety concerns they should have.

“We’ve never had a generation of parents before that have had to learn this language and these topics and really learn how to parent with these types of challenges and most parents already are kind of behind in the game,” says the guest speaker Clarke Cayton with Life Choices.

And although many adults have a fear associated with learning technology, experts say what teens do in their online lives is often similar to what they will do in their real lives.

“A cell phone and access to the internet means that we have to be much more vigilant. I don't know if I want to know everything that's going on but I feel like I need to know,” says Brown.

Cayton says apps parents should be more worried about are Snapchat, Whatsapp and Kik, forms of communication that can put the user at risk and lead to bullying or sexting.

“Sexting is a significant problem. It’s actually far more common than most adults and most school officials and teachers want to admit,” says Cayton.

He says communication is key and parents should be just as comfortable talking about their child's online life as their offline life.

“Asking them hey, what's the latest thing what are you really into on your phone, what are your friends into, and letting your kids educate you as well and that will really boost your credibility in their eyes,” says Cayton.

Cayton adds that parents need to be aware of not just what apps are designed to do. But what they're capable of doing. He said iparent.tv is a good website for getting more tips and lessons on the topic.

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