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280 Kane St. STE #2
South Williamsport, PA
United States

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Safety First

Well apparently despite my best efforts to extend summer for as long as possible, summer is coming to an end and kiddos are back to school. Most kids are about half-way through the first week of school, and I hope that in addition to pencils, pens, and lunchboxes you also sent them back with the

Well apparently despite my best efforts to extend summer for as long as possible, summer is coming to an end and kiddos are back to school.

Most kids are about half-way through the first week of school, and I hope that in addition to pencils, pens, and lunchboxes you also sent them back with the knowledge of where to get help if they need it.

We live in a world where bullying runs rampant. Children these days don’t even seem to try and be discreet about it. So make sure your kids know where to go to find help if they find themselves being bullied, or see someone else being bullied.

Let them know they can always come to you, or another trusted adult. Let them know that teachers, guidance counselors, and school administrators can always help too. Talking to friends can be helpful, but the adults in their lives need to be their go-to for legitimate help.

Most schools have developed a zero-tolerance policy regarding bullying, but since we live in such a digital age, kids can be walking around with bullies in their ‘pocket.’ When a lot of us (showing my age here) were kids if we were being bullied, it was often left at school or on the playground. Now, thanks to social media, and the interwebz, kids are constantly connected and escaping a bully can be virtually (no pun intended) impossible.

Please make sure that you are ‘friends’ with your kids on Facebook and ‘following’ them on Instagram and Twitter. Make sure you have a firm understanding of what every app on your kids’ phone is and does. Popular apps change constantly, and you owe it to yourself and your kids to keep up with what’s on-trend at the moment if it helps keep them safe and out of trouble. It’s so much easier for kids to be bullied by faceless screen names. It is also important that you have the usernames and passwords to these accounts. It may seem like an invasion of privacy, but these are social media tools — not their diaries. Checking up on their online and text messaging activities is an easy way to cut potential bullying, and other less-than-appropriate activities, off at the pass. There are a lot of apps out there that make this easy for parents. You can now monitor a lot of your child’s phone activity straight from your phone.

You are paying for your child’s phone. And they are living under your roof. Therefore you are the keeper of the gate. It only takes one bad decision to cause a world of trouble for your child, so make sure that you are paying attention to what they are doing.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. If your kid is under age 17, I highly recommend just saying no to Snapchat. I just think there is a lot of potential for bad decisions to be made on that app. If you are unfamiliar, Snapchat is an app that allows the user to send pictures and videos to other users; however, the person receiving the message can only view the pic/video for 30 seconds before the message is automatically deleted — or at least that’s the idea. The problem comes in that kids think that the pictures are gone forever — but much like anything you post online — nothing is gone forever. Thanks to screen capturing those photos and videos could come back to haunt you for a Very. Long. Time. I think that generally speaking, tween and teens lack impulse control, which makes this a particularly dangerous app. I know that this makes me a bit lame, but when it comes to kids and their safety, or even their futures, I’ll take being lame any day.

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