I am not always right.
As it was pointed out to me tonight, my way of parenting isn't set into stone and the ONLY way to do things.
But it's the only thing I know.
I run a tight ship on my kids, with 7 of them I have to. They all know where I stand and know that one wrong step could lend them without the "comforts" they have grown accustomed to.
Sometimes I'm more lenient with them than I was on my oldest, and that trickles all the way down to my tiny little princess who runs circles around me, because I'm a sucker for her.
However, I have never let secrets be kept from me, I'm an open minded mom, with non-traditional ways and will talk with my children about anything. I expect the same in return.
When I grab my 19 year old daughters phone (who is away at college during the week) she doesn't freak out, she doesn't snatch the phone way and yell at me. I would probably toss it into the toilet bowl with that reaction. She laughs and shows me how to get to her messages so I can read them. I want to learn more about her and sometimes that is the only way.
My children were raised like that, on the computer many hours a day, talking to friends, playing WoW or Second Life, interacting with other people outside of our circle of friends.
I taught them to be protective of themselves:
*Don't put your school schedule on your MySpace
*Don't put that bikini photo of you up, there are people in corporate America looking at you over their friends shoulders.
*Don't say things that are rude, Grandma reads your Facebook status'.
I have raised my children to have an open line of communication with me about all facets of their life, because I know that they will one day live in a dorm, with other friends their age and they will be playing Webcam Roulette (heck, I did this during the summer with some friends) and if they don't know the dangers out there because I hide them from sight, how will they know to protect themselves?
Every family is different, every parenting style is different.
Do the best you can, it's all we can do, but talk to your kids about the internet.
There is so much that can go wrong with predators, cyber bullying, password sharing or even just sharing too much information.
Need ideas? Yahoo Safely has a site just for this! Check it out, get involved and stay informed!!