With Instagram now declaring my daughters’ friends’ photos their own, sexting statistics nearing 1/3 of all those that text (for both adults AND KIDS) and unknown app developers churning out less than desirable apps at a staggering rate, do we even need to look further for New Year’s Resolutions.

While we spoke with The Online Mom’s Monica Villa back in the fall, we wanted to wait until the 1st of the New Year to supply you with her applicable info & necessary tips for our kids to be safe(r) as we begin a brand new year.


Several years ago, after picking up her daughter from a playdate, Monica learned that the 1st graders were introduced to the shoot ‘em up game of Halo during the playdate. At that moment she decided to dedicate her full time career to informing parents about the online world to keep kids smart and safe with all the new tech that they crave.

Let’s face it, the tools (or adaptations of them) will always be here. Monica spoke of a clinical PhD psychologist who, when asked about the effects of our tech culture, he responded,” What did you expect would happen when we gave teens these devices?”

The Online Mom spoke with us about parents’ limited window of opportunity for involvement, so we need to seize the teachable moments as they present themselves. One example would be during dinner time conversation where you can better understand their angle and hear definitive examples that are given in regards to online usage and behavior.

As a result of our conversation with Monica, here’s my family’s reinforcement plan as we enter the new year:

  1. Refrain from personal images and text on line
  2. Implement a safer browsing strategy
  3. Suppress YouTube via better controls   (great post from SecureMama on this subject as well)
  4. Setup an agreement or contract between you & your child so ground rules are set
  5. Use Filters to limit and/or catch problems before they occur 

Most importantly DO NOT assume that you can’t catch up or that the tech train has passed you by, Just do your homework, the info is out there

Thank you Monica & Happy New Year!!!

And don’t forget to join @theonlinemom and friends this Wednesday at 9pm ET as they chat about tech and family life.